Often times I have friends (old and new) come to me with questions about homeschooling. Some of you are new to homeschooling, some are thinking about it (or thinking how strange it is), some have been schooling at home for a while but want insight on how others are doing. From time to time I will post my answers to these common and (and sometimes uncommon) questions that I have grappled with.
My answers are not the end all and be all. I hope to pepper them with the truth but the only truth that I can guarantee is from the scripture itself. Everything else is just my musings on what happens in our cozy little spot Under the Maple Tree.
Recently a friend wrote, “What do you find to be the most challenging part of homeschooling Cori? Would love to hear your thoughts on what you love and what is the most challenging part of your homeschooling experience.”
What a great question. I had to think for a while about the answer to this one because I realize that there isn’t a right or wrong answer to these things. My thoughts on the highs and lows of homeschooling might be the exact opposite to what someone else is feeling.
I also had to stop and think, “Is this something that would bug me even if the kids were in school?”
So, my biggest pet peeves in our little homeschool are the sisterly squabbles, the sweaters left on the floor, the unheeded instructions. But all of these things aren’t as a result of homeschooling. They would be there even if the kids were in school.
No, I think what wouldn’t be a problem if the kids were in school (but is because they aren’t :)) is the 24/7 lived in look. We live in every room of our house very intensely, something that my neighbors wouldn’t experience. They are up at 6:30 out the door to day care and school by 7:30 and they don’t get home until 5:30. Dinner, baths and at least one night out each week for activities for the kids and there isn’t nearly so much time for mess making. We, on the other hand, have science experiments on the counter, maps on the walls, and math books on the coffee table. Sometimes, the lived in look wears on us all.
On the other hand, my most favorite parts of homeschooling also have to do with time. Time with the kids, the chance to be there to see those “ah ha” moments – you know the moment when they learn something and go, “Hey, I get it!” The time to mold the day to fit our needs rather than everyone else’s. (We sleep in on the mornings after the kids have been out late at Awana.) I also love having the time to focus on working together, getting along, loving one another, enjoying one another. I just enjoy having more time to enjoy the kids.
I hope this gives you a bit of insight.
I did the same thing when we were thinking about homeschooling, asked a lot of people questions, people on both ends of the educational spectrum. I would encourage you to do the same. Ask lots of people about their experiences but remember to stop and make the choice that is right for your family not the one that was made by others who you respect. My experiences homeschooling are merely reflective of life in our little corner of the world and will certainly differ from your experiences and so I wouldn’t want to convince you of one thing or another.
Bless you, Friend, as you seek His kingdom and His righteousness.