Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wait, I Homeschool? Part 1 of ?

This post is not meant to convince you to bring your children home.  
Instead, it is to remind me why I did.  

I homeschool my children.  Never in a MILLION YEARS would I have thought I would type that last sentence.  I am a teacher at heart.  I believe in public education.  I am PRO-SCHOOL.  Yet, I homeschool my children.  I do it for a host of reasons, but first and foremost, I do it because I love them.

Here are some other reasons:
1) They both struggle desperately
It nearly breaks my heart to watch them try to learn new concepts.  Our day, literally, starts at 7:30/8:00 and we go until 4:00/5:00 depending upon the day.  I have two students, two.  Why does our day take this long?  My children struggle.  They are not students by nature.  That does not mean they aren't smart.  It means, they do not learn well traditionally.

2) They are smart,  but not according to most academic measures
Have you ever heard of the Multiple Intelligences?  MI show that everyone is smart.  It's not IF you are smart, but HOW you are smart.   

My kiddos are Nature Smart, Self Smart, Music Smart, Body Smart and Word Smart.  MOST classrooms/schools teach using logic and word smart methods.  In most cases, this approach just doesn't work with my kiddos.  Dr. Kathy Koch has written the most phenomenal book called How am I Smart.  It refers to the Multiple Intellegences.  Her website is here: 

Knowing which smarts are our strengths helps us make informed decisions about how to be more successful, how to enhance relationships, our career, what to do in our spare time, and how to liftdepression. We also can choose to strengthen our weakest intelligences, which will improve our lives. Dr. Koch describes eight:
Word Smart - thinking with words
Logic Smart - thinking with questions
Picture Smart - thinking with pictures
Music Smart - thinking with rhythms and melodies
Body Smart - thinking with movement and touch
Nature Smart - thinking with patterns
People Smart - thinking with people
Self Smart - thinking by reflecting

3) The schools don't have the time or the resources to offer the attention my children need
My children have multiple diagnoses.  They need extra care and attention.  Through painstaking research, daily trial and error, abundant informal assessment, day-to-day work and God's GRACE, I am able to offer that to them.  No one has the investment or the buy in that I have for my children.  No one wants their success more than I do.

Also, In my heart, I am not sure the schools can or honestly should offer the level of one on one that my children need.  I know what it feels like to have a classroom and to constantly feel the strain and struggle of never having enough time, resources, consistency, and plain ol' HELP needed to give each child everything they need.  TEACHERS ARE HEROES!  I believe that with all my heart.  Lord-willing, one day it will be my time to pay back, but today is not that day.

4) God has called me to it
He has called me kicking and screaming!  I never signed up for this.  In fact, teaching my own children is immeasurably more difficult than having a classroom.  Each and every time I think of pulling out of this path, I get a resounding, "NO!"  For such a time as this, I am to be here, doing this.  I am supposed to be teaching my children.  I am often heard to say, "I gave up the job of my dreams, to teach the children of my dreams!"

5) It is the right thing to do for MY children
There will be more on this in another post, but for now, let me give you the short version.  I teach my children at home because it is best for OUR family.  I have no preconceived notions or judgement about you choosing to send your children to school.  In fact, I applaud, honor and esteem your choice.  Homeschooling is not for everyone.  It is crazy how often I feel people almost defend themselves when they say that their children go to school.  Of COURSE they do!  Only weirdos home educate (wink)!  Yet, somehow I have become the confessional/granter of indulgences for lots of people!  I am not trying to convert, convince, connive, contrive or manipulate you in any way.  I am simply choosing to educate my children at home, because it is best for them.

6) It is flexible and fun!
I mean really, how may people can take a couple of weeks to have school at the ocean??  What an absolute gift and BLESSING from God.  My children have had such AWESOME experiences road schooling.  We have had the joy and pleasure of seeing so very much of God's creation and living history.  I get choked up at the thought of it.

7) There are health benefits
Who knew?  I mean to tell you, my children have been so stinking healthy!  Glory to GOD!  Being away from the germs and yuck has offered such a gift for our little family.  Plus, seeing to their daily food intake etc. has also been a blessing.

8) Socialization
Wait, what?  That's right, my children get a TON of socialization.  Again, this isn't to criticize school, but rather to see the good in our family's choice to educate our children at home.  Tell me, other than K-12, when in life do people socialize with only people their own age?
At Work
Social Clubs
Service Projects

Face it, not anywhere.  Our kids serve the homeless, elderly, play with friends and learn with friends EVERY day.  They are very capable of conversing with people of every culture, age, economic status and then some.   It is truly a joy to watch them talk to people and learn from people from all walks of life.

9) Stress Relief and the Slow-Down Factor
Before we started homeschooling our morning scramble was pitiful.  It was a combination of yelling, anger and frustration mixed with breakfast.  We were UGLY.  One of the sweetest benefits of bringing the children home was our morning routines.  We still have structure, but it's so much more relaxed and serene.  Most days are just a morning mix of quiet time and getting ready.  I am a planner, so we still follow a schedule.  But, it is just less rushed and more peaceful.  For us, this has been a gift.

Okay, that is all for today.  I have such random ramblings that need to be written, so stay tuned for the next installment!

Thank you for my children.  I am so grateful that you allow us to be home.  It is truly a gift for our family.  I pray that you will continue to bless our endeavors.  May we keep you first in our home and show our friends and family what You look like.  Thank you for Your Son, Jesus.  It's in His name I pray.