Hard to believe that the summer has passed already. Oh, alright, we still have a couple months to go but as far as this teacher and her young charges are concerned – summer is about over. We are heading back to classes and I must admit that with the heat and the drought – school seems like a fun option! At least when you learn something you can keep it – it doesn’t just evaporate – or at least its not supposed to.I am teaching ages 16-5 which means I am covering grades 11th-kindergarten and I am enjoying the challenge. The neat part is seeing how much the older ones have learned and their concern for the younger ones. We are classed into separate grades except for Latin and Spanish when we bundle up into groups and it is interesting to see how each individual adapts from self directed learning to groups settings. Amazingly they can be quite competitive even in a small group but in a very humorous way.
Some people wonder why I go to all the painstaking work of home-schooling when I could more easily put them into a public or private school system. And though the answer is involved I can simply state that homeschooling for us binds us together as a family like nothing else could. We learn together, we deal with problems together, we have fun together, we help each other, and we grow together. My older kids know what is coming for the younger kids and they enjoy giving humorous previews to WHAT IS COMING… while the younger ones at times get to do something the older children never experienced and they get to come back with SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW. We have to become self starters and independent learners. Everyone has to own their own curriculum. We go over books and material choices together before I buy what we need and as some zoom ahead in certain areas others choose to focus in and do more in depth study in a particular favorite subject. I realized long ago that everyone needs to have a well rounded base but everyone will not know everything so it is best to have the kids involved early on in some of the planning because then they OWN their education and though they may not love spelling they know they have subjects that they really do love and can’t wait to get to and they have to admit that spelling has a reason for existing or reading their work becomes almost impossible. Motivation helps and when motivation is the very learning process itself – so much the better.
Also I find that we can’t run away from problems like in other situations. My kids and I have to face disicpline and manners issues right away or problems will plague us all day. It is funny how the older kids hold the younger kids accountable for their attitudes and say things like “That pout won’t help you learn anything and if you don’t get over it you might get stuck like that.” Then they go on and tell a long ridiculous story about the second cousin of someone who actually did grimace all day and ….you get the idea.
So I won’t have as much time for writing and gardening and long rambling walks with the kids but such is life. I have a duty and that is to raise each of my kids to fulfil their potential to the best of their ability. I want them to be great citizens of this world and the world to come. I pray God will give me the strength and the wisdom to do so.