Friday, September 21, 2012

thoughts on homeschooling thus far…


He asked me to wear a mask and cape so we could go to McDonalds one night as superheroes. And when your 5-year-old asks that, you do it… =)

We’re 3 weeks into this new adventure of homeschooling.

The first week, I thought that the added responsibility of teaching my children was going to take me down. It felt a little like having a new baby. Even if I’ve planned well and in advance, I still have some pulling together of books and materials that I need to do each night after the kids go to bed. I knew teaching the kids was going to be a time consuming job on top of everything else I already do, but it felt a little oppressive the first week. I’m not gonna lie.

The second week, I started relaxing and feeling a little better. I started getting a sense of where we were headed and what I needed to do and when. That only gets better every week so far, and I’m grateful for that. I now feel a lot more like I can do this than those first few days….

Our days are falling into a better rhythm, and I stress less about getting a ton done during Ben’s morning nap, knowing that I’ll have some time later in the day to do more school.

What I find interesting about this is not that I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed in the beginning. I am more interested in the fact that I felt a deep sense of joy and peace despite the “beginning something new and slightly terrifying” stress. It’s really hard to put how I’ve been feeling into words, and I hesitate to try.

Once again, it feels a little like having a new baby. (I know, I’m stuck with that analogy, but its the closest thing to it in my life experience of the last few years.) Its beautiful, and its sometimes hard. I feel myself learning and growing in ways that I wasn’t expecting. I see my eyes being opened to the excitement of learning all over again as I learn with my children. I’m noticing the world around me differently because of my teaching. The interactions that I’m having with Seth and Evan lately have been priceless to me, and I will treasure them in my heart all my life.

I don’t think that homeschooling is perfect. I’m going to have to work a little bit harder to provide certain kinds of experiences and opportunities that a regular school setting naturally gives. My mom had to do the same, and I think she did a good job, especially since she didn’t have a generation of homeschoolers behind her to point out possible blind spots and needs.

I’m not homeschooling my children because we can’t afford private school or because I don’t like the public schools. It’s possible that we could afford some sort of private school for our children if we pinched enough pennies.

My point is that we want something really different from a traditional school environment for our family. It isn’t easy to attain, and I’m still in the newborn phase, but so far, I can emphatically say that this “baby” has been worth it. =)

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