I love homeschooling. Have I mentioned that before? Well I do.
And before anyone thinks that I must have more patience than them or be smarter or any number of other things I hear, I'm not. I am not patient, in fact, I'm quite the opposite. I am not smarter than you. I'm not super organized. I do bite off more than I can chew. My kids are not super-kids. (Well, as a momma, I like to think so.) They are just normal kids.
Yes, my ears get tired. Yes, I struggle with wanting time to myself. Yes, sometimes the little blessings drive me batty. Yes, sometimes I yell and hurt their feelings. So why do I do it?
I do it because...well...because.
Because. I don't particularly care for our school district, well any school district for that matter. I don't think public education is very effective and in the grand scheme of things does not have a great track record. (I think there are great teachers and people who have a heart for the kids, I think it's the system that's messed up.) I don't want the negative peer influence. I don't want to have to get up and go to bed so early - I don't want to be a slave to a schedule. I don't want the political agendas pushed onto their very impressionable minds. I don't believe in homework.
I want to be able to travel if we want to and take advantage of learning opportunities that present themselves, not have to recreate something or have it planned. Besides, isn't all of life a "learning opportunity"? I want to spend days at the park, zoo and Chuck E. Cheese without the crowds. I want the kids to enjoy their dad when he's off or grandparents that want to spend the day with them. I believe that God called us to teach our children.
I could keep going...I don't want my kids leftovers -when they've been gone all day and with people all day - and they just want time alone when they get home. I want to see them learn. I want them to LOVE learning, not have it crushed out of them. I want them to know how to think for themselves and not worry about what others think. I want my kids to have an extended childhood...not be childish...but to not have to grow-up so quickly. I want to take nice days off and not have them cooped up inside. I want them outside exploring and running and yelling and playing...just being a kid. I want time with them...lots of time.
So there isn't just one reason that I homeschool, in fact, there are even more than I listed. And some days, I need to remind myself of this list. Because sometimes, it gets hard. Some days I imagine not homeschooling. Not a lot, but sometimes. Today was NOT one of those days.
The kids got up and did their chores (feeding and watering livestock) and independent schoolwork (reading, Bible study, handwriting, grammar and science). We cleaned the bathroom and mopped the kitchen floor along with a few other household chores (home-ec). Then Bubby and Leeny played together. I LOVE that he doesn't think he's too old to enjoy the company of his 6 year old sister. The Bug and the Baby were boxing on the Wii (P.E.) Later, we sat around the table following patterns for making really cool snowflakes (art). While they were cutting, I read aloud to them about Snowflake Bentley (history). We learned about snowflakes, how they are formed, etc. (science). We talked about where Snowflake Bentley grew up and found it on the map (geography). Then we all curled up and watched a Christmas movie.
Is this a normal day for us? No. I don't think we have a normal day. No two days mirror each other. We have a routine but with that there is lots of flexibility. Two different days this week, we spent a lot of time working on our math books - doing 2-3 lessons at a time. We've also put what we learned in math to practice in real life, by doing lots of baking and candy making. Measuring ingredients and doubling recipes requires math skills.
Leeny showed me one evening how well she can read and spell, actually surprising me which is hard to do, since I'm the teacher. She was asking me what I wanted for Christmas, so I told her and she wrote it all down and hardly spelled anything wrong. And it's moments like that when I know that homeschooling works.
And why wouldn't it? Nobody loves my kids more or cares whether or not they learn more than me. After all, didn't they learn to walk and talk, learn their numbers, ABC's, shapes, etc. at home with me? I didn't have a teacher's manual for that stuff. It just happened naturally.
And that's how I want them to learn - gently and naturally. And that's why I homeschool.