So why am I homeschooling?(this is a continuation of So Why Would You Do That, Anyway?)
Learning is more than the acquiring of knowledge. It is a way of life. Learning doesn't just come from books. It comes from a variety of experiences. In our home, we value new experiences. I honestly feel when I go to bed, if i have learned a few things, it was a good day. I want my children to discover how good it feels to learn. Every day is a new day, and the anticipation of learning is something I want to give them in life.
All children are different. So, why then do schools insist upon teaching them as though they are all the same? Asynchronous development is a fact of life. My son is good in Science, not so great in Spelling. My daughter reads like gangbusters, but needs more help in Math.. Homeschooling allows me to tailor our studies: we work ahead in subjects that allow it. And I can slow down and spend more time on the subjects that don't come as easily.
In a homeschool environment, you can take horseback riding lessons and call it P.E. You can line up a field trip to correspond with the subject, in order to take it deeper. We studied medieval history, and we were able to visit Medieval TImes for a demonstration of jousting, and a lesson on the weapons of the times. My son was enthralled. You can go outside and watch birds and sketch them in a nature notebook, instead of being indoors reading a book about birds. And, don't forget, if you are having a bad day, you have the option of just setting the lessons aside and going out of doors for a change of scenery.
I love the fact that when we study history, we can discuss what was going on in other parts of the world simultaneously. In public school, with the compartmentalized study, that isn't possible. Each grade studies a different period in history, or a different country, but none really integrate them. Integrating them also means I can show patterns as we learn, and where, applicable, step into church history and the history of Christianity.
The time goes so quickly it seems. My oldest is already 12. My middle guy is going on 8, and my youngest is starting Kindergarten next year! I don't want to miss anything. I like to know my kids, I like to know their interests. I enjoy talking to them about what matters in their life. I believe that buliding that relationship with them now will keep us closer during the teen years, which can be turbulent. A good foundation will keep the building from crumbling later. So, though things may be dicey during those years, we will eventually find our way back to one another, I believe.
I have friends that homeschool and their children have a very close relationship. I love it, and want that kind of bond for my family, as well. Already, just in the last year, JBear and JBean have formed a closeness that wasn't there before. I believe when you send your kids to different grades, different schools, all day, they don't really get a chance to know one another well. When they are home together, all day, they have no choice but to get along. And, for the most part, they do!
So there you have it. The reasons I am homeschooling. I have thought about it long and hard, prayed ferverently, and am completely convinced that, for now, this is the decision we are supposed to make. Mary Poppins had the right idea. She was firm, but fair, and very much fun! She knew that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. School can both be a drudge and it can be a lot of fun. I hope to balance the two, so that the end result is that my children love learning. I am not adverse to the idea that my daughters may be going back to school at some point. But for now, I love homeschooling, and so do my children.
T, who hopes I explained things well