Monday, July 15, 2013

Our first year homeschooling

I just asked Vienna and Lance what they loved most about homeschooling.
Lance replied: "Doing math!"
Vienna replied:  "My favorite part is being with you."  {Awwww!}
Not missing a beat, Lance jumped in:  "That's not math!"  hahahaha... He's so much fun!

{June 2013}
We are finished our first year of homeschooling.  And I will be the first to confess that I am no stellar homeschool Mom.  When I tell people I homeschool and they reply, "Oh I never could do that because I'm not patient enough or disciplined enough", I think... ummm well that's me!  Only difference is I'm committed to working on those areas along with my kids right now.

There have been days where I've been in tears... feeling inadequate... wondering if I'm doing the right thing. How can I instill a sense of self-discipline and a strong work ethic when I am so weak in those areas myself?  It's usually during those times I pick up the phone and call my good friends for support.  Their pep talks helped me to remember my goals.  They all say that the first year - even two or three are hard.  Then when my husband get homes, I rehash my horribly bad homeschooling day and he helps me sort through my feelings.  He is so supportive and knows exactly what to say to encourage me.  After talking through my feelings, I always come back to the fact that we are on the right path, for our family, right now.  This I am sure.

{An old pic of Colin but so appropriate!  haha!}
Homeschooling is a sacrifice.  There are DEFINITELY days when I want to send them away on a school bus so I can have MY time.  But honestly, those moments are purely selfish.  It's not because they are not growing and learning.  It's because I want to do what I want, when I want.

My goals this year were not academic.  My kids were in grade 2 and kindergarten.  I wanted us to gel as a family.  I wanted to be together and not go off in different directions because of varying schedules just to come together at the end of the day - rushing to get to bed.  I wanted more quality time with my kids and I wanted to work on their character.  Homeschooling has allowed this.
{A group shot we texted to Daddy when he was away!}
Looking back I realize that they did learn a lot too!  I taught my son to hold a pencil, form his letters and watched him learn to read on his own!  He writes me sweet notes and can also count money better than his sister!  {Ssshh!}... It has been an incredible joy to see him learn and LOVE learning while not getting the labels I'm sure he would have had in a classroom setting.  He still doesn't like group participation {from preschool to Sunday School} and he is easily distracted and distracts others.  So I still feel he'd be the class clown or he'd have behavior issues at public school.  He does need to work on his focus and self-control so we recently signed him up for martial arts to help!  So far so good!

My daughter is doing multiplication, loves to read novels and is become more articulate as she grows.  She remains an introvert and I've learned that she thrives with one on one teaching and attention, especially from me.  I want to be better for her so for the next school year, I sucked it up and purchased a better curriculum complete with science, history and art that she LOVES.  I will have more to teach but I really need the accountability.  I think that because our past year was so light on academics, we didn't prioritize it.  Having more to do will be better because if we miss a day, we will fall too far behind.  {We got the box today and the kids were super excited and actually wanted to do school.  It was so funny!}

I filled our calendar with social activities and got the best advice from great friend.  "It's hard to homeschool if you aren't... home."  Point taken.  Advice applied.

I KNOW I have been called to not only be a stay-at-home mom, but a mom who is the primary influence in my children's lives.  I never thought in a million years that I'd be in this place but here I am.  I have fully committed my life to God and how He directs our family and I feel really called to teach my kids right now.  We are just taking it year by year because as they grow, their needs will change.  But like I said last year... they are at the age where they want to be with me. Before I know it, they will be driving off with friends and I'll be wondering where the years went.  And that's why I don't truly want to put them on a school bus and send them away for 8 hours a day - they grow too fast!  I feel so blessed that I have the freedom to choose this path for our family!

Thanks for swinging by!

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Excellent post Mary!! So neat to hear how your year went!