I'm not sure why I don't really blog much about homeschooling here. I've been doing it for the past five years. Well, I probably do know why. Because I don't think I'm doing a very good job. I'm not disciplined and structured enough to stay on track (lost on a bunny trail or something) and the last thing I usually want to do is point out my shortcomings. Especially to the whole world. Especially when it comes to parenting/homeschooling.
Reading other HS blogs can be an encouragement, but it can also be intimidating and make me feel even worse about what I do...or don't do. We have the homeschoolers whose children have learning disabilities, so that's a completely different category, of which I'm not a part. Then we have the The Perfect Homeschool Family.
The Perfect Homeschool Family has anywhere from three to ten children and they have it all together. Or so it seems. They live out in the country and the kids get up the crack o'dawn, do chores, have their devotions, help prepare a delicious and nutritious homemade breakfast, and then clean up. This delicious and nutritious homeschool breakfast consists of fresh-baked bread (Mom gets up an hour before the crack o'dawn to grind her wheat and bake it) and butter (churned the day before by the young 'uns), scrambled eggs (plucked bright & early that morning from beneath the hens), bacon (cured last winter from the hogs they raised), and milk (straight from the cow out in the barn, thankyouverymuch, Pa).
Following this delicious and nutritious breakfast, they get themselves clean, dressed, and ready for the school day. And all of that happens before 8:00 a.m.
My boys don't often roll out of bed until 9:00 a.m. Even with my
Then the PH Family digs into their lessons for the day. By lunchtime, they've accomplished the following:
- taken turns reading Shakespeare aloud (except the baby whose vocabulary hasn't quite advanced enough)
- dissected worms, frogs, and cow's eyes (obtained from their own property) and sketched incredibly accurate drawings of each
- discussed world politics, written (or drawn) a compare and contrast paper on the various worldviews
- completed a chapter in trigonometry, geometry, or algebra - depending on the individual child, probably out on the patio in the gorgeous morning sunshine
- practiced handwriting by completing a grammatically correct letter in cursive to either their Compassion child, state representative, or missionaries in Africa
They get dressed . . . after asking me where their clean clothes are, since the drawers are empty. They brush their teeth . . . after I've
At last, my boys have arrived at the table to begin the school day . . . promptly at 10:18. Or maybe lunchtime.
We pray, read God's word, and then
Me: So what do you think about the way he responded to God's request and how does that apply to you?
One of my two boys: That I should obey.
Other boy shakes his head in agreement in case I look at him.
It's very stimulating, I tell you.
When we're done with Bible, we pray. I seem to be the only one praying for God's word to be rooted deep into our hearts and lived out in our lives. But that's okay. I'm modeling for them, right?
Then we move to the couch for read-aloud time. Yep, you heard it right. My teenage boys still like me to read to them. So we hoist out
By now, we probably need to have some lunch. Wow - that was quite an educational morning!
Okay, I really shouldn't complete this comparison. For one, it would make my blog post INSANELY long. Although I may already have surpassed that point. Two, I think it would just depress me. And I think I've made my point:
EVERYONE else has a happy, successful homeschool with happy, successful children. Everyone, except me. One of my children just wants the school day to be over. As quickly as possible. Not even because he severely dislikes school, he just wants to do something else. Like play video games. Of course, some days I want to do something else. Like play on Photoshop, Facebook, or Twitter.
One of my sons hates to read. He absolutely, positively will not do it unless forced. There's no reading for entertainment going on in his life. Unless it's Calvin & Hobbes.
Although I know how to do Algebra perfectly well, I have a son who can't learn it from me. So we battled for quite some time. Now, I have to send him to the Khan Academy videos to learn. But he still doesn't want to have to spend any more than 15-20 minutes on Algebra. And writing out his work? Ha! Ha! Ha! His hand and the pen (pencils are so passe) are like two magnets with the north ends together - they strongly repel one another.
Oops. I said I wasn't going to continue. So I'm done. For now. And there really are successes and positive sides to our homeschool. I guess I'll have to share that in another post for more fair and balanced reporting.
My children are not disabled. They're not dumb. They're also not just about to graduate from college at ages 15 & 16. They're just in between. Could they do better? Probably. Do they want to? It's probably not an issue to them. Are they motivated toward higher education and a future career? Not so much.
Could I do a better job of homeschooling (and parenting)? Of course. Am I the worst mom ever? I'm pretty sure that I'm not, although lately I've been telling one of my sons that I'm working hard on that award this year! I have my moments of brilliance and others that are selfish or lazy.
But here's what I DO know (yes, I really will wrap this up . . . eventually):
God gave me these boys to raise, nurture, disciple, train, and educate. And most of all, to love.
He called me to homeschool them. That includes the fun and blessed times; the battles and frustrations; the monotony, mediocre, and laziness. But He will be with me (and us) through all of it. He promises to never leave nor forsake us and that He is our helper. (Hebrews 13:5-6). He knew that we would be precisely where we are. He also knows exactly where He wants us to be in the future and how it will all turn out. His plans are for our good and His glory. In this I am truly encouraged.
And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1