Friday, February 26, 2010
Why We Homeschool
If you would have asked me ten years ago if I would ever consider homeschooling I would have keeled over laughing. And I think most current homeschooling moms can say the same thing. It really does seem like there is a revolution in the homeschooling movement, as you can tell by the amazing amount of homeschooling mom blogs.
When friends tell me how amazed they are that I'm homeschooling and give me the standard "you're so brave because I could never, ever do that" speech with that "you must be crazy" look in their eye, I defensively respond, 'Have you seen where I live?" Like "no way would I be doing this otherwise." However, that is not really the truth and feel like I'm short changing myself. The truth is now I love homeschooling. I wonder now if I had the choice, would I have it any other way.
I feel like my children and I are a team united on one quest. Everyday we learn together, we challenge one another. Sometimes it's as hard for me to muster up the mental fortitude to make it through handwriting and arithmetic as it for them. I would love as much to check my email or clean my kitchen as they would love to be playing outdoors, but we challenge each other to keep going. And I look forward to learning with them as much as I do educating them. When they catch on to something new we all do the happy dance together and celebrate. I don't remember ever not once celebrating learning in school.
Now granted, my kids are five, three and one so give me a few years to get self righteous. It is very challenging when one or three of them is tired, sick or moody. Sometimes I'm tired, sick and moody and I don't have the luxery of dropping them off at school or with someone to take care of and I have to just keep going. I'll outline the challenges I face personally with homeschooling in a later post, mainly just for myself so I can monitor my progress. My husband and friends can tell you that there are days when it changes me in to a crazy person.
One of the unexpected joys of homeschooling for me is how much I've enjoyed teaching my children the bible and instructing them on matters of the heart. It's such a delight to see how close they've grown to God and to each other and what a significant difference daily habit training has made on their development. Another thing I love about being able to homeschool is the variety of things they get to learn. We're not penned in to a set curriculum and so learning is organic and spontaneous. Plus, my children get exposed to classical music, art and beautiful literature and aren't stuck with their nose in a text book or learning for one annual test.
Living on a ranch provides numerous learning opportunities, especially for little boys fascinated with earth science. A large part of the kid's education involves nature studies on fascinating geological formations and wildlife habitat as well as hands on learning about weather, gardening and animal care. We're outside a lot and I think that makes a huge difference.
I try not to become too opinionated about homeschooling when talking to friends and family because I appreciate everyone's individual need to educate their children in the way they see fit. I'm glad I live in a state that affords us the individual right to choose. The more I learn the more I grow in confidence and I'm looking forward to our homeschooling journey as long as it continues to be the best thing for our family.