Monday, October 20, 2008

Some of the joys of homeschooling

[Since, Henry asked for my input, I'm adding my comments are in brackets.-- Janine]

Through the summer we have tried a variety of approaches to unschooling and light homeschooling. We've had our daughters memorize poems, do science experiments, try some crafts, and so on. We also facilitate them reading tons of books.

Then each fall we return their focus back to an academic focus. Janine builds to-do lists each night using Homeschool Tracker. [I have a love/hate relationship with the software. The kids get a lot more done, but it takes me an hour a day to update assignments and add school records. I wouldn't bother, except now that we have a high schooler, I feel a bit more pressure to have a set study plan.] Our older two are very diligent about working through their lists. [They still need more reminders than I would like.] Our eight year old gets distracted, but we're happy with what she does, considering that she is eight. [Speak for yourself, she makes me nuts.]

Both Janine and I are mild type A personalities, or maybe B+. [Personally, I think I'm an A- personality] We're not super crazy about getting lots done, but we try to be effective and efficient in getting the important things accomplish. This sometimes translates to a heavy load. Sometimes our daughters tell us they are being worked too hard. [I don't really believe them. When I was a kid, we walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways.]

We've been homeschooling this fall two months. The freshness of the bloom has worn off. We're seeing the months ahead, and it is a bit daunting, more for Janine than for me, since I escape off to work.

It helps us to remember some of the joys of homeschooling. Here are a few:

1) Being able to have our daughters work less hours than their friends in school who spends hours at school and then hours at home, but much of it is wasted time.

2) Being able to study the scriptures with our daughters.

3) Catching our oldest daughter giving our second daughter the birds and the bees talk using a Children's Encyclopedia as her guide. (We told her to check with us before she ever did that again.)

4) Going on vacations in the fall, when the lines are so, so much shorter.

5) Being much more connected as a family.

I asked my daughters what they found joyful about homeschooling and her are some of their replies:

They like.....

1) Choosing what they study

2) Going their own pace

3) Playing when they are done with their school work and not having to sit in class

4) Spending time with their sisters

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education


Susan said...

It's great that your children can see such benefits in homeschooling. My son had a set curriculum to follow, and remote teachers to mark his assignments, so the work load for me was much less. I think it's wonderful that your family has chosen this rewarding path.

Susan, The Book Chook

Alex said...

I agree with your joys homeschooling part. I see how I don't like sitting in class when im finished "learning" and I understand when you mention the wasted time part.

I feel we have similiar views and perhaps maybe you would like to check out my new idea, a school based homeschool program for senior highschool.

If you're interested in reading about it, the link is here

In the future if I ever have kids, I will consider homeschooling.

Alex said...

Thanks for commenting back. I realise the flaw with my idea is that it would not work for every curriculum. Yes it is a public school but I think it would work for me. I don't mind learning what the school teaches, just it takes too long to do it at school. I am going to check out the self teach curriculum you linked and perhaps a better idea would be to use different material designed at self teaching to learn the same things as a normal student at a public school would.

I thank you again for taking the time to read and post feed back.