Thursday, March 13, 2014

Why I Am Glad We Homeschooled This Year

Let me first of all tell you what this post is not.  It is not intended to persuade you to homeschool or make you feel bad if you don't.  Nor is it a post about homeschooling being the best option.  This post is a story of our family's journey this year, and why I am glad we chose this route.  My children's education thus far has been eclectic.  They have been in private school, homeschool, public school, and an international school.  Each season has been good for them in different ways, and each has had their challenges.   Our family serves overseas and was due to take our furlough or home leave in August.  So we had more freedom to travel, we decided to homeschool.  Since I had homeschooled before, I was excited to have this year with W and Big D.  I carefully chose their curriculum and ordered it so that when we arrived in the states, we could get started.   

Fall was tough.  We travelled a lot so the kids had to do more school in the car than I would have liked.  One child had a lot of trouble focusing in the car.   We were have some communicating glitches and normal teenage stuff.  It was hard.  There were days I wondered if we had made the right choice, but at this point we didn't have another choice.  

So as we are on the homestretch with just a few months left, I thought I would give my reasons for why I am glad we homeschooled this year.
  1.  It gave us the flexibility to see family and friends.  In our six months in the states, we were in Iowa, Illinois, Idaho, Colorado, Oregon, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Washington, DC, Virginia, Indiana and most of the time in Texas.   
  2. I was able to see where W and Big D were in their schooling and help fill in some gaps.  They have been in a great school so I am making no judgement there.  Sometimes kids just have gaps.  We have spent a lot of time working on writing and grammar.  
  3. We were forced to work on our communication skills.  Some days went well.  Some days not so much.  Overall, I think we have figured out what works best for all of us.  How do I gently correct my student without it feeling personal?  How do I properly talk to my teacher who is also my mom?  Am I turning off teacher mode after hours? Now I can see how God worked in each of us to help us relate better.  
  4. We were able to spend a week in DC without crowds seeing our nation's history and monuments.  Since we were studying US History, I was also able to count it as school. 
  5. Our family had some great conversations.  We could have had these even if we weren't homeschooling but homeschooling gave us more time to have them.  From podcasts to the subjects being studied, we were able to talk about different issues with our children.  In particular, when W had to do a paper on whether the revolutionary war was justified, we were able to help her think through and debate both options.   
  6. W and Big D do not have HW in the evenings.  They work hard during the day sometimes until 4 or 5 but after that their evening is free.  It has given us time as a family to play games, read a book together, and watch some TV shows.  
  7. I like having a year to really spend extra time with my teens.  My oldest goes to college in a little over a year.  
  8. Their curriculum is doing a great job of presenting the subjects from a Christian worldview.  I am glad they have this influence for the years when they don't.
  9. I am learning things along with them.  As I help them study, I am relearning or learning for the first time.  I have learned about the ozone layer, the northern states almost seceding because of the War of 1812, and how to better write an essay.  
  10. I am reminded of what great kids-W and Big D are.  My Prince Charming and I are blessed beyond measure.  It has been a time to see them discover their tastes in music, what they want to do in the future, and see them do well in a new environment.
Next year the kids will be heading back to the international school where I teach but for now I am enjoying this season.  What season are you in?  How is God using that season in your life? 

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