Friday, October 17, 2014

"I Could NEVER Do That"

I 100% do not think homeschooling is the right choice for everyone.
While I love that our family has the privilege of teaching our children at home, I know it is not the only way (nor necessarily the best way).  I obviously think it's best for MY family (which is why I choose to do it), but I know it's not best for everyone.  I went to public school from Kindergarten through college and had a wonderful experience.  I had amazing teachers, awesome friends, and a great education.  I am definitely not anti-school.

Homeschoolers, typically, have a reputation for being weird (a generalization not that far off, if I am being honest....there are LOTS of not weird homeschoolers, though), so I usually only tell people I homeschool if they ask.

When people find out I homeschool, a typical response is, "Oh, I could never do that."

Though I am not trying to make any homeschool converts, if you're thinking about homeschooling but unsure if you can do it, let me reassure you: you can most definitely do it.  It's not easy but it is definitely do able.  Here's why:

1.  You get the best of your kids.  Those with kids in school often talk about how treacherous homework is.  Kids are doing homework at the craziest part of the day.  My kids are WILD during the "homework hours".  I could not teach them then, either.
But they're (usually) very teachable at 10 am (when your child is also very teachable).  And, I think our entire homeschool day is shorter than homework is.  (Once again, I am NOT belittling school....I think all parents hate homework).

2.  "I don't know enough to teach my kids," is also something I hear a lot.  You learn as you teach, and you don't have to know calculus when your child is in Kindergarten.  If I homeschool my kids through high school, I will have taught them math all the way through.  So while I may not know calculus now, just like them, I will build up to it. (And if you suck at math, then there are lots of helpful options available).  Homeschool curriculums are just like school curriculums.....they tell you how and what to teach.  

3.  "I don't have enough patience."  I don't either.  (Does anyone?)  My friend, Amy, and I talk about how homeschooling is just as much about developing our own character as educating our children.  I would argue it takes infinitely more patience to chaperone a school field trip, so if you've done that, you could homeschool. That is WAY harder.

4.  A homeschool day (at least for my kids' grades) is so, so short.  We typically spend about two hours on school.

To give an overview of our day:
8:00-10 am: kids wake up, get ready for the day, eat breakfast, watch a cartoon (while I also get ready for the day and do some house work)

10-12 noon: school
The little boys play on their own (or sit in with us)
Every day, Caleb and Chloe do phonics or grammar, math, and handwriting individually.  We add in supplemental subjects and read books together.
I teach whoever needs help.

12: lunch

12:15-bedtime: play, run errands, clean the house, eat dinner, sports, etc.

The hardest part of my day is the hardest part of any mom's day: from late afternoon til bedtime.  If I judged my ability to homeschool by those hours, I would definitely not do it.  But there are so many other hours of the day that my kids are awesome, fun, and love to learn.

I must disclaim, though, that my kids will tell you they don't like school.  We don't live in some dream world where they beg to learn all day.  They love to learn when they don't realize they're learning (asking me questions throughout the day or during independent reading time)....but they whine and complain about doing their school work most days.

So while I love that I get to homeschool, we live in the real it's not all sunshine and roses.

But life isn't sunshine and roses, so learning at home provides ample opportunities to work on our character, attitudes, and manners.  I love that I get to be a huge part of my kids' lives.  I love seeing the lightbulb go on when they grasp a concept.

Good, bad, and ugly.....homeschooling is a great choice for our family, and if you are thinking about doing it, you most definitely can!

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