Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Remind Me Again--Why Homeschool?

This year Beza is off to full-day Pre-K three days a week while we're homeschooling M (3rd grade) and T (1st grade).  This is our third year of homeschooling--an adventure I didn't see coming.  So, why are we homeschooling?

Short answer:  We love school, but I fell in love with learning with them when they were little and I wanted to keep doing it.  There are tons of resources and it works for us--for now.

Long answer:
1.  When they were one and three (and just two of them), I felt like I was just surviving my days.  I had worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for two years and there were some parts of my job that I had LOVED.  I decided to start being intentional with the limited time (in terms of their whole life) I had with them. We started having Theme Weeks (just like I did when I worked full time).  Simple, simple ideas that motivated me to play and read and really to make forever memories.

2.  Then, when they were three and five I really wanted to watch Anne of Green Gables with them.  But, I wanted to read the book first.  So we did.  And it worked.  Sometimes they sat quietly and listened or sometimes they played with blocks and guys and only paused during the exciting parts.

3.  I also knew that I want them to walk through this life well (not perfectly, but well.).  We were in the process of adopting Beza and that journey introduces some of the really hard sides of life.  I wanted to both give them a vision for what it looks like to walk through the tough stuff well (again, not perfectly--with grace for our mistakes) and to be a place where we could talk about challenging topics--together.  Books opened those doors.  Right after Anne of Green Gables we read a biography of Corrie ten Boom.  We talked a lot about messy, ugly stuff and about Hope.  And reading became our addiction.

4.  As we were approaching full-day first grade I knew that I would miss all of that fun, easy, natural learning that were were doing together because a school schedule and homework and sports would take over our time.  And even reading, while definitely still possible, would never be the same.

5.  But, through adoption, my network of friends from all over vastly expanded and a good number of them were homeschooling.  They posted about their days and I realized that maybe homeschooling wasn't what I thought it was.

6.  I had thought homeschooling was exactly like being a teacher of a classroom at home.  It seemed pretty redundant when there are awesome teachers and fun friends to play with at our great local school.  But I saw that instead, homeschooling looked a ton like what I was already doing with a few more formal chunks.  And there would be tons of time for imaginative play and loads of reading--two activities that I think are a high priority when they're little.

7.  I read a lot.  Talked it out.  Made a big list of pros and cons (coming soon).  And then took the plunge.

I absolutely love homeschooling.  I love the freedom to own our schedule, but mostly I love the learning together.  Science, history, math--all of it--it's good stuff.  (Okay, actually, I don't love spelling, but the rest of it's totally cool.)  It's not perfect (though nothing is) and every day brings its own challenges, but for now it fits us well.  We'll take this gig one kid and one year at a time.

I'm so very thankful for the option to do school together.

Second Grade Curriculum (Coming Soon)
Third and First Grade Curriculum (Coming Soon)

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