Sunday, March 30, 2008

Was there life before homeschooling?

Dana at Principled Discovery is hosting Home Education Week. Each day she has a topic for our consideration. Today: life before homeschooling:

Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.

It's hard to remember life before homeschooling. When my first child was a baby, we started talking about homeschooling. Actually my husband did; I'd never heard of such a thing and I was dubious. After I started doing some research, I starting thinking a little more positively about it. I did "preschool" at home with some friends, a couple of whom decided to homeschool too. I read to my kids constantly. So it felt natural when we just skipped the kindergarten roundup and stayed home.

I do remember the day homeschooling clicked for me. Our family was visiting Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River in Oregon. We wandered around the exhibits, sometimes having to wait because it was a crowded Saturday. Then my lightbulb moment: if we came here during the week, we'd have the rangers and exhibits all to ourselves! Wow! We could learn so much more!

It's hard to say what I miss since they've never been to school. I guess I might miss some free time in the middle of the day, but as my kids get older and more independent, I am finding more bits of time, and would find more if I was better at planning ahead and staying on track. So we're all learning here. What have we gained? Closeness as a family, a love of books and reading, a simpler schedule, no packed lunches. (Now that I pack lunch for my husband a couple of times a week, I know I could not have handled all those packed lunches.) I'm sure there are schooled kids who are close to their families, and love books and reading too. So I don't know about that.

I do know my kids have retained their childhood innocence more than they could have at school. There are ugly things about the world that they don't know yet. (They will, but in our time, not someone else's.) They are not subjected to peer pressure to conform with (ugly) fashion and (ugly) behavior. They aren't plugged into ipods and gameboys like so many school kids I see.

I feel very confident that life with homeschooling is the life for us, at least for now.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Teaching my children life skills in the community would only work if we "had the place to ourself."

Heather said...

I am amazed, as the kids do get older, how much more of me emerges, even though they are with us (my husband and I are both home all day) 24/7. And I LOVE going to places on the off hours. IT is amazing how much we learn especially since those in charge of running the places are often more willing to answer questions.

Ellen said...

It sounds like we have similar situations. I appreciate the closeness of family, too. We do all of our traveling in the off season.

mom said...

Thanks for stopping by :-)

I'm enjoying reader others responses to the question of the day and keep saying to myself, "Oh, ya, that too!"

I had to chuckle about the packed lunches statement. One of my older sons who works with my husband has been living next door. I made an agreement with him that I'd buy all the lunch ingredients if he'd pack a lunch for him and his dad each morning (okay, I AM an early bird, but I just don't like packing lunches!). He didn't mind doing it and it saved him some money, so the deal was struck. Now that son just moved to the other side of town and mentioned to me he probably wouldn't be able to do that anymore as there wouldn't be enough time in the morning and it was up to me to make dad's lunch. YIKES! LOL! God's always stretching me! :-)

Tammy ~@~

Dana said...

That could be an interesting prompt, too...the day homeschooling clicked.

For me, it was at a Katherine Dang seminar in KC. The way she spoke about home education as an IV drip rather than a flood really spoke to me and encouraged me to slow down and try to nurture understanding rather than knowledge of simple facts. I really started to see what home education could be as opposed to a mere location change for the same old stuff.

Mrs. C said...

They are not subjected to peer pressure to conform with (ugly) fashion and (ugly) behavior. They aren't plugged into ipods and gameboys like so many school kids I see.

So true! But I have to add that my Emperor was REALLY into the Game Boy when he was a bitsy preschooler. So I can attest that that aspect of childhood is not a peer pressure thing LOL!

I have two older kids at public school and they pack their OWN lunches now. Yay! We just have to make sure the "supplies" like juice boxes are on hand.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I had forgotten about the packed lunches. When my older son was in our church school, I would pack a sandwich and other items for his lunch and find that he ate merely half of it. He ate so little until we started homeschooling, and then he ate like the rest of the family.

Andrea said...

Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed your post!


Julie said...

I enjoyed reading your story. Have a great Home Education Week.

Heidi @ Southpaugh Homeschool said...

I agree with the closeness of the family - - so much better when I started homeschooling. Thanks for sharing!