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Never Say Never...I Love Homeschooling!

My friends chuckle as they recall my words: "We gotta get out of Baton Rouge before Kindergarten because the public schools are not an option here, and there is no way I'm homeschooling."

Never say never. ;)

I didn't articulate why I wouldn't homeschool, I just had a sense that my personality would not enjoy it. At the time, I had only one kid, and I thought I had capacity for little else. And while being her mom brought me more joy than I had ever known, I had other interests outside of motherhood, and I knew that I would be looking forward to getting back to those things in 5 years time.

So to my pleasant surprise, here's what I love about it; not in order of importance:
(Keep in mind, this post is about me. I would not choose my child's schooling based solely on my preferences. She is currently thriving in this environment, but this list is not about that, it's from MY perspective--how God sweetly surprised me, and how I've found that I enjoy many facets of homeschooling in this stage of life).

1. I love that I don't have to wake up Bubba from his nap to go pick up his big sister at school. He did not appreciate that. And he let us know it. Happier Bubba = happier everyone.

2. When the weather is bad, I don't have to load the kids in the car and drive. (Really, you have no idea how big this is for me!)

3. I love that we set our schedule to fit well with the flow of our whole family. No one is eating breakfast in the dark so that we can rush out the door.

4. I love that we are all together.
My love language is "Quality Time" as is my Kindergartner's. She is always saying, "I love it when we're all together." I have seen the closeness that it brings for all 3 kids, and hope that they will reap benefits of building deep sibling relationships in these young years. Despite my worries of "being sheltered", we have many friends and activities that take us out of the house and staying social. In fact, homeschooling gives us more time to do those activities without having to sacrifice family dinners together or weekends with grandparents. (See post: Social, Not Sheltered).

5. We unashamedly take off on birthdays.
Here we are at a petting zoo for Bubba's second birthday. Which, if you think about it is like a field trip. A really cool field trip. I never got to pet a zebra when I was in school. ;)

6. I love that life is learning.
Now this IS my personality. This is just how we do life--cooking becomes a math lesson; an afternoon walk, a science lesson, etc. After watching a movie or TV show, we discuss the attitudes and behaviors of the characters and how that lines up with scripture (Was this person respectful? Remorseful when wrong? Did they change their heart? What were the consequences people received? Did this show have qualities that we "should think on"--lovely, pure, etc? So I love love that mashing nanners can be part of school. Gotta love how Bubba samples our banana bread. (Don't worry, I gave him extra bananas knowing that he would sample it. His portion did not go in the dough). :)

7. I love that we can learn about things not in the textbook.
We're meeting the requirements for TX KG, but also, we spend a lot of time on the arts. She is learning piano, guitar, ballet, and tap. We all study famous works of art, as we showcase a different painting each week, spanning the eras between Medieval and Impressionist. We learn the title, artist and significant points of beauty/cultural influence. What a way to prepare for our mission trip to Italy this summer! I'm so excited to think of all 3 of my kids being able to enjoy the art museums because they will have knowledge which makes them appreciate it! We are also studying about Italian geography and culture, which will hopefully aid in building relationships while there. I love that we get to put all of this learning into action! Not just learning to memorize facts, but to enjoy and experience more of God's world!

8. I love that our faith is central to our schooling.
We have daily devotions during "Breakfast and Bible" as well as prayer during "Circle Time." Not only that, but from Thanksgiving to Christmas, we abandoned traditional lessons. We did everything advent, while reinforcing the concepts we'd been learning all semester. My friend Stephanie wrote an advent book called "God Made a Promise". We anticipated the birth of Christ through the scripture and stories as well as hanging symbolic ornaments on a designated tree. In this picture, the kids are crafting their rainbow ornaments that coincide with the story about Noah.

9. I love that we can minister as a family. Because home-school has more one-on-one learning than a classroom setting, we cover ground faster. Half of our day is school, and the other half is free. We can flex our day as needed and join Karl at a campus outreach, party, or conference. We can pack up as a family and live in Florida for a month while not missing a beat in our studies, and we can travel abroad for Summer Project. All of these things interfered with the public school schedule.

10. Contrary to my assumption, I still pursue my own interests.
There is less time, that is a reality, so it forces me to prioritize and make the most of my time. I still participate in campus ministry by preparing lessons at home, popping in to lead a workshop, attending a retreat for face-time with students, and serving behind the scenes to hostess a party.
I also have the privilege of coaching our new staff and intern women. This is definitely a highlight for me. I love getting to know these gals and helping them navigate their first semesters in campus ministry.
And a sweet surprise this semester was that I got to use some of my background in music to lead our neighborhood kids in a Christmas pageant. It was an amateur endeavor on my part for sure, but we all enjoyed it, got to know our neighbors better, celebrate the reason for the season, and all the while I got the opportunity to pull from my experiences as piano instructor and assistant choir director. Fun for me and fruitful! Here's a pic of our little cast:
Looking back on my naive statement of early motherhood, I was assuming that teaching my kids meant I had to give up the things I love about life. But now I see that I get to share with them all that I love about life, all the while continuing to enjoy it and explore it myself.

Read all home school posts here

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