My FAMILY and the IN-LAWS tend to think we spend our days sitting at the dining room table with the blinds SHUT. (This conversation has actually happened. Fun stuff.) In their wild imagination, the kids are screaming with sheer panic as a stray sun ray makes it through a crack in the blinds and lands on their pale, virtually sun-unkissed skin. These poor kids tremble and hide when they hear a knock on the door. They freeze at the sight of our neighbors’ kids. Or any other kids. Or just people. Because, you know, we homeschool. And it’s not exactly OK.
The only TEACHER on our block probably thinks we’re destroying our children’s lives. Or so I’ve been told in the nicest way possible. It’s common knowledge that children won’t learn new skills unless they’re confined to a brick-and-mortar building with a “SCHOOL” sign, the guaranteed (and the only) path to knowledge. If there were no schools or teachers, we wouldn’t know how to write a letter, read a book, calculate a tip, have respect or stand in line.
Many PEOPLE we know think we’re crazy (or flat out weirdos) for choosing to homeschool. We’re clearly depriving our kids of proper childhood and all the things schoolwise that they regularly complain about.
But the thing is…
We just don’t care what other people think.
Yes, we homeschool. And you know what? Homeschooling rocks!
Choosing the right homeschooling method
There are actually many different ways to tackle home education which
I won’t bore you with right now I’m quite honestly still not really familiar with. I will say though that looking back, it was a blessing that I knew so little about homeschooling methods (or the sheer number of available curriculum types and packages) when we first began to homeschool. Not feeling overwhelmed, I was able to pay attention to WHY we decided to homeschool in the first place. (Plus I don’t like labels anyway.)
I didn’t know much about homeschooling when we started. But I knew enough.
It was clear from the get go that we would not be SCHOOL-AT-HOMERS. I had no intention to follow a rigid, one-kind-must-fit-all curriculum that I was trying to get away from. The ability to adjust our pace to my daughter’s needs and interests was very important to me. (Thankfully, our state requires no testing. Yet…)
We would have loved to be able to WORLDSCHOOL! What better way to learn than by discovering the world and utilizing the ultimate learning experience?! But, money doesn’t grow on trees. (Or we’re growing the wrong kinds.) Spending our savings on globe-trotting sure does sound fun, liberating, freeing, woo-hoo (and a lot like my husband). But THEN what?! (FYI, worldschooling is STILL our dream and STILL on the list.)
I believe that in order to learn, the desire to learn should come from within us in the first place. But as much as I found myself drawn to UNSCHOOLING, I didn’t feel brave enough for that kind of a leap just yet. I couldn’t imagine starting our homeschooling year of Kindergarten by not doing anything at all and giving my daughter that kind of power. (It was almost as if I didn’t trust her…?) I definitely didn’t want to fail her…
In the end, I went with what felt right and we ended up doing “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” for the first few months which in the homeschooling world apparently translates into ECLECTIC HOMESCHOOLING.
Our kids are our teachers…
If eclectic homeschooling has taught me a thing or two, it would be:
- My worries about unschooling were completely unfounded;
- My daughter’s thirst for knowledge not only stayed but became MUCH GREATER with our relaxed approach to schooling.
You can say that I’m a big fan of homeschooling, but even I don’t think that homeschooling is necessarily the best option for every single family out there or a sure way to guarantee happiness and/or success.
For us, it seems to be working though.
With that said…
► Do we have rough days?
Yes, they’re bound to happen. You know the old saying “What doesn’t kill me…” – Yeah, I go with that.
► Do my children drive me nuts some days?
Absolutely. Positively. Definitely. Yes!
Oh I gave up on that.
*** I can tell you – with my slightly insane mind perhaps – that our first year of homeschooling has been amazing and eye-opening, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us… ***