Not everyone finds homeschool their idea of education, but here we find it to be a great choice. If you had asked me five years ago if I wanted to homeschool my children, my answer would have been, “No way! That’s fine for you, but not for me!”
I knew lots of people who made the choice to homeschool, but I had plans to get my kids in school and go back to work part time. There was also the fear of not knowing “how” to homeschool. Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments that I am hit with the thought, “This is my children’s future that I am preparing them for…am I getting this right?” I think the thing that put me and my husband a little more at ease was what a fellow homeschooler shared with us. She felt that the most important aspect of homeschooling your child is character building. You could have the all the knowledge in the world but, if your character stinks then what good is all the rest?!
So, after a not so great kindergarten year for our oldest, we made the decision to give it a try. Poor thing, she was my little guinea pig. The amount of curriculum was so overwhelming. Thank goodness she was in first grade where I knew to focus on the basics…reading, writing, and arithmetic. I can definitely say, four years later, that my thoughts and ideas have changed and developed over the years. Now that my son is in first grade this year, it is completely different! For many reasons: First and foremost, they are so different from each other. Secondly, I have much more knowledge and resources than when I began. And third, teaching two and a half is a totally different dynamic than getting to focus on just one! I say half because my two year old darling daughter wants to be much more involved in our school day than when my son was the toddler. He was content to play with his blocks or watch Elmo, while school went on without him.
As this school year goes on, I find it to be the best year yet! My kids have really gotten into the pioneer studies that we have been doing. And to make it even more exciting, we were able to take a road trip this summer through the Midwest and make some historical Oregon Trail sites part of our journey. To hear my nine year old say that she wants to dress like the girls from the Oregon Trail for Halloween makes me think, “Wow, she’s not only listening, but she is enjoying it!” The funny thing is, I am finding myself learning and enjoying it too!
Now I know what some of you are thinking. It’s the classical question, “What about socialization?” My first response is, “Since when has the focus of school become socialization? Isn’t it suppose to be about education?” Let’s look at the definition of socialization:
1. a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
Last time I checked, I don’t want my children to pick up the “norms, values, behavior, and social skills” that is a plague in our school systems right now. Being able to homeschool gives us the opportunity to handpick the socialization that our children receive. For us that includes family, church, co-op, sports and other community clubs. And the great thing is they are socialized with people from all generations, not just a class of the same age. I love to see that my nine year old is just as comfortable being around a five year old as she is a seventy-five year old. What a wonderful bridge to a generation gap!
There are so many more aspects that we could cover in the choice to homeschool, but for now this post has gone on long enough. So as we continue on our journey, I hope you will enjoy and grow with us as we share the good and the not so good days of our homeschool lives.