So....I don't even remember the last time I blogged (sorry friends). I mean, I knew that homeschool would pretty much take up a good portion of my life, but I had NO idea exactly how much that would entail. That being said....it was still, hands down, one of the best decisions of my life. Some people would be like "What?! How can you say that something that takes over your life is a good thing??" It's hard to explain,but I'm gonna try.
When they were in public school, they'd be gone from 7am until almost 4pm (that includes the bus ride). I entrusted people that I barely know with the well being and education of my children because I believed the lie that, A. it's what's best for them, and B. I am not smart enough to teach them properly because I am not a trained teacher. In some situations, my first point can be true. Some kids only get what they need when they go to school. It's very sad, but it's true. There are too many children in our country that only eat when at school. And the really great teachers recognize it, and their hearts hurt for those children. My second point, however, is a lie. It is a lie that went through my mind often. A degree does not qualify me...standardize testing does not qualify me...no person can qualify me. I am already qualified....I was qualified as soon as my kids were born.
Before they were born, they could recognize my voice and the voices of the people closest to me. I have video of my son right after he was born...the nurses were cleaning him up and getting measurements, all while crying his little heart out. When he heard me, he stopped and tried to turn his head in my direction. They spend 9 months surrounded in fluid, then are born knowing how to breath, eat, cry, get their tiny hands to their adorable little mouth to sooth themselves. Children are born with the ability to learn. Think of how much they learn in the very first year of life! Holding up their heads, sitting up, pulling themselves up, crawling to standing to walking, smiling, laughing, loving. These are all things they learn in that first year. How do they learn them? They watch us, their parents. They continue to watch us. We are the best teachers of our children around, even if we don't mean to teach them (like the bad things they see...we all have bad moments that we wish we could take back). These are things that I never really thought about before.
Throughout this past year, I've had ups, and downs. I've been completely organized and scheduled, and I've been completely scatterbrained and felt I was in the loony bin. Even as I type this post, it's taken longer than expected because I've been interrupted so many times for an unfound item or something to eat or some fight because someone was touching, taking, picking on someone else. But, even with all of the little bumps in the road, and all my "free time" taken away, I still love it. I'm getting to know these little people that I was given charge over. Their personalities are blossoming and I'm getting to watch it happen. Something that I wouldn't get to witness completely if they were away from me for 9 hours out of my day.
One of the biggest questions that homeschoolers get is "what about socialization". Before I answer that, I'd like to ask....how does a child socialize in public school? They can't talk on the bus because it "distracts the bus driver", they can't talk during breakfast or lunch time because "they need to focus on finishing lunch in the allotted time frame" (which is normally about 20-30 minutes), they can't talk during class because it disrupts other students, they can't talk in the hallway because it disrupts other classes, they can't talk in the bathroom because they need to get back to class. So the only time for "socialization" is at recess, or at home. My children are already at home. They socialize at the grocery store, at church, at soccer practice, at gymnastics, at co-op. I'm pretty sure they socialize.
When I first started to homeschool, the hardest and scariest part was getting started. There are so many different curriculum choices out there that it's overwhelming. Then, stepping into the unknown world of teaching my children, was scary. But, only because I didn't know what to expect. It was new, and new can be scary. If it wasn't for all the support from co-op and other friends that have been homeschooling since forever, I might have given up. But I continued to be encouraged, and I talked to other people that knew exactly what I was going through and reassured me that our situation was actually pretty normal. I was reassured that I wasn't messing my kids up for life, that someone wasn't going to come to my house and tell me how horribly I am doing, and nobody was going to force me to send them back into the public school system because I have the freedom to decide how my children are educated. And I was reminded on a regular basis that my first goal is to raise my children to be God loving people, and to put Him first....the rest will fall into place. It always does.
Now, not everyone has the option to homeschool, I understand this. Most families have 2 working parents, that's just the way it is anymore. We used to be that family too. I didn't quit working until my youngest was born (7 years ago). But, if the only thing stopping you is one of the many lies that the world tells us, or because it's scary and overwhelming, please be encouraged. Do some research for your area, seek out and talk to other homeschoolers, find a co-op. If there aren't any near you, why not start one? I know that there are a lot of people out there that are in the same boat. Many times, when people find out I homeschool, the first words out of their mouth are "man, I wish I could do that". Then, when they find out I have 3 kids that are in 1st, 3rd, and 8th grade...their eyes get wide and they ask "how do you do it?". My only answer is, by the grace and strength of God.
I'm glad that my school year is coming to an end, we all need a break. But after completing the year, I believe that I am now a lifer (as long as God wills it).
|Planting some seeds for a garden|
|Look at that happy face|
|JR took this picture...he's really gotten into nature photography|
|Alec went on a field trip with my dad to learn a little about his ancestors|
|School work in bed|
|Learning how to cook for the family|
|Field trip to the water treatment plant|
|Time for math|
|Behind the scene look at a movie theater|
|Freezing bubbles (we had a cold winter)|
|He loves to take picture|
|Water treatment plant|
|Learning to sew (I have quite a few pillows made from old tshirts now, lol)|
|We successfully grew a lima bean plant|
|A trip to Pittsburgh to see The Nutcracker ballet|