Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homeschool Lessons

I don't often post about our homeschooling, although I am thinking that I will try to make it more of a habit.  Most of you are aware that we  homeschool.  Some of you are thrilled....some of you are not so thrilled.  I understand.  It's ok.  

I think there are still a lot of preconceived ideas about what homeschooling really is and is not.  The unknown is always a little scary and sometimes brings anxiety, especially when it involves people you love.  So,  I think I'm going to start sharing some of our homeschooling lives here with you.  It will serve more than one purpose, I hope.  Hopefully, anyone reading will enjoy and learn from it...and I'm hoping it may also be a learning experience for the boys, especially Jackson.  

Today, I thought I'd post a few lessons we've learned from and about homeschooling.

  • I didn't know my boys nearly as well as I thought.  Becoming their primary teacher has given me a much better understanding of not only what they can accomplish academically, but also about how they feel about things and how they feel about themselves.  We have time to talk now...about all sorts of things.  Not only am I present for lessons, I am also present as they are forming friendships and interacting with others.  Because I'm aware of what is going on, I am more able to help them if they need me.  Even though 2 years ago, I was teaching just down the hallway from Jackson's 1st grade classroom, I'm ashamed to say that I was too busy with my job and our busy lifestyle to be able to keep up with his class, too.

  • Because we have the opportunity to do formal lessons year round and  24/7, we can enjoy taking the opportunity to participate in fun activities most anytime we want.  We can participate during the daytime in programs with the conservation dept, the park board, community theater, art museum, etc....or just enjoy the sunshine on a fall day instead of being cooped up inside.  Schooling year round also alleviates the "summer lag" felt by lots of kids with a traditional school year.

  • I am no longer concerned (if I ever was) that socializing these kiddos is a problem.  These boys are involved with one activity or another every day of the week.  They can recruit playmates anywhere they are at, and it doesn't matter their age.  I love that Jackson is considerate of younger kids and he doesn't think twice about asking an older boy to play, either.  He's comfortable and happy to be with anyone - not just 3rd graders.  Carter is coming right along, too...and he has a great role model in his older brother.

  • I love that our family is a stronger unit because we homeschool.  I'm not saying that you have to homeschool to have a strong family, please don't misunderstand.  I am saying, however, that for us....we function better as a family now than when we were so busy trying to keep up the pace of school, work, sports, church, etc.  There was a lot of stress associated with that busy schedule that we just don't have anymore.  Instead, we have time to focus on each other and take care of each other.  When we are all fed and happy - academic achievement is a much easier task to accomplish.

  • The school bus comes early.  We are glad nobody has to be on it.  Instead, we are sitting together at the table enjoying a good breakfast together.  Only two mornings a week, we have to be somewhere by 9:00.  

  • Doing math in your pajamas doesn't change the fact that you are still doing math.  :)  It doesn't happen real often, but it does happen.  It doesn't make one bit of difference.

  • The newest "thing" in education (or anything for that matter) isn't always the best thing.  The one room schoolhouse was pretty efficient in many ways and there are many famous and very successful people in our country's history that were schooled at home.  My 3 year old is sitting at the table with us when he wants to and you would be amazed at what is learning!  Jackson LOVES being able to teach his brothers, which is the highest form of learning he can participate in.  Carter gets the best of both worlds...teaching Harrison and soaking up great information with Jackson.

  • I'd rather my kids produce a small amount of work that has little to no errors than stack of papers filled with inaccuracies.   We are taking a very different approach to language arts than our public school counterparts.  Traditional - classical - old fashioned.  That's us.  We like it that way.

I'll be posting about our schedule, our curriculum, and hopefully I'll convince Jackson to post a thing or two, as well.  If you have any questions - feel free to ask!

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