Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why do you homeschool?

Homeschooling is becoming more common in many communities, but we are still the minority.  When I say we homeschool, most people smile and say "How nice. I could never do that."  But I have some that roll their eyes and give me an attitude when they hear it.  And that used to bother me....and then I realized there is a reason they give me attitude.  They are totally uneducated about homeschooling.

I admit there are days that I hear the school bus go around the corner and think how fortunate for those parents who have a bit of freedom during the day.  I wish I had a bit of peace and quiet.  But those thoughts leave my mind when one kids gets so excited that she recognized site words and was able to read a sentence on her own.  Or when we go on a field trip, and one of the kids comments that it was the 'best field trip ever'.

So when thinking about the question of 'Why do you homeschool?', I was a bit confused as to why.  In my heart I know it is the right thing to do for our kids.  And even though I am exhausted daily, I think that it's worth it.  How do you express.....something that you just don't verbally know how to express?

So I am going to tell you a few of the things about why I love homeschooling our kids, and then this can give you an idea of "Why we Homeschool..."

1.  Watching the kids eyes light up when they create some "art" that might not make it to a national museum (yet), but may someday.
2.  The high-fives when they get so excited about answering questions.
3.  Being there to answer the questions, that Joey ponders about daily.....yet he couldn't ask his public school teacher just randomly about God.  And let me just say, he can throw some whoppers out on a daily basis!!!
4.  Coloring with the kids.  New boxes of crayons....they are just so cool!!!
5.  Learning something new right along with the kids.  There have been times I had to say "Wait a Minute, this is a new one for Mommy."
6.  We love World Geography, and cooking new and interesting international dishes.  Or learning about crafts or famous people from other countries.
7.  Impromptu lessons that sneak in daily.
8.  History projects.
9.  Science projects.
10.  Bill Nye the Science Guy....Magic School Bus.....Danger Rangers.....Beakmans World.....
11.  American Girl Club
12.  Watching Lydia jump up and down after she realizes she read a full sentence on her own, with no help!
13.  Seeing all the awesome things to introduce the kids to!!!  The world is full of educational opportunities that do not rely on a classroom!  And letting the kids know that learning can be fun and done in almost everything that we do!
14.  Museums....museums....museums....museums!!
15.  World Travelers Club (this works along with World Geography...but we always do extra cool projects for WTC)
16.  Girl's not about cookies.  Our troop has had some awesome educational opportunities.  Lydia and I get to talk about some wonderful topics from healthy eating to healthy living and our environment.
17.  Not needing to worry about the possibility of a child being mean to my children because of their unique needs.  Don't get me wrong, there are homeschool kids that are bullies....but let me say most families watch for this behavior.  And the situation is dealt with.  If it's not...well then we don't have to be around those children anyway.  I don't have to worry about my children being forced to stay in a classroom with someone who is mean to them.
18.  No attendance officer calling and telling me my child has missed too many days and I don't know what is best for my children.  She could try and then I would lodge a complaint with the State Department of Education.
19.  Excitement over painting and drawing, and using these interests to teach all subjects including US Geography.  What public school is going to use a talent like drawing and allow a child to use this talent to learn more in other subjects.
20.  Being able to walk away and return to a subject if there is difficulty.  We are not strapped into a set schedule.  If we need to take a few steps back, we have that freedom.
21.  The ability to be creative with therapy that the kids need.  Not too many classrooms have the flexibility to work with my 11 year old on his handwriting and dexterity issues (or the many other issues that each of the kids face daily).  And how many kids would laugh at him trying to knit to help him use his fingers better.

There are many did I mention how much I love crayons and coloring!  I have to say I am a bit disappointed if the kids do not want to color at times.  I still will pull out a coloring book and start to color.  They usually join in when they see me and then tell me how fun it was.  I love Art class and all the cool stuff we get to do!

Homeschooling is not all roses and sunshine.  We have very difficult days at times.  Attitudes from both the kids or mom can make it hard to accomplish what we should do daily.  And I question my sanity on an almost daily basis.   There are days I feel like I spend hours praying just for the strength to get by for one more hour.

But we are not regretting our decision.  If we had the choice to do over again, I would not change the decision we made to homeschool.  What started out at first as necessity has worked well for our family.

For all those Judgmental people that are supposedly worried about my kids educational well-being, let me assure you that they are being presented....might I loosely use the term overwhelmed.....with information on a daily basis.  Even when we are not "schooling", our kids are being presented with life skills that will hopefully help them to be successful in possible independent living.

Life is a daily lesson and every moment a learning experience.  

So take your stares and rolling eyes and turn them the other way from us, because we are going to take a nature walk or maybe learn how to plan out a meal for healthy living.  So we don't have time to deal with you right now!

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