Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Homeschooling Has Taught Me

After reading a blog-friend's post about what she has learned through homeschooling, I thought I would make a similar post as well.  (thanks Nancy!)

Here's just a partial list of what I've learned as a homeschooling mom:
  • Kids do not have to be surrounded all day by 25 imperfect kids their same age to learn how to behave socially (in fact, the very opposite is true)
  • Doing what God has called me to do gives me great peace, even when it's particularly challenging or difficult
  • Children can live a full and well-rounded life even if they're not involved in every activity and sports opportunity that comes along
  • History can be fun!  It doesn't have to be boring. I now love History.
  • Swimming against the flow of a typical American life may be difficult, but the hard work has had more blessings than we expected and has been worth every minute
  • A "good education" is not defined by getting good grades and passing tests
  • Siblings can actually enjoy being with each other, instead of just tolerating each other
  • Kids really can learn a lot in just a couple hours a day
  • Playing with Legos is educational
  • Having the freedom to teach and learn in the way that works for us results in a happy mom and happy students because we don't have to fit into a state-mandated "box"
  • There is no ONE perfect curriculum, no matter how hard or long you look! (I've tried!)
Homeschooling is so much more than a school alternative. It's a way of life.  I don't think our family would be who are without homeschooling. God has blessed us!
* I'm not in any way claiming that homeschooling is the only good schooling option for everybody.  I'm just sharing what that choice has meant to our family.  :)


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I kept nodding and saying "me too!" :0) Made your Swedish pancakes a few days ago and they were a big hit at our house. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Mom said...

Excellent, Chris. Very well said. I am glad that you are able to continue this homeschooling. Your sons are very blessed.
Love, Mom

Sara K. said...

Hi Chris -- I saw your post on the "Lessons Learned on the Farm" blog -- and I couldn't agree more!! You listed very good reasons to home educate kids -- and many of them are the same reasons we are home educating. My oldest son is 4-1/2, so I'm just starting out with preschool -- and it's been good for all of us.

One thing I confess is still having a little "fear" (for lack of a better term) of the opinions of family members and neighbors -- especially on the topic of socialization. [My kids are definitely social without needing to hang around 25 kids all day long, as you said! They have good manners and know how to talk with our neighbors and play with other kids! I know you know what I mean.] But I know in my heart that God has 100% led us to home educate our kids! So maybe it's not fear I feel, but dread at trying to "convince" somebody why this is a good option for us. Maybe I just shouldn't care?

What are your experiences or thoughts on this topic?

Chris said...

Sara - nice to "meet" you, I'm glad you stopped by. About family and neighbors (or strangers in stores!) questioning your choice to homeschool, it's possible that you won't get as much opposition as you might think. I worried about it more when we first started too. I just tried to be sure I didn't give out the impression that I thought sending your kids to school was "BAD". I also know some school teachers, and was careful to tell them that I thought they did an amazing job, and our choosing to homeschool was a choice to keep our family closer together, and not attack schools (even if that is, indeed, part of your choosing to homeschool.)

Sometimes, when out in public, we had strangers ask "are you off school today?" or why the kids weren't in school. I'd just answer that we homeschool (and taught my kids to say the same) and rarely did anyone respond negatively. In fact, sometimes they would tell me about someone else they know who homeschools. We have a pretty large homeschool community around here, so that probably helps.

I think you'll get used to it after a while. And if you're doing what you feel God's called you to do, He will provide.

Sara K. said...

Thank you for your note, Chris! I am always encouraged to find other moms out there who stay home with their kids and homeschool.

Good tip about taking care not to give the impression that we think sending our kids to school is bad. This can be a sensitive subject among parents -- but also realizing that God calls each of us to different things in life.

We have a pretty good-sized homeschool community around here too, which I am so thankful for! I think I just got a little "wigged-out" after having to explain our decision to family members on Easter... it's like I had forgotten that homeschooling is still fairly uncommon. But you are right -- when God leads, He will provide what we need!