Is it almost Summer already?!?!
Yes…how do I know the school year is coming to an end?
My inbox gets full of questions about homeschooling.
I don’t mind it one bit. Every year I keep saying I am going to blog more often about our homeschooling lives.
In reality though homeschooling for us is just part of our everyday “normal”. It is not something we wear on our sleaves it’s just how we chose to educate our children.
It “fit” us.
Ever wonder how it all started for us? Here is a great place to start catching up on the beginning of our journey.
After that first year we knew that our family would probably never go back to traditional education.
Over the years it has just been our normal.
When I first started I thought you had to do this thing the same way they would get in school. Right?
Sit at a table…lesson plans…curriculum’s…homework (isn’t it all “home”work when you are home?)…tests.
With a short few years I learned that wasn’t how my children learn.
We have merged into what I lovingly term “relaxed homeschoolers”.
What does that mean?
We definitely aren’t hardcore, by the textbook…grades, testing, lesson plan type of homeschooling family.
We are definitely not hardcore unschoolers…no textbooks, no tests ever, no lessons to even plan, let the kids do whatever they want.
We are somewhere in the middle of the extremes. That is what “fit” my kiddos.
For years I worried that by being so relaxed I was somehow messing them up but it just fit us.
After all I have always let them lead the way on their education. Haley didn’t read well until a few years ago but I knew she would get it in her own time….and she did. They have a voice in what curriculum’s they want to learn from, what co-ops they would like to join, what sports and so forth. We listen.
We have made this homeschooling thing a family affair. They are active in their education and making choices.
So when Adam decided he wanted to go back for the last 9 weeks of 5th grade last year and make sure he wasn’t missing anything I was terrified he would be missing pieces and parts of education he would need.
Long story short he went back…
Loved the kids and teachers BUT hated the traditional learning method because he felt like he had already studied just about everything they put in front of him. Down to the Science book he had already read and completed. He was bored.
Math was his one spot he was a bit “behind” and even with being “behind” he was going to be put in the gifted program for it the following year.
He came home declaring he shall never go back…ever.
He felt if he stayed in traditional setting he would loose all freedom to learn. His words.
When you have grown up being allowed to fall down rabbit holes learning about things that interest you….well that is when “real” learning truly begins.
Socially? Always the comment that will garner the most eye rolls from any homeschooling family.
Why? Because we are ALWAYS socializing. Everyday.
Many of us live in our cars, on field trips, in co-ops, art classes, dance, Minecraft class (yes there are even HS classes for such things), etc….
Oh sure…there are those homeschooling families who do this to isolate their children from the world and teach their own ideologies but it’s been my experience that is a group we seldom, if ever, see.
Why? Because those aren’t the reasons we homeschool…like minded folks find like minded folks.
I don’t believe in isolating my children or sheltering them from the world, actually we do the opposite.
These kids have experienced more of “the world” than any of their traditional school counter parts. Can you say 40,000 miles on my van in a year?
They can have a good conversation with anyone they come across. They do act older than their school counterparts somedays…but I am not sure if it is that they “act older” or they are just in a much calmer state since they are around calmness most days?
I am no pro in that department…just an observation.
Haley’s birthday party was a straight split down the middle of homeschool kids and traditional school kids. She gets along with both just fine and values all of their friendships. Homeschooling hasn’t “socially stunted” them at all….BUT we have made sure to give them tons of interaction with other kids. Maybe that is the key to raising socially successful homeschoolers?
Making sure they have those opportunities to get out into the world often.
If I had to sum up my favorite reasons “why” I love homeschooling it would look something like this:
- It’s relaxing for us…no waking up at 6am and doing a mad dash to get everyone ready and out the door.
- Not spending 2-3 hours a night on homework after not seeing them ALL day…I would feel like I missed so much of their day.
- Watching my kids decide they want to learn something and figuring out ways in which to learn it.
- Family time…I really “know” my kids. Really. I am with them everyday all day. They know all about me too.
- Their ability to bond with Lucas even with such an age gap. Wouldn’t happen so well if they were away all day.
- How well we all get along. Kids are best friends (this is not the norm but for us…it is)…no fighting. It’s peaceful here.
- No rebellions (yet)…again it may come one day but there is just nothing to “rebel” against. We listen…they listen.
- Being able to foster the talents they have. Extra lessons in art, dance, computer programming etc…we have extra time.
- Friendships with other moms going through the same. I have met some of the most amazing woman. Seriously amazing.
- I learn something new….right along with them…everyday.
That about sums up why and how we are still doing this homeschooling thing.
Come on year 6! It’s gonna be a good one!
Now to order our end of the year tests we have to do for the county! Such a slacker! We are normally finished up by now
How about a picture from last weeks homeschool “Arts in the park” day for South of the James group?
Each child picks an “art” that they bring to the park and work on or share with the others.
Adam is my computer guy so I asked him “What do you want to try and work on?”
To which he answered “I want to make a map.”
So cartography it was…and yes we had to Google to find out what map makers are called and we fell down a rabbit hole learning about map making. That is the way homeschooling goes.
Random and fun