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Archive for November 8th, 2013

home_schooling1

Every year, in late August, I ask my kids the same question, “how would you feel about homeschooling?” And, every year I get the same, non-verbal, response of rolled eyes, followed by a return to whatever they were doing … as though my voice never touched their ears.

Now to some (such as hubby who simply smiles at me, in that manner that could be taken as communicating, ‘I love you, even though you might just be losing all of your marbles’) my annual question to my kids might be viewed as me looking for a way ‘out’ of the return to school for my kids, and work for myself, to which I would reply, “you got it!”

Let me explain:

Every summer break starts the same way. In the beginning week of summer break, my kids are in a semi-comatose state of fatigue and they simply enjoy sleeping in, hanging with the neighborhood kids, and eating 24-7. After that first week I start to see it … my kids start to … like each other! They laugh together, they hang out in each others bedrooms, they make lunch for each other, they play games together and watch movies together. This continues throughout the summer.

Fast forward to the first day back to school, every year …

“mom, he is looking at me”
“mom, she touched me”

… and so much more!

Family unity has been dissolved, and they barely even have any homework yet!

Of course my interest in homeschooling is not just about the siblings relationship with each other.

The unit tests start all seem to happen within about the same week, and my kids either go into stress mode, or they do the ostrich and just pretend it will never happen.

Then there are the group projects that happen throughout the school year, requiring students, within a fifty mile range, to fit group work in between soccer, football, dance, jobs, church, volunteer activities, and birthday parties.

Then there is the appeal of the flexibility to move through the curriculum at a pace that is tailored to our individual children. Meaning that more time can be taken for that which they are struggling with, and If they mastered something early, we would be free to move on to new learning.

Then there is the ability to teach from a more holistic, individualized perspective. If one of my kids learns better while moving, physically, they could do that. If they were not a morning person, school could start at noon. If they needed a quiet space to concentrate, or one with background music, it could be arranged.

We have all had teachers who we connect with, and those who we do not. Our human response is often that we work harder, contribute more fluidly, and take more enjoyment from the learning when the learning is happening in relationship.

The one thing that always held me back from homeschooling was the social networking. As an introvert, I am very content to be at home all day, every day. I am never bored, and always starting new projects. For me to have to make concerted efforts to network with other home school families was something I feared I would fail miserably at doing.

I love the friends, the field trips, the band trips, the service projects, and more that our kids have been able to be part of, over the past sixteen plus years of schooling. These large and small group memories are what have had me praying with thanksgiving.

And so, we do not home school, and probably never will … but I will still ask each and every August, when school is just around the corner.

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