Finally, the last of the trilogy!
Yes, there are many things about homeschooling that are frustrating and time-consuming and plain ol' hard work. But. It's totally worth it. Here are several reasons why I love homeschooling. (If you don't have time to read the whole thing, then skip to the last bullet point.)
- I'm a control freak, so I really like choosing our curriculum and deciding what my kids are going to learn--and when they'll learn it. Teaching subjects from a Biblical worldview is a major component here.
- I get to learn, or re-learn, all kinds of cool stuff. I joke with the kids that I'll go on Jeopardy someday and win tons of money with all of my homeschool teacher knowledge. (They tell me to try Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader first. Thanks, kids.)
- I really know my kids. I can honestly say that I know what makes them tick. Because we read a lot of the same books and generally spend so much time together, we have lots of family inside jokes and understandings. That's fun. I know their learning styles, so I can choose (or switch to!) curriculum which makes the most sense to them. And, as the kids get older, we can tailor their school subjects to specific bents and interests. No cookie-cutter educations here!
- I really love my kids. (I'm not saying that parents who send their kids to school don't love them, btw.) Homeschooling allows me to spend lots of time with them--which, I admit, can be a double-edged sword at times. You know what I mean. But, you know how some families struggle to eat together once or twice a week? Well, I think we average at least a dozen meals all together each week. (For the most part, the kids eat breakfast as they wake up. Sometimes Dave eats lunch before or after we do, depending on his schedule.)
- My kids really know each other--whether they like it or not. It's important to me they know each other well, because Dave and I won't be around forever. I figure their adult relationships will be stronger because of this foundation we're laying through homeschooling.
- Homeschooling provides a top-notch education. It's tutoring, which is a highly efficient way to teach, but it has the goal of the parent working herself out of a job, academically speaking. My classroom size is quite small, and each year my students work a little more independently so they can become self-motivated self-learners.
- Flexibility is freedom! We can't take vacations during the summer because people come to us (the camp thing). It's nice to be able to take off whenever Dave's schedule allows. Being tied to a public or private school calendar would be quite limiting. We can also be flexible during our schooling, such as: slowing down when the material is tough, catching up in June if we come across some great field trips during the year, and scheduling half-days on Thursdays so we can be in the musical.
- My kids relate well to people of all ages. Since they don't spend most of their waking hours with same-age peers, they don't think it's any big deal to converse with someone much older or younger than themselves. It comes naturally. They don't even have to think about it.
- Outside influences are minimized. I love how my kids aren't caught in the name-brand trap. (By that I mean they don't think name brands define their worth as human beings.) A trip to Goodwill is a special treat! More importantly, we still have our kids' hearts. They are somewhat influenced by their peers, but Dave and I are still the go-to guys in our children's lives.
- Finally, the things I love about homeschooling are the things I complained about two posts ago! Okay, I don't love it while I'm in the midst of the tattling and whining and sighing and yelling, but I'm trying to recognize that every disagreement or annoyance is an opportunity for us (me!) to yield to the Lord--to walk in the Spirit and bear His fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Obviously, this is much easier said than done. Deep down, I am thankful for the many (oh, so many) chances homeschooling gives us to work on trusting God to supply what we lack in our own flesh. Homeschooling also makes me trust in God for my future. I'll write that book someday--if He wants me to. I also have to trust Him with Samuel. That doesn't mean I sit back with some laissez-faire attitude about spending time with the boy. Rather, asking for wisdom has become a no-brainer. Since I don't have enough time or strength for everything I want to do, I need God's direction for what's most important now. Today. This week. This year. (I'll write more about this later.) I guess you could say that, more than anything else, homeschooling teaches me. It teaches me to die to myself. To yield to God. To be more like Christ.