Wednesday, January 28, 2015

School Choice Week!

Did you know this week is school choice week?  We are so incredibly fortunate to have a choice in our children’s education.  Whether you choose public, private, or homeschool (which is illegal in some countries), we get to choose what’s best for our children.  I know many of my friends are content with their decision in education – if that’s you, carry-on.  If, however, you’re even a little interested in homeschooling, please read on; I’d love to share a little about our life.

We’ve been homeschooling for almost three years.  To be honest, it was a very difficult decision.  I didn’t want them to miss out on having friends (the great socialization myth!), and I felt inadequate to be in charge of their entire education (gulp!).  So, after much prayer and advice from friends, we decided to give it a try.  We were committing to one year, and then at the end of the year, we would re-evaluate.

Well, you know how that first year ended.  We began our second year, then our third.  Lord-willing, next year will be our fourth year.

I enjoy being with my children.  Maybe it’s a little selfish, but I want to spend all day with them.  I know that before long, they’ll be grown, and then I won’t see them as often.  In homeschooling, I have more time with them.  And I savor it. 

Not always.  Sometimes it’s really tough.  Sometimes I need a break, sometimes they need a break.  I was not equipped with super-patience. Sometimes we grow frustrated. But, over time, I’ve discovered that when they grow frustrated, often that means that we’re working on something that they’re just not ready for.  So, we back off and try again later.  I love that we can customize their education, and go at their pace based on their ability and skill level.

I get to teach them.  It’s the most amazing feeling when you hear your struggling reader read for the first time.  It’s amazing to watch your child (who HATES handwriting) develop a love of cursive.  When something questionable comes up, we get to discuss it together. 

I learn from them.  I’ve learned so much with them this year.  I hated history when I was in school, but now I can’t get enough.  I’ve learned some Latin, and the Presidents in order, and all the capitals of the US.  I’ve also learned how to live in the moment and not worry about being adequate.  I’ve learned (the hard way) how to be more patient.  We take it day-by-day, and learn what we want. 
They’ve made so many friends.  And they’re not all the same age.  I remember when I was younger, I was afraid of older kids.  It may be because I didn’t have older siblings, or because in school, we stayed with kids in our grade, or maybe it was my own insecurities.  My children love to play with children of all ages.  We meet most of the kids at church, gym class, or our co-op, so I know their parents, which is awesome too.

Now to be totally honest, I will tell you that this is the first year ever (so far) that I haven’t considered sending them to school the next year.  It can be really challenging, but so rewarding.   

Enjoy this week.  No matter how your child is educated, celebrate the fact that we have an option.  We are all so blessed!  Happy school choice week!

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