Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why I homeschool

I have been asked frequently lately why I have decided to Homeschool. The answer is: I KNOW that it is the right thing for our family. I feel very strongly that I need to homeschool my kids.

I began feeling this summer that I need to start this school year, even though Abigail will be old enough for kindergarten next year. I wondered how I was going to do it, what I would teach, how I would get them to listen to me...

I was very afraid, because Abigail's natural response to anything I tell her is that she doesn't believe I have the answer. I might be right, I might be wrong... She'll find out herself. Which, in a lot of ways, is a great thing. However, there are some things you just have to trust me on. Like that letters go in a specific order, and must be arranged in lines on a page in order to be words. She didn't take my word for it on that for a long time. How could I homeschool this kind of personality, so different from mine? And yet, I knew that I had to do it.

When August rolled around, I began to ponder about what to do exactly. I had a 2 month old baby, I was in the middle of canning... life is busy! Things just fell into place for me. Phoebe gave me a good 3 weeks of sleeping through the night. I had the mental acuteness to develop a plan and begin writing my curriculum (a favorite part of teaching, I must say). When we started, the girls loved it! Who wouldn't, really? They get 2 hours of my attention, playing games, reading stories, writing letters... And at this age, I am still really cool to them.

The girls still ask me every day what we are learning in school tomorrow, and they look forward to mondays when we are going back to school. It is working out great, and they are learning a lot! I find that every time I know there is a concept I need to teach, but I don't know how to approach it, the answers just come to me as a work with each child individually. I felt that when I taught public school, and I believe all mothers feel that frequently, if not constantly.

While I know that I won't be the coolest person to them forever, and homeschool won't always be as easy as it is now, I know I'm off to a good start. If only there was a way for them to ride the bus AND do homeschool, they would think life was perfect. (They envy all the neighborhood kids who get to ride the bus to school.)

So far, my favorite lessons have been:
  • The Chicken Polka
  • Painting giraffes
  • Bean Collage Butterflies
  • Insect Hunt
  • Heart anatomy and physiology (the best use I've yet found for all those textbooks I didn't sell back)
  • Making a kite (well, that's in a few weeks, but I'm so excited!)
What treasures I have, and how exciting to be their teacher and coach as they discover life!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I am thankful for.

Today I have a full heart, and have been thinking of random things I am thankful for, and thought that I should post.

In no particular order:
  • Laundry baskets. I think I have 15 in my house. They are so useful! Hampers, laundry carriers, toy boxes, toy cars, toy trains, kitty cages, suitcases, random stuff collectors, dirty diaper carriers... I love laundry baskets.
  • Polka dots. Zenna has a favorite outfit that is pink with lots of polka dots. In fact, we have two of the same outfit (from two different hand-me-downs). Whenever she puts it on, she says, "Look! I have spots!"
  • Machines. Dishwashing machine. Clothes washing machine. Vacuuming machine. Carpet cleaning machine. Clothes drying machine. Sewing machine. What a marvelous modern world we live in!
  • Homeschool. Must confess that every day it is not so so fun to prepare and execute an hour or two of lessons, but I am grateful for the chance it gives me to be the mom I want to be.
  • Toothless grins. Phoebe's smile makes me happy, and even more happy is the fact that she still has no teeth!
  • little thank-you's. Olivia is very good at thanking me specifically for small things. Like today: "Thank you for cleaning my room mommy... I love to have a clean room!"
  • Big Girl Birthdays. Abigail is turning 5 tomorrow. We have discovered that this gives us a lot of leverage: 5-year olds don't carry around ratty blankets, or whine, or leave food on their plate, or refuse to clean up their rooms. Abigail has been preparing herself for this very important day. (She is the one who came up all these things that 5-year-olds don't do.)
  • Help. My MIL came over today to help me get my house back in order. It is wonderful!
  • My Animal Diversity Professor. He taught us all about Toxoplasmosis and its dangers. He made us all promise that we women would never change a cat litter box while in our childbearing years, and made the men promise they would never let their wives change a cat box. This is a threat we take very seriously at our house. ;) thanks Joe!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Because you just never know.

I just had to share a funny experience that I had today. I have been very very tired, and pretty emotional the last few days. I have also had a very keen nose, and these are things that in combination send me running. To the drug store.

I stopped by Walgreens on my way home today. I unloaded all the kids, and put Phoebe in the sling, and held the hands of two, and one was trailing behind. I dashed to the Pregnancy tests, grabbed the cheapest one, and headed to the counter. The cashier looked at me, looked at all my girls, looked at the test and back at me. She just shook her head and said, "Oh no!"

It was negative, of course. I hope I am not the only one who keeps the industry in business with all these unnecessary purchases, but you just never know. And if a girl can know for sure, she should!