Another couple of thoughts on homeschooling..parenting..life..
Beware, they are jumbled.
Try to muddle through, if you dare.
Here are some beans we've been watching.
They're sprouting very nicely.
We're still learning about plants.
The kids are excited to check the growth every day.
Every couple of days we document in our notebooks.
I love the hands-on, real life, nitty gritty of homeschooling.
Someone once asked me if all that college education prepared me well for teaching my own children.
Being a parent is the best preparation.
Not only for teaching my own children, but I think I am (or would be) a better classroom teacher in general, after having the experiences of raising children.
On a side note, it AMAZES me (!!!) how much propaganda and personal belief college professors spout that can be really damaging to the growth of thought and complete education.
There are aspects of education and pioneers in education that were NEVER even mentioned.
Now, this is not to say that my college education was a waste. There were some excellent courses and some caring professors and valuable field work. Dare I say it? I actually sometimes miss ahem* writing papers* Gasp! I said it. Anyway, that is ultimately not what I wanted to write about.
One of the "struggles" of homeschooling as a former classroom teacher--(is that how I should put it?) is to not bring the traditional classroom and classroom mentality into our homeschool.
I don't believe that our homeschool environment should look anything like a regimented classroom as in a public or private school (and I'm not being negative about those experiences!). For me, sometimes it is a struggle. I find myself expecting the same kind of responses, participation, and order while that is not at all my goal for the kids!
I don't know if I'm making sense.
As a homeschooling parent, I firmly believe that a lot of the true learning that goes on is not done while sitting at the kitchen table doing math problems or writing our science answers. As a classroom teacher, that is what is expected. The kids sit at their desks or centers or tables either in groups or individually and we all go over the information together in various ways to retain knowledge.
I think that interacting with the environment and the people in the environment will ultimately give us the greatest education. Homeschooling is a great venue because it allows gentle guidance in the best possible setting--FAMILY--to achieve maximum growth, individually and collectively. I don't have all the answers. I Don't have all the answers. I don't have ALL the answers.
But I love my kids.
I want what is best for my kids.
I will do everything in my power, with God's help, to make sure they are fulfilled in every aspect.
Sometimes, putting aside math to build a fort is necessary.
Sometimes, letting the kids argue it out is necessary.
Sometimes, going off on a tangent can be the best possible thing.
Sometimes, getting outside first thing in the morning will be the smartest thing we did all day.
So, I think that I need to pray for more grace.
I don't want my kids to be informed automatons that can spew out facts.
I want informed thinkers.
I want educated, responsible citizens.
I want vibrant, passionate followers of Christ.
I want loving, gentle children to be loving, gentle adults.
I want morally upright, brave, self-less beings.
I want a lot.
But I think, at least I hope, that every parent wants roughly the same for their own children.
This I know:
I can't get it just right all by myself.
No way. No how.
In fact, I get it wrong all the time.
I'm just grateful that I have One that has all the answers
and forgiveness and grace abounding.
I am grateful for a supportive husband and family.
I am grateful for friends, homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike, who share their children and interests with us.
I find it "funny" when people ask or say things like, "Did you do school yet?" or something along those lines--because I tend to do the SAME thing. The beauty of homeschooling however, is that school is NEVER done and is ALWAYS going on. Whether or not we have a textbook or pencil or any other educational tool in front of us. It is a way of life.
And we're still working on getting it just right.
Tell me about your experiences.
How do you keep the "normal" expectations from interfering? Or do you encourage them?
*I would also like to say, I am not committed to homeschooling my children up through high school. I am also not committed to NOT homeschooling my children up through high school. It fits our situation now, but things can change from moment to moment and all we can do is go from day to day..I plan to make year by year commitments... Assessing our situation at the end of each school year. If it turns out that homeschooling is not the best fit for us as time goes on, we will certainly explore other options for education. Every family is different, nor do I judge those who make different choices than ours. I'm thankful for this moment and opportunity to shape my children in this moment.*