Tomorrow begins another school year for us, our fifth official year of homeschooling. While that sentence makes me wince at the thought of dark wintry days stuck inside with loud and crazy children, it also makes me shake my head in disbelief. I’m thankful we gave it a try and have stuck with it for this long. Max will be in 4th grade and Mini will be in pre-K this year.
I am not someone who thinks homeschooling is the best choice for every child or every mom, and it may come as a surprise that I know very few homeschoolers in real life who feel this way. I think the ones who do feel that way should reconsider their spoken words carefully because that message is loud and it hurts.
I went to very good public schools and both my parents worked, so I understand there are many reasons that don’t make homeschooling a good fit.
But I admit, I do try to sell the idea of homeschooling to my friends nowadays. I may be just as snooty as I try not to be, but I remember how God used the conversations with my friends to convince me.
Before that, I would not have listened because I dreamed about the yellow school bus from the day Max started running around the house and crashing into the walls and furniture.
4 more years! 4 more years! I chanted.
But they kept selling it. No, not really. They just kept talking about it. And I started listening and praying and God did the rest.
So here’s my sales pitch (and also, this is a Labor Day pep-talk to myself. Yes, Anna, you can do it another year! It is fun! There are reasons you like the crazy!)
Homeschooling allows us to:
*have more time together, with less distractions in our schedule
*go on vacation in the off-season
we just got back from Myrtle Beach, SC – more photos to come
*read more books than I ever imagined a kid would be smiling about
Homeschooling also lets us have:
*time with friends
*breaks in our day
*a change in scenery
*time to daydream every now and then
*healthy lunches…way less processed stuff than what I’d be tempted to throw in a lunch box
cool ones like road trips with grandparents before the schools are out
Homeschooling has trained me to:
*see a diamond in the rough
*talk about character and values all day long
*effectively discipline when things come up
Don’t mess with me or you’re going to the time-out chair
*laugh at ourselves
*compliment and praise all day long
*encourage trying and making mistakes
*change things in the curriculum if they aren’t working
*instill a love for learning (teaching how to learn for themselves)
*spend extra time on a concept that isn’t sticking
*make emergency runs to the google for teaching ideas
*ask questions, seek help, get encouragement
*understand my child’s learning style
*identify sin in my own life that needs to be exposed and confessed
*forgive easily and move on, because I am forgiven
*strive to be an example and role model of an authentic follower of Christ
If only we were doing it perfectly.
Homeschooling doesn’t come without hard days. There are plenty of frustrations and hard times. For instance:
*did I mention winter?
*moody kids, moody mom
*distractions (email, phone, facebook, doorbell, toys at the table, pencils on the floor, hungry/thirsty/there’s a bug, news headlines, computer problems, overdue library books, emergency runs to the store-no bread/milk/chocolate, cuts, scrapes, falls, fires, etc)
*feeling perpetually behind until I have our bi-annual review. Then I’m like “wow, he’s done a lot.”
*how math causes sin
That being said, here we go again with another year! The pep talk has been given and now I’m ready to give it my all as the teacher slash mom in this school. Ack!
In the midst of the crazy, I want nothing more than a year of growth for all of us. May we not waste a single day.
Even the daydreaming ones.