Friday, June 13, 2008
Homeschool Thoughts--Stream of Consciousness
I'm thinking this will probably be a continuing topic for the next few blog posts because it seems like I've been hearing a lot of homeschooling questions lately. I'm not sure why so many now more than usual, maybe because schools are getting out. A lot of the preschool Moms have asked me a lot of questions recently as their kids are leaving the safety and love of St Edwards to head to various kindergartens. Each year some of those kids inevitably get pulled out to homeschool even when it was not in the family's plan because the public school situation ends up being "very different from St Edwards". One mother just asked me, "What do you do when they say they don't want to do their work?" I gave her my standard answer of it being no different than when kids say they don't want to eat their vegetables, or brush their teeth, or do their homework. Obviously it depends on the situation, but when homeschooling is your lifestyle, all of those things are parenting issues certainly not exclusive to homeschooling. Another common one that I heard recently is "I'm not organized, you have to be really organized to homeschool". I think it takes a lot more organization to get numerous kids off on time to different schools each day with the right clothes on, lunches made, homework completed and everything else that I may not even be aware of that comes with that lifestyle. It takes much less organization to tell my kids to meet me in the loft so we can read some more about the presidents or go get their math so we can lay on my bed and work on it. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to be organized (and in some ways I might even be a little organized), but as much as I think it would be a good idea to have a meal plan and know that "it is Thursday so it is spaghetti day" that is just not the way I function. We might not want spaghetti just because it is Thursday and on the same token we may not want to do math just because it is 9:00. A popular comment is "I don't have the patience for homeschooling"...guess what...nobody does! As a young babysitter and eventually as a child care provider and preschool teacher, I was loaded with patience. Unfortunately I used it all up before I had my own kids. Now I'm not anymore patient than anyone else, but I do love my kids more than anyone else does and that goes a long way. A newspaper reporter just asked me "What if they want to go to high school like NORMAL kids?" A woman in the doctor's office just told Madi, "My cousin sends her kids to public school because there are no opportunities for homeschoolers". These particular comments are so out of touch with our life that it would take days to explain to others what homeschooling really looks like for us. While doing his math last night (on my bed) Jonathan did ask the dreaded, "When am I ever going to need to use this?" interestingly enough it was about finding the area of a shaded part of a larger figure. I told him you might need that a lot for laying carpeting or flooring or sod and even (as I looked down at the quilt Madi is working on that is laying on my floor) QUILTINQ! His math is getting harder everyday though and eventually he'll say that again about things that he might not ever need, so I'm asking for some suggestions for when the time comes..."It helps you to think" is only going to get me so far!