Thursday, January 26, 2012

Homeschooling is not for the weak.

(Sweet daughter, I feel your pain. More than you know.)

Everyone keeps asking me how homeschooling is going, so I thought I would update all of my fans, um I mean friends (hee hee).
It is awesome (and by awesome I mean fulfilling, fun, frustrating, and hard) I am no fool. I knew that homeschooling wouldn't be all field trips and projects and walking hand-in-hand through the flowers whilst reciting William Shakespeare, and then sitting down for a lovely picnic of homemade jams and tarts. I am laughing as I am typing this because it is so far from that it isn't funny...well, it actually is, that is why I am laughing. Aaaaaanywho...
It is wonderful that I get to spend all day, every day with my kids (I know you are laughing, but I really do like my kids most of the time) and that I am in complete control of what we do, but that also means that I am under a lot of pressure to keep us on track. On days when it is cold and rainy and all we want to do is stay in our p.j.s, snuggle on the couch with hot chocolate and watch Phineus and Ferb (one of my, um, I mean the kids' favorite shows), it is really tough to do chores, sit and work on handwriting (I'll talk more about the dreaded and throughly despised handwriting later) and other subjects. We usually do stay in our p.j.s though so, duh - WINNING!
I am sure it will be even more difficult when we get our 2 weeks of bearable weather in May between the floods of April and the skin melting heat of the summer.
Okay, so I am going to follow a rabbit trail about handwriting. Oh dear Lord in heaven I have never wanted Jesus to return so badly than when I am in the full on hair-ripping-out process of handwriting with my daughter. I still don't understand WHY it is so hard. I can't comprehend WHY I get so frustrated. Sidebar: Don't ever, ever, ever, no matter how tempted you are, pray for patience because the Lord WILL bombard you with opportunities to grow in this virtue.
Okay, back to handwriting. Yes, I am doing a full on handwriting curriculum with my kids. I think that the written word has become a lost art. With texting and e-mail and all of the social networking that we have at our disposal, we just LOL and LMBO and TTYL each other all day. Some of the acronyms are so confusing too. I find myself going to the Urban Dictionary (oh yes, there is such a thing) to figure out what everyone is saying. I guess that means I am old. That and the fact that loud music gets on my last nerve now. You know, back in my day...oh wait...nevermind.
So, as I was saying, the written word is a lost art. Lots of parents who homeschool don't do handwriting, but with handwriting, we also incorporate several other subjects. We write scriptures, sentences from our history and literature books, etc. I don't want my kids writing like doctors. No offense to doctors. I am sure some of you have excellent penmanship.
So, for those or you who wondered, and those of you who didn't but were so taken with my thoughts and wit and couldn't pull yourself away from my post, homeschooling is going well. It is frustrating. It is not something out of an Emily Bronte novel. In fact, sometimes it is something out of a Stephen King novel. It is wonderful, however, to be able to go the coffee shop in the middle of the day to do our history lesson, or have lunch as a family. It is comforting to know that my children are learning about our world as one that has a Creator...a loving and caring Creator. It makes me happy to know that I am learning my children's strengths and weaknesses and am able to speak to them within the framework of the curriculum that I have chosen. So, I am off to take my Valium and finish our school day. (Just kidding about the is Xanax. I am allergic to Valium.) ;) <--- And that is a smiley face for those of you who don't text. LOL! Ha ha ha!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why I homeschool...

Well, we are officially homeschooling.
Holy freakin cow.
I am excited and a little anxious...a lot anxious.
The whole fate of my 3 munchkin's education rests solely on my pressure.
Anywho, I'll start with a complicated answer to a simply question that I continue to get..."Why are you homeschooling".
Well, here goes...
First of all, I don't hate public schools. I love our school system. I do think that the public education system is broken, however. I am incredibly grateful for the teachers that my children have had. They are phenomenal and I feel very blessed to have had each and every one of them. We have prayed every year for our teachers, and we have had amazing ones.
Secondly, I want my children to have a faith-based education. That is something that public schools simply do not provide.
Next, I have a child who is of above average intelligence. I am not bragging, it is truth. He began reading at 2 years of age. He understands the concepts of physics better than I do (and I am a former science teacher). He remembers EVERYTHING. Literally. I think he has a photographic memory. He could, and did, read entire books at school in one day. He has a love (almost an obsession) with history, the military, engineering, and science. He simply cannot get enough. I feel as though God has given him a wonderful mind, and that He has laid it upon my heart to foster that as much as possible. I have the desire and I have the ability, so why not?
More than anything, I have the opportunity to introduce concepts and information to my children at the time, and in the way that I feel, as a parent, is appropriate, and that I can be the final authority in all areas of their lives. As parents, we have a very short window to have the greatest influence in our children's lives as they are learning about the world and society that they live in, and I feel as though it is my calling to be the foremost influence in their lives. As parents we love our kids more than anyone, know them better than anyone, and have their best interest at heart more than anyone, so why not be the preeminent figure in their lives to teach, encourage and love on them on a daily basis?
All of that being said, I am certain of several things...homeschooling isn't for everyone. Many people do not have the desire, the calling nor the patience to be home educator. That doesn't make them less of a parent, it makes them normal. Ha! Seriously, I, by no means, feel as though this is the path for everyone. It is what I feel that the Lord has called ME to do.
I also love and admire educators in the private and public sector. They are saints and have jobs that are invaluable to our society. God bless 'em!
Lastly, the hubs and I believe that the Lord has put the call on our hearts to raise Godly children and do the best that we can to instill His incredible love and mercy for us. In this world of, well, worldliness, egocentrism and self-indulgence, among other things, we want to raise our kids to love the Lord first, each other second, and others third. Educating our children at home gives us the opportunity to impress these values upon them while giving them an individualized education. Not a bad plan in my opinion.
Sooo, there ya' go. Just in case you, here we go into the great unknown. I'll keep you posted as we will update our homeschooling journey on this blog. Nope, no new one for that, just this one. This will be this Swiss army knife of blogs. Homeschooling, crafting, decorating, and just about anything else that floats my boat.
Here goes nothin'...