Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Fourth Year

I realized today while I was talking to my sister how I have changed as a homeschooler. When I made the decision to homeschool I think my family thought I had lost my ever-loving mind. Over and over I heard about socialization, "don't you want the break with them in school?", and just flat out WHY? Over and over I explain my reasons. I always feel like I somehow lose the arguement which then gets me to start waffling on my decision to continue to homeschool or send them off to public school. So far, I've held my ground, but I wonder how often this thought crosses homeschooling parents' minds.

I thought I would list some of the things I've noticed about our homeschooling style.

Past: workbooks
Now: more hands on, creative play and projects.

Past: clock watcher (HAD to get 4 hours in and freaked out if I ran out of stuff for them to do before 4 hours)
Now: I watch the clock for certain subjects, like math. They should be able to get 10problems done in 15 minutes, right?

Past: Thought school had to be done at a table and on a chair.
Now: School can be done in the car, on the trampoline, on the porch, on the coffee table. We still try to start at the table, but I'm not as strict about staying there.

Past: Was overwhelmed with information out there for homeschoolers: the curriculums, the methods, the groups.
Now: Know what I want and search out particular things.

Past: Overwhelmed the kids with a schedule that none of us could ever possibly keep.
Now: Schedule lessons/themes for the week, and only plan for Monday through Thursday, with Friday as a day for catch up, or if there is one day that life takes over and we do no school.

I'm feeling more confident in my decision to homeschool and more at ease. When I consider the possibility of sending the kids back to school I actually start to panic a bit. My help will be gone, who will I talk to all day, what would I do with my time, I'll miss them. I really enjoy homeschooling. I said before that we are doing the Epic Adventure and I'm LOVING it!! I am learning just as much as they are, probably more (and probably enjoying it much more than they are). It is very much how I envisioned doing homeschool with the kids from the very beginning. I won't lie: there was a ton of learning I had to do to even get to this point. Maybe some beginning homeschoolers don't realize that. You have to and will grow as you homeschool.

What have you learned as you have homeschooled your children?

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