Thursday, October 28, 2010

Homeschooling...my BFF



I think it's about time to do a little writing about one of my favorite subjects: homeschooling!!! Often, otherwise known as home educating, wrecking your children, socially isolating, brainwashing and many more, it is in my opinion, one of the greatest blessing of my life...and that, a complete surprise to me.

While in college, I did a random paper on homeschooling for a Philosophy class. That was the seed planted for what would be my "career". As I fumbled around for 6 years in University, the puzzle pieces of my mystery purpose finally came together in the LAST year. As I walked across the stage to accept my Education degree, I was bubbling with excitement. Not because of the piece of paper in my hand, but because of the little life that was blossoming in my womb. My husband and I had just found out that we were having a baby that week and it kind of overshadowed my graduation. There began my infatuation with home education.

It has been about 10 years since we began "officially" home educating our oldest son and I love it more now than I did then. It was much more difficult at the beginning, with uncertainties, infants and high expectations. Those were the hardest times. As our 4 kids have grown and I have learned so much, homeschooling is like a comfortable glove on my hand, a lifestyle fitting perfectly to our family's needs. It was difficult to let go of the reins in those college years, but God was faithful and guided us perfectly into His plan for us. I don't plan to go into every aspect of the last 10 years...for which I am sure you are grateful. I'm sure you don't really want to know where I store our erasers, what my kid's copywork looks like or watch a video of us eating organic hot oatmeal for breakfast while listening to a Henty audiobook (people make these kind of videos...I've seen a few). I do want to share, however, some homeschooling things that I love...some sunbeams that I have taken the time to bask in over the years.

The first thing is...my spot. You could call it the teacher's desk, the "Bridge", the driver's seat or Command Central, I just call it "my spot". It is somewhat sacred. Somewhat necessary for my sanity and absolutely heavenly. Every mom who works from home should have her "spot", or maybe even a couple of "spots"...a place to rest, think, put her knitting, her clipboard with the week's agenda on it and her tea. Mine is a rocking chair right beside the big picture window where, you guessed it, the sun shines right on through on me, all morning long :)

Not that I actually sit there all morning long, that would not be good for any of us either. I do sit there for the duration of the dreaded Math class though, then it's up and down for the rest of the book work time. We try to get all of our book work done in the morning, because real life education happens the rest of the day. By book work I mean the necessary, brief assignments that require proper writing and problem solving. Every homeschooler should learn the discipline of good study habits and brain exercising...best done in the morning...best done in short lessons...best done, then the fun stuff can happen the rest of the day. By fun stuff I mean music, cooking, wood work, painting, more reading, visitation, projects and any valuable thing you want your kids to appreciate and practice...or that they love and you need to appreciate and let them practice :)

The last category of things that happen in a run-of-the-mill day is FREE TIME. I like how Charlotte Mason terms it "Masterly Inactivity"...sounds much more credible to me, but harder to say and write, so I'll call it FREE TIME. She calls it that because it refers to giving your kids time to do what they want and relax, but always things that have been given your approval so that Dungeons and Dragons, ouija boards and video game marathons can be excluded.

So, we have book work, fun stuff and free time involved in homeschooling (ha...it's an acronym...bff...best friends forever). Some gems from each of these categories will be given some air time on my blog. Air time? What do you call it? Blog time? Cyber time? Help me out here.

Time to go do some fun stuff and masterly inactivity...going to an apple cider farm and then coffee and cookies at a friend's house. Ahhhh...homeschooling :)






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