Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thoughts on Homeschool

We started homeschool just after Labor Day this year.  And I have learned some things since starting.  Here are just a few:

  1. Homeschool is a lot less stress for our family.  Getting kids up and ready for school and getting them there on time was stressful for me.  Also, the pressure of friends, teachers, and schedules were stressful for my children.  Doing things at our own pace has relieved a lot of stress for everyone in our family.
  2. Homeschool has brought my children closer together.  My children are together all day, everyday.  They usually don't have other playmates besides their siblings.  This has strengthened all of their relationships.  Even my 7 yr old will happily play with my 3 yr old.  I'm not saying they play perfectly together all the time, I'm just saying it's much better.
  3. Some homeschool days are better than others.  We have had some recent trials in our family.  Usually I've been pretty good about making sure that every subject is taught and given as much attention as is needed.  This past week has been different.  Instead of stressing about whether or not we are having art or science, I've made sure that we have covered just the basics (reading, math, writing, and Spanish because my kids beg for it).  I have no guilt just completing the minimum when circumstances require it.  We are a family first and when we are experiencing difficult things together than other things can drop off until we're ready to resume- and that's OK.
  4. I like my children so much more now that we're homeschooling.  By the end of last school year we were struggling to like each other.  I used to think that the less time I spent with my children, the more I'd like them.  (Don't judge.  Like I said we were all struggling, especially me.)  Homeschool has helped me realize that my children have so much good to offer in their own individual way.  I think homeschool has also helped my children to realize that mom is not perfect, and mom make mistakes too.  We have been able to see each other at our best and our worst, but the thing that makes it ok is that we are all sincerely trying to do our best.
I've had some interesting conversations with people since we've started this journey.  The comment I get the most is, "Wow, you're brave.  I don't think I could ever teach my own children."  I usually reply, "I'm no braver than you.  You'd do it too if you felt like it was what your children needed at the time."  I don't believe I'm doing anything noble or extraordinary.  I only believe that I am doing what I felt was right for my family this school year.  I also believe that you would do the same for your children if you had the same experiences, promptings, and feelings about homeschooling that I've had.  That's just part of being a parent.  You would kill tigers for your children if you felt it would help your children achieve their goals.  So would I.