Welcome, Lakeside Learning, a new blog at the BDN

Education has always been rooted in me as something of great value. It was never tied to race or gender, either. My parents always wanted me to do well so I could go to college someday, if that’s what I wanted. And I wanted that! So, I went to college and to grad school, and got my teaching degree. I dove head first into teaching even when I was newly married and starting a family of my own. But, Dan and I had always said to one another that we would homeschool our children if God allowed us the opportunity.  Well, the time has finally arrived that God has allowed it for me to homeschool our young children.  So here I begin our educational journey through homeschooling!!

When one transitions from working in the public school system to homeschooling, it is both liberating and fearsome! The most funny thing is, I was most excited about not having to wake up early and get dressed up – to be able to wear jeans EVERYDAY and not just once a month! Liberating! :) Of course, it’s a joy to be able to teach whatever I want, or whatever the kids want to learn about. But there’s where it’s also fearsome.  For anyone reading this who has not been a public school teacher, one of the MANY requirements piled on top of teachers is to be observed throughout the school year by the principal (or another administrator, depending on how big the school may be). Despite having worked in mainstream education for a decade, it was still nerve-wrecking when I was going to be observed. So as a new school year started and I was venturing on this new course of teaching, I subconsciously had a sense of “fear” that someone would be judging me, checking in on me at any given moment, observing my teaching skills. I told myself I could not fail, I had to be successful at this homeschooling thing! I was putting so much pressure on myself for absolutely no reason because no one was going to walk through my front door and tell me what I was doing for my children’s education was inadequate. I had to get out of my own head and just enjoy teaching my children. At the end of the day I trust my skills as a teacher to provide my children with a sound education, and no critic or naysayer will bring me down! Now, talk about LIBERATING!!

We have just completed our 20th week of schooling which means we’re halfway done for the school year.  We plan to end our “formal” schooling on May 5th. Things are going very smoothly by now. Josh does lessons 5 days a week, whereas Will does just 3 days at home. Mondays and Wednesdays he goes to our local public school pre-k program for socializing and to get used to the idea of school in general.  It also allows me some one on one time with Josh who’s in 2nd grade. When Will’s home, the attention is more on him or even on Zeke, who is only 1 but so wants to participate in what we’re doing as well! There are high moments where the learning for Josh and Will is exciting and brings joy to my heart to be able to be a part of it. Of course there are “low moments” where the struggle is real for any student struggling with a concept, or more often just having the focus/attention span to get through a challenging task when Legos are just in the next room begging for the boys’ attention, too! But through it all, they are loving homeschooling! I worried how Josh would transition from regular school to this, and the only times he asks to go back is to see his friends (which I’ve made sure he’s been able to have many playdates with since moving out of the school). I think he honestly likes the freedom as well to do school in his pajamas and play with his toys earlier in the day (as we’re usually wrapped up around lunch time or so and the afternoon is theirs for free play).
Breanna Allard

About Breanna Allard

This blog is an eye-witness account into the life of a homeschooling family in Maine. Join us on our journey as we navigate through co-ops and support groups, determine the best curriculum or "unschooling" approach for our family, and the general learning curve that teaching and learning involves, even on the home front. From time to time, some blog posts will also share teaching activities and helpful resources found around Maine readers will find helpful in their own homeschooling adventure! *Use at your own risk/for your own entertainment.*