This year marks my second year of homeschooling. I have one first grade boy, one kindergarten girl, and one crazy two year old who likes to take off with school supplies at random. Crazy toddler man gets shipped off to a Parent’s Day Out program two mornings each week for the sake of homeschool sanity.
I am very new at this! I NEVER thought I would homeschool. I don’t have a teaching degree. I grew up going to public school. Not to mention, I believed the negative stereotypes about homeschooled kids. Those aren’t very flattering 🙁 . I didn’t even know any kids who were homeschooled until I was an adult.
Now, here I am with my cute little class sitting at my own horseshoe shaped table with pushpins in my walls holding up posters. I have relearned the names of the US Presidents whose faces grace our coins. I can count by nines easily for the first time in my life (thanks to a painfully catchy counting CD). I have learned the phonics rules right along with my new readers. I’m doing this thing!
Here’s what I want to confess… I AM SO INSECURE ABOUT THIS! I don’t know the answers to the questions that come at me like rapid fire. I am not some wise expert on the why and how of education. I have no idea if I will do this through high school. I want to quit about every three weeks. No, I am not a naturally patient person. This teacher gets no break from her students. No, I don’t think you are a bad mother if you send your kid to public or private school. And finally, the big socialization question is just really annoying because there is just no winner to that argument. Weird people are weird no matter where they go to school. (It’s true, and if you don’t remember the weird kids from school when you were growing up, you might have been one of them, just sayin’.)
As my second year is coming quickly to the half-way point, I have gained more experience and a bit of amazement at myself. I discovered I had some undiscovered skills…
THINGS I NEVER KNEW I COULD DO UNTIL I BECAME
A HOMESCHOOL TEACHER
1. Put makeup on in my kitchen while teaching reading while eating breakfast. (Whew! Take a breath).
2. Teach both a left-handed perfectionist and a right-handed free spirit proper handwriting technique while hiding the fact that my own pencil grip is “incorrect” according to the handwriting gurus.
3. Read history, science, or a chapter book with so much enthusiasm that it captivates and engages their little minds.
4. Stop the day in motion and jump for an unexpected visit, opportunity, or adventure. (This is still really hard for my type “A” list checker self).
5. Motivate my children to make their own lunches by saying it is a “test.” (I am still kind of proud of that one 😉 ).
In all seriousness, my true confidence comes from knowing that today and this year I am doing what I am called to do. Each year my husband and I pray and consider what is best for our kids for that year. Homeschool parents are the same as any other parents; we all want what is best for our kids. So, for now I am thankful to be a homeschool mom. I am thankful for those sweet faces each day sitting at my horseshoe shaped table. Being a homeschool rookie is hard, but my hope and prayer is that we continue to grow together as we learn together.
So what about you? How did you decide on education for your child? Have you ever considered homeschooling?