Sunday, 5 August 2012

What are we doing today?-A Homeschooling Reflection Part 2

Every time I talk to someone who doesn't homeschool about homeschooling, I get the same response:  "There is no way I could do that.  I'm just not the teaching type."  Or, "Me and my kid would butt heads.  No way would homeschooling work for our family."  I get what they are saying.  I felt the same way.  But I'll tell you what I've found out...the more we are all together, the LESS we butt heads.

This was our schedule before we homeschooled:  6:30 am-Wake up, get kids dressed, fix lunch, eat breakfast, make sure all books were together (have an argument about why the backpack is not ready to go out the door), load everyone in the car, pick up carpool, or get picked up by carpool.  7:30am-3:00pm-All away from each other.  4:00pm:  Get home from pick up/dropping off carpool, have a snack, get started on homework (argue about homework).  5-7:30pm-Dinner, running around town to sports practices/games.  8-9:30pm-prayers and bed.

This schedule left us with about 2-3 hours a day when we were together.  What happened was we got used to being apart and then when we were together, we argued.  Little kids wanted to play with Alex, he was exhausted from school, they got upset, fought with each other, then I got grumpy and started yelling, etc, etc.  You get the picture.

Now we are literally together all day.  The kids actually have learned to deal with each other and are closer than ever.  When it's time to go to a sports practice or ballet class, we are ready to get out of the house, and we all go together.  It's been such a drastic change in the dynamic of our family.

Another thing that I have loved, is that we have so many adventures.  Every day when the kids wake up, they say, "What are we doing today?"  They know that each day will be different with homeschooling.  It may be a day when we stay at home all day, or we may meet friends at the park for a picnic, go for a nature walk, science center, children's theater, etc, etc.

I love running my household on my terms and not someone else's schedule.  I know that each homeschooling family is different, and that is what I love.  Some love to get up early and get work done so they have the afternoon to play.  Some like to play in the morning and schedule things with friends in the afternoon.  Some like to just go with the flow and not have a schedule.  Some school year round.  Some school three days a week from Sept-May.  Each family can tailor their school experience to fit what works for them.

I love that we can travel and bring school with us.  Several times, I would travel to TN or Mobile to stay with my parents for a week at a time in the middle of the school year.  We would get school work done there and not get behind.  This year (and last) we will take our beach vacation in September.  Everyone else is back in school, the beach isn't crowded, it's not as hot, and the prices are much better!

Most of all, I love knowing what is happening in my kids' lives every, single day.  I know who they are spending their time with and who and what are influencing them.  This is important at every aspect of my kids' lives, but VERY important to me with my middle-schooler.  I remember how hard middle school was for me in my little, private, Christian school.  I have so enjoyed having my big, growing boy at home with me.  We are so close, and he comes to me and the hubby about everything.  I know it may not always be this way, but I'm grateful for that right now.

Again, I don't know what next year will hold.  I don't know where God will lead our family.  Right now, I feel perfectly comfortable with schooling two children in our home (yikes...did I just say that?).  And so we are off!  Another year of adventure with our family all together.  A year of 7th grade and Kindergarten.  Pray for me please!  


Jill Mongene and Joseph Keisling said...

How do you feel about parents that are full time employees for the government home schooling their children? Can it really be done ? Leaving a 13 year old home alone all day Mon-Fri with her homework to teach herself and have ZERO supervision or human interaction?

Can a person who is supposed to be in an office 40 hrs a week really truly home school a child?

I'd love to hear your opinion on this and also whether it is legal or not.

Donna said...

You have such a unique perspective because you did the awesome private school route and weren't running from school. I love hearing how you've enjoyed them more and they have enjoyed each other more. Keeps me doing it at least one more year! Vacationing off season is AWESOME!!! Have fun at the beach!

Jenifer said...

I love this post. :) We have just begun our 4th year homeschooling and we're vacationing at the beach through September. Love being together. Lovett adventures of each new day. Our kids are 8, 6 and 2 so 3rd and 1st and an almost 3 year old. Fun fun!!!