Saturday, May 28, 2016

4 Reflections on our First Year of Homeschooling

Wow.  We did it!  We did our first year of homeschool!!  I can't believe I made it, honestly.  There were SO many times I was ready to quite.  So many times I wondered why on earth I had wanted to do this in the first place!  But, my Fionna and Tiernan can READ!!!  They can do addition and subtraction!  They can tell time!  They can recite verses and poems!  They know days of the week, months of the year, continents, planets, their state, country, town, capital, counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s;  the four directions, the seasons, and SO MUCH MORE!!  I am so proud of them!  As I've reflected on our first year, I have 4 things I'd like to share:

1.  Why I homeschool.

I school my kids at home because I truly, honestly believe that God tells me to.  In Deuteronomy 6:7 it says, "You shall teach the diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."  How can I do that if my kids are away for 6 hours/day at school?

2.  It's a mutual effort between you and your husband. 

Homeschooling isn't just the mom's job.  It is a mutual job done by both you and your husband.  Yes, you are doing most of the teaching work, but your husband can contribute many great things that will help your kids learn.  Sometimes when Daddy explains things, the kids finally understand it!  And keep in mind, some of your children will take after their daddy, so they will learn and understand like their daddy.  Who better to teach them than Daddy!

3.  It is flexible.

The beauty of homeschooling is that you can be FLEXIBLE.  This is especially great if you're like me, with 4 little ones who aren't in school constantly needing attention.  If you're having a bad day, you're sick, you didn't sleep well because of your nursing baby, etc. you can take a day off.  You can make up a missed day on Saturday.  If one or more of the children is having difficulties learning something, you can sit with them and work it out, and not bother with the clock.  After I had Winry, I struggled for a few weeks with scheduling, feeling tired, and having to adjust to 6 kids.  It was so wonderful to know that I could take the weeks I needed to rejuvenate and adjust!

4.  You are there for every milestone in your kids development.

I saw my kids adding for the first time.  I was there when they read their first sentence!  I would have missed those times if they were in school.  I get to see the light go on in their little faces when they understand things.  The pure joy of correcting their papers to find they did everything perfect is beyond rewarding!  I am part of my kids lives 24/7, and it's amazing (most of the time).

I would encourage everyone to take a step back, and thing about homeschooling.  It's not something weird, anti-government, conspiracy-theorists do.  Recent research has discovered that thousands of families are choosing to homeschool their kids more than ever before.  You can choose to have your kids indoctrinated at school, where you have absolutely no control over what they hear;  or you can teach them at home, where you have 100% control over what they learn.  And that big "how will they get socialization" question....well, just come over to my house and see just how social my kids are.  (seriously, they hug random strangers at the store...{we're working on Stranger Danger{)  Both my husband and I were homeschooled, and it is so wonderful to be able to do the same for our family.  We love it, and pray that our children will homeschool our grandchildren;  leaving a legacy of at-home education that fosters a love for God and a passion for learning. 

I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to my mom, and my mother-in-law;  who took the time to educate us at home.  You did a fantastic job.  You instilled in us a love for God, a desire to learn, and we take that and pour it into our children.  THANK YOU for your love, your time, your heart, your tears, your frustrations, your perseverance, and your patience. 

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