Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I'm On A Roll

So I may as well keep posting...

Many have posted "Why I Homeschool" topics lately. And while I would love to tell you why I have chosen to temporarily homeschool, I cannot. My reasons are many and varied, and I tend to get a little heated on the topic.

You see, homeschooling is not easy. I will not paint you a glorious picture of a well organized home, where the children sit patiently waiting for lessons.

I will tell you a little about how I have approached the past year of our homeschooling adventure.

I have always been "homeschooling" since Katie was born. I began talking to her in the hospital, reading to her the first week she was home, and singing her songs to relax and entertain her. As she has grown, so has our method of schooling. We have played peek-a-boo, games of I Spy - hunting for colors and shapes. We have read countless books. We have taken field trips to different zoos, parks, museums, and states. A brother was born, who also has taken part in this homeschooling experience.

I have used different curriculum, including your standard workbooks and flashcards.

I have found there are days that we fly through everything I had planned, and days that I can tell she just isn't concentrating at that moment, so we try again later. There are days that little brother wants to be on mommy's lap, and teaching becomes more difficult. There are days that are bright and sunny that beg for us to come out and play, and we do.

I have found the official title of Homeschooling to be just to cumbersome. So I am thinking of changing it to Loving Lifelong Learning (LLL to be short). For isn't this what in essence we are all trying to do? Create a desire in our child from birth to be a lifelong learner. Aren't we teaching from the day they are born in a loving environment? They learn to recognize emotion in our voice, the look of our blurry big faces, what words mean, what the color red looks like, and on and on...

Deciding to officially homeschool doesn't mean much to me anymore. I have been doing it all my life. The title just gets me strange looks from people who don't understand. They think it is a statement against their parenting, the local schools, or a crazy concept that leads to unsocialized children. They think I push too hard when in fact I think the opposite. I don't send my child somewhere to learn for 7 hours a day with a bunch of strangers, and concepts that at times are hard. I do what comes naturally for me and my children. I follow their curiosities, their abilities, and I have the ability to say, Okay this is too hard right now, let's try again another day. I have no standardized test to teach to. My kids love learning, and I love learning with them.

Like I said earlier, don't get me started on this topic...

I haven't even gone into all my reasons for LLL, and already I have ranted too long.

But I will say, I have loved every minute of watching them learn. I fully intend to send them to a traditional school in the future, but even then, I still hope that their father and I are the most important teachers in their lives.


Mom of boys said...

LLL - I love it! I know what you mean by the term homeschooling being debilitating!

mom-in-training said...

What a great post. I love how you've described your views of homeschooling and it being a lifelong process (LLL - cool new term :) ). I hope I can take on an attitude similar to yours when I begin our homeschooling/LLL journey. I think part of my fear of homeschooling is the idea of trying to all sit down and make it happen in some structured way. But if I can be more open to a less structured, less expectation style that is based on a day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, basis, maybe it would make it less overwhelming.

From what I've read on your posts, you are doing an awesome job as mom and teacher. The work you've already put into teaching your children is certainly paying off, and I'm sure your chidren will always consider you and your husband their greatest teachers!

Thanks for sharing!

Mom to Four said...

The unstructured, take-a-break, regroup part of your post is so great!

When Andrew stopped taking a morning nap, the way and the place we did our learning changed. Now with Michael here, it has all changed again. We loosely stick to a routine, but SO much of my teaching is now done from the armchair or the sofa.

I wouldn't trade it!