When I plan my homeschool, I think of it as constructing a lovely building. You must first start with a firm, sturdy base, especially if you are building a lofty edifice! These are the basics of being a fine person: character, virtues and goodness. Training children in the way they should go is an on-going job, but if it goes lacking, not much else matters. We don’t want to create “educated devils”.
Ever feel like you are bumbling around amidst a three-ring circus in your attempts to homeschool? There is nothing like a new baby to restore a teacher/mother’s humility in the face of her own inadequacies! For our homeschool, this chaos repeats itself every few years with the advent of a precious new “student.” I have homeschooled in my robe nursing my baby while I have tried to teach math, correct papers and read stories:
“Mom, can’t you hold the book still? I can’t see the pictures.”
“Sorry, honey, the baby needs to be rocked.”
The trouble with homeschool is that there is no start and no finish, no report cards, no deadlines, no “have to.” Of course, that is one of the advantages, but a time of reckoning is a necessary part of any endeavor, including home education. In the working world, employees are given “quarterly reviews” to assess their progress. How are we assuring progress is made in our children’s learning? Maybe we need to do some measuring.
One morning on my daily walk, I was fretting and stewing over what I could possibly do with my one-year-old during school time. I was feeling some despair with a new baby on its way. I couldn’t see any end to the disruption of babies in my home school for many years to come. I was praying and scheming at the same time: I could wait until the baby’s nap to teach school, I could rotate the children with baby-sitting chore away from our schoolroom, I could get a playpen . . . all solutions that didn’t feel right—babies needs their moms!
My little Julianna, at the age of 9, came home from Sunday School excited about the fact that they were going to be expected to memorize lots of Bible verses that year and that the teacher had a reward in store for whoever could do it. She also expressed disbelief that, except for another homeschooled girl in her class, the other children were mortified at the prospect of having to memorize so much. “I guess homeschoolers just like to memorize things,” she surmised. [Read more…]
Homeschooling. Just the word conjures up images of books and desks and computer programs and work, work, work for Mom, doesn’t it, though?
But it has come to my awareness lately that “mothering” and “homeschooling” are synonyms. From the moment that tiny babe is laid in your arms, you have become the “responsible party.” And that responsibility is grave. You have the job, the creative work, the task of raising this child into an upright person before the Lord. You suddenly start a new thought process: worrying for/and about your child. You want them to be happy, healthy, cared for, loved, treated well, comfortable, intelligent . . . and the concerns go on.
I’m a book-a-holic and live in a regular-sized house, so books get tucked here, there and everywhere. Naturally, when one of my children asked a question about the bottom of the ocean, I wanted to show them that wonderful book with the great picture of the ocean floor . . . but where is that book? By the time I’ve dug through this shelf and the cabinet and this drawer, they’ve lost interest.