Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A few thoughts on homeschooling

I don't often post about our homeschool activities, which is perhaps a little strange considering it's where the majority of my time and energy goes. I guess my blog is the place for me where I choose to take a break from that area of my life.

My husband (bless his soul) made the statement the other day that he didn't know how I managed to accomplish so much in the schooling area. I, of course, took that opportunity to point out all the things that I don't do so that I can homeschool. Don't worry, I won't bore you with the details;)

And I don't mean that at all in a complaining way. I love teaching my children. I didn't neccessarily plan for things to be this way at this time, but I have wholeheartedly embraced it.

I admire Mothers who homeschool well with a set game plan. And I feel for those who try, and struggle to accomplish it.

There are those who greatly admire homeschoolers. I've been questioned by strangers who were totally fascinated by the whole process. Then there are those who just naturally assume that you do a shoddy job and that your children will suffer in life because of it. Which is interesting considering homeschoolers as a whole tend to test very well. And there are also those who you think would be supportive and encouraging, that are not always that way. Even in Christian circles.

This year is turning out to be our best year of homeschooling so far. I'm so happy with where we are at right now. We're using a new set-up this year, and it's such a good fit for us. It's more challenging, and has more projects, but I feel like my kids are getting just what they need.

Sometimes it stretches me a bit far. I do the basic house cleaning, laundry and cooking. But any extra things (which I have a long list of) just have to wait. I've told my husband that the top thing on my wishlist for Christmas is to be able to get to some of those things on my projects wish list. I think it's passed the mile-long mark already.

Right now we're trying to finish up all of our school projects before Christmas break. Which includes the following: biographical essay on Albert Einstein (P), report about Spiders (P), report about Goldfish (A), essay on the subject of Space in three parts (P), Life cycle of Flies chart project (A), Fables report (A), mold and microscope experiments, 5 units tests, and (of course) the regular daily lessons.

The Princess has a whole different program that I do with her. Her speech therapist has us do some things in addition to that. I admit that she is the most challenging to teach out of the three. She loves learning, and is a bit of a perfectionist already. But finding ways to get around the blocks in the road caused by her aphraxia require me to think outside the box. And I'm more of a by-the-book teacher.

And if you wonder how I can blog in the midst of so daunting a job, I'd simply say that we find time to do the things we want or need to do. Some live on their cell phones or other technological wonders, some watch their favorite programs, some read late into the night. Whatever we choose to do with the small snippets of time we have here or there is not neccessarily because we have lots of time on our hands.

There are those who like to tell me how busy they are (in my regular life, not my blogging friends) and I have to chuckle privately at the obvious impression given that they (unlike myself) aren't able to loaf around all day... okay, so sometimes I get irritated with them and forget to chuckle. But I do manage to smile sweetly and keep my mouth shut.

It's not like me to voice frustration on my blog... other than my usual grumbling during our much-too-long rainy season:) But sometimes it helps to talk/blog things out. And my blogging friends tend to be some of the most encouraging and supportive people around.

Which is why blogging is something that I choose to do. Not always eloquently. But I suppose you all have gotten used to that by now;)


bigSIS said...

I have to tell you that I GREATLY admire homeschoolers. I have a huge group of friends that homeschool and I homeschooled my oldest boy for Kindergarten and part of 1st grade. Let's just say that he doesn't take instruction from his mother real well. You can be as imaginitive as you want with that one cuz I'm just not going into it. =) So when the school yr rolled around my hubby told me to enroll him in the area school. He has done well and we have since transferred our boys to another school(K-12), using our right to school of choice, that has high state and federal grades (won a federal bronze award). Their school also has very small classes (25 or less per grade). THere are times I'd love to go back to homeschooling...I thought it was great!

It sounds like you are doing a fine job! Even though the boys are in school now, I have a hard time fitting in all the things I need/want to do so I totally understand where you are with that. Keep it up! It's so worth it. =)

Marva said...

I admire homeschoolers too! You and Mrs. D in particular! You are quite a wonderful blogger as well. I am so happy to have met you and yours. You are dear to my heart and I love to blog. that is how I unwind!


Kaye said...

I must say that I too admire homeschooling parents. I have known too many that are quite successful to have any bad impressions of it. I honestly wish I could homeschool, but that obviously is not what God has in store for our family (at least at this time).

Keep your head up.

As moms, none of us have it easy. We (almost) all fill our time with things that we all deem as important and as long as our children and their best interest is at the heart of that, I could care less if someone thinks that their kid playing soccer is more important than someone else filling their time cleaning the house.

Go ahead and vent when you need to. We'll be here to listen and encourage and even send an "Amen, Sister" your way. =)

God bless!

Nikki said...

I know the kind of reactions you get when you say you homeschool because I get them, too, when I tell people that I plan to homeschool. It's comical when people who send their children to public schools worry about your children getting a good education at home, isn't it? My parents did not even support our decision, but they have gotten to know some homeschooled kids at church and are very impressed with them. Now they are supportive, and my dad is even trying to figure out a way to get my nieces and nephews out of public school into a homeschool. I hope that works out.

I cannot imagine being much busier than I already am. How will I fit it all in a day? Of course, when I start schooling my children, I won't be nursing them anymore or having to feed them myself, will I? And they will actually be able to help with my chores. I guess it will work out.

Mrs. Darling said...

Preach it sistah!

Nikki said...

By the way, you won the coasters! Congratulations!! Since I already have your address, you don't need to email me with it. I will ship them out tomorrow.

Nikki said...

Are you okay? I haven't heard from you all day which is unusual. I hope you aren't sick or that you haven't lost power.

MyKidsMom said...

NIKKI: You're a sweetie:) I'm just fine. We've been working like crazy to finish up our school projects, and we're getting close. But it's nice to be missed:)

I'm so happy to have won the coasters! That proves that if you make yourself a pest (like I have) it eventually pays off,lol.

EVERYBODY: Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and support.

Nikki said...

We've changed our homeschooling all around this year as well and it's the best year yet. I'm so pleased with our picks with curriculum.

Some of hubby's family thinks we're ruining our kids. They think we're depriving them of all that wonderful public school socialization.

Homemakers Cottage said...

I appreciate your thoughts on homeschooling. I'm a homeschool grad who is just starting to wade into being a homeschool mommy... so far, I'm only about toe deep. :o) I look forward to hearing more from you on this topic.

~Kristy @ Homemakers Cottage

Mrs. Darling said...

Are you snowwed in or iced in as the case may be? Give me a shout out!