Monday, December 06, 2010

What I like about homeschool

We've been home schooling for a little over three months now.  I'd be lying if I didn't say we got off to a rough start, and that at times I wondered why the heck I ever decided to do this. 

For one thing, I didn't know I would be pregnant.  By the time we started school I was full-fledged sick.

Also, first-graders require a lot of instruction and monitoring (at least with the curriculum we're using).  And first-graders are also required to log at least 4 hours of school each day.  It took me until about half-way through our first day to realize, "whoa - I didn't have 4 extra hours of time that I was looking to kill".  Right then I was questioning my sanity and wondering if I should throw in the towel.  Also right then my friend called to check on me, because God had just burdened her heart for me.  She gave me some encouraging words and prayed for me.  Honestly I think that's what got me through the rest of the day.  The same thing happened a day or two later, just at the right time.  God knew.

It's also not easy balancing the needs of a first-grader with the needs of two preschoolers.  I tried setting the boys up with simple projects, like alphabet coloring pages or blocks or puzzles.  But by the time I was done with them and moving on to help Emma, one or both of the boys would be done and needing my attention again. 

I know a lot of families who homeschool way more kids than I am attempting, and appear to do it successfully.  I began to think they are all in on some sort of giant scam, and somehow I was left out of the loop.

We persevered and continued on with the homeschooling.  I didn't feel like God was calling us to do something different, but oh, how I was jealous of the moms who dropped their kids off at the bus stop and had 8 glorious hours to themselves. 

Somewhere along the line, things got smoother.  We've gotten into more of a routine, and are each functioning with each other a little better.  Almost like a little crew where we each know our role and can anticipate what comes next. 

But more importantly, I've noticed some really positive things that have come out of our home schooling.

 - Emma, who has always been an independent child, has become more snuggly and affectionate.
 - The kids and I have a great time after breakfast reading the bible and praying.
 - All three little kids (Biniam is away at high school during the day) play so well together, and really use their imaginations.
 - We get to sleep in, and most mornings start with all three kids in my bed, snuggling. 
 - Of course it brings me great joy to witness my kids learning new things.  And I'm having fun learning new things along with them.

So, for now, we are home schooling and enjoying it.  Oh and for what it's worth, Emma has been enjoying it for quite some time.  Praise the Lord for a happy student!

(Decorating the school room for Christmas.)


Anonymous said...

Sweet and humbling.... I remember when we took care of a baby a few days a week and thought I must have been nuts to put that on our plate too.

wendy said...

I homeschool too. Some days are SOOO hard and I feel a little resentful that I can't just do whatever I want like my friends do, but most of the time I am so grateful for this opportunity. It has been a blessing for our family. I just tell myself on hard days that it will be better the next day (or week). :-) We use K12 too (I noticed your phonics program in an older post).

Renee said...

You are doing such a good job! It;s not an easy thing to do, but God is so faithful and the rewards are amazing.

Owlhaven said...

You're doin great Shana! I have days where I wonder if I'll survive too. But then I look at my big kids and know it was worth the work. And what better way to build relationships with your kids?

We need to get together one of these days. You going to the Ethiopian Christmas being planned by Tarah H.?

shell said...

i love how big all your kids look!! man, these kids just grow up too fast. you are doing such a great job!

Tracy said...

Homeschool is just like anything in life it just takes time to make it a routine. Once everyone is on the same page and used to the consistent flow of the day the easier it will become.
You are doing great so just keep it up.