I got the idea for this post from one of my favorite bloggers: Jamie Martin and Simple Homeschool. This is not my definitive list--the things I love about homeschooling change often. But here is what is on my heart now.
I get to be with my kids all day!
Admittedly, this is the challenging part too. There are no breaks for the homeschooling mama--unless she can find a good helper/sitter or has family nearby. While we have the sitter (we didn't in California), our families are too far away for more than occasional visits.
But, back to the GOOD PART of being with my kids all day.
I get to be there when they do new things.
I get to know what they did with their day,
what they were thinking,
what they were laughing about.
I get to be there when they sin, to help them turn to Jesus.
When we lived in England and M and D were about 5 and 3 respectively, I thought I should send them to this little Montessorri school in a nearby town for a few hours two times a week. Sounds like almost nothing, right?
|She says she is dressed for "study time"--funny how she looks like a kid going to school with Laura and Mary Ingalls. This is the one who DIDN'T go to school.|
But, I grew to hate it. I hated not knowing what went on for three hours of their day. What did they say and do? What brought them joy that day? Did they need a hug, and couldn't get it? Did they have moments of confusion or sadness?
They were too young to really tell me much. And I felt like I was missing chunks of their lives unnecessarily.
I pulled them out and never looked back.
Freedom to choose our daily routine. Right now that means daily Mass. It means grocery shopping in the mornings, instead of afternoons. It means swimming most afternoons. It means reading aloud at lunch everyday.
Freedom to take off whenever we want. Recently, that meant visiting our friend Fr. Tony Anderson, SOLT in Corpus Christi (here is an article written by him about the amazing work he is doing in Mexico).
It meant the kids met priests, brothers, and sisters, doing regular stuff, praying in the chapel, wearing their habits.
Freedom to read or not read the books we choose. To watch or not watch the shows we choose.
|Photo taken by plastic army man in Lincoln Log fort. He has spied the enemy.|
I love learning new things with them. I love sitting down and reading a book in the midst of kids
|Meditatio: Thinking about shapes and how they fit together.|
drawing, playing, reading.
I love getting a question from a kid and turning immediately to find an answer.
And THEY spend time learning, playing and talking with each other. They are each other's best friends!
Just now, the 9yo and the 7yo washed the breakfast dishes, dried them, AND put them away. They don't do it everyday (though maybe we will start now), but they CAN and they WILL.
The two older kids love to cook together. It brings joy and pride (the good kind) to my heart to see my kids break, mix and cook an egg all by themselves.
Of course, you don't need to homeschool to have that, but it certainly gives you much more TIME and FREEDOM to do it!
I also love seeing my nine year old son follow a plumber, electrician, or other working man around the house watching everything he does, and learning. He asks question, and usually doesn't pester. He gets a chance to value all kinds of work.
In fact, being out and about with the kids gives them multiple opportunities to interact with adults in all lines of work and life.
Talk about socialization!
Really, one through four end up fostering one huge thing I want from my children and for my children.
A close relationship.
They love each other, and love to spend time together. Sure, they argue. But there is so much time to make up and get back to the fun stuff.
|"No, I want to be in the picture by myself."|
Again, you don't need to homeschool to foster a good relationship with your kids. But, it is much easier when they are around you a lot.
Besides, I find a have a better chance of counteracting all my parenting mistakes and weaknesses with good stuff!
So--what do you love about homeschooling?