My mind has been swirling in and around the idea of homeschooling for awhile. I’ve mentioned in a couple of past posts. Honestly, the idea of homeschooling intrigued me but the reality of it terrified me. I use the word “terrified” a lot in talking about change and it is a strong word but it is very true for me when it comes to change — change, initially, terrifies me. If I can get past that feeling, I’m usually ready to dive head first into it. That has always been the case with my life. Changes involving my kids’ lives, however, brings on an entirely heightened sense of terror.
I’ve been a realist for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a girl, I had a solid understanding that all actions cause reactions; that all decisions have consequences. If negative reactions or consequences came about because of a decision I had made, I could deal with it. In terms of making a decision about homeschooling Makenzie and RJ, I made it more complicated (probably) than it needed to be.
What if I screwed them up? What if they fell behind? How could I teach them myself? What if I don’t have enough patience. The truth is, I’ve taught them the most important things so far and they are just fine. I taught them to walk, run, talk, eat on their own; I’ve taught them to be kind and tell the truth and appreciate what they have and the world around them. I taught them the ABC’s and 123’s.
Parents are their children’s first teachers. It’s not that far of a stretch that they continue to teach them as they get older. I get that now.
I am living a life that would allow for me to spend all of my waking hours with my kids. I see that as a blessing. I also worry about the current state of public schooling and, while we can afford private school by making some adjustments to our lifestyle, I would much rather spend that money on travel and experiences.
I have been trolling the inters-of-net for the best ways to homeschool and one thing is clear: there is no best way. Here is what I know: We are living on more acres than we need. We are surrounded by nature and my children are drawn into it. We should be outside. We should be using our hands. We are going to be getting dirty.
Here’s what else I know: Makenzie and RJ are still young. At this age, learning through exploration and playing make a lot of sense.
I have set some goals. Things I want to tackle for sure:
- Everyone can recognize numbers and count to 100
- Everyone can recognize all the letters in the alphabet and write them
That’s pretty much it for now and they are almost there already. Sometimes they can get it right, sometimes they can’t. I would guess that variables like, hunger, tiredness, distractions, etc. effect how well they perform these goals. I’m not going to stress about it.
Lots of homeschooling mamas have told me to spend this time reading and snuggling. I plan to do a lot of that. Both M+RJ enjoy stories from books or daddy’s imagination or ones that they make up.
I think this will be what our homeschool looks like until August when the “regular” school year starts. Then I may add some other goals. I may not. Luckily, I have very curious kids and curious kids learn quickly simply because they enjoy it.