The most difficult, time consuming, patience testing, emotional, grey-hair making, endearing, joyful, fulfilling, gratifying job I will ever do.
(I enjoy challenges.)
“How long have you homeschooled?”
We’ve always homeschooled our kids. Priya is in sixth grade now, and that means I have seven years of teaching under my belt. Well, the kind of schooling where you sit at the table with papers and textbooks. I’m a believer that we begin teaching our children the day they are born, and everyday there after. They learn much in everyday living of life. Technically speaking, Priya was an October birthday, which is the odd cutoff for the school year. At four she was ready to begin schooling, but would have had to wait until the September she was five to begin kindergarten. We decided to teach her, and we’ve never looked back.
Then we had Adin, Riah, and now Gabe.
“What’s your day like? How do you run a business at the same time?”
Below is a summary of our day- Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. On Wednesday we spend the day at our supplemental school, Classical Conversations.
I require the kids to rest in the afternoon for 90 mins. I work. They have quiet time. I work. Some people I know enjoy something called a “weekend.” I work. It’s a tough line, and a balance I continually evaluate. The biggest step this year was committing to leaving the computer off every morning, and just BEING with the children. This was HUGE, and it literally redefined the efficiency of our “schoolhouse.” It’s been going really well. Now that 10:30 part (below) rarely happens. I have to have at least one point on my schedule that remains wishful thinking. I just don’t have time to go to bed that early. Maybe someday.
“How do you teach them all when they are different ages?”
We model the old-fashioned “little schoolhouse.” We have a 12, 9, 7, and 4 year old. I typically teach the same subject to the oldest three. Then they each break off into whatever they are capable of doing for that subject. For example, we may study Verbs. Riah will copy definitions, Adin may make charts and an example sentence, and Priya will dig much deeper into Verb Anatomy. We may read a paragraph from a book together. Priya and Adin will keyword outline and rewrite the paragraph, and Riah may reread it and choose one important point.
Occasionally, a nerf gun fight between subjects is necessary……
Kitchen redo meant new chalkboard wall! It’s so much bigger and better now.
“Do they like being homeschooled?”
This answer can vary day to day, just as I would imagine any child’s answer would. Of all my children, Riah most definitely comes to the school table with the most enthusiasm and it has always been this way. One of the greatest joys is seeing how each of their personalities work and handle tasks. Seeing their little minds compute is such a gift to me.
Being older means Priya has more work than the rest. Sometimes she needs to break away form the brothers to concentrate.
“What has been the hardest thing to teach so far?”
Grammar. Diagramming sentences was never a real passion of mine, but I am learning so much more this go-round. I’m actually enjoying learning and teaching it to them!
“What will you do when they are older and classes are harder? Will you teach Chemistry, Trigonometry?”
The older they get we will most likely implore the services of specialized classes, tutors, and mentors of particular subjects. Brett also studied engineering and science in depth in college, so he can always help out as well. It is so amazing how large the homeschooling community has become. The options truly are endless.
We’re focusing on American History this year, and here are some books we’re currently studying….
According to many people, writing is a dying art, and many schools (and homeschoolers) are no longer teaching cursive. We are keeping this art alive and writing well in this house.
And of course, the most common question of all:
“Do you worry about their socialization?” (Interpreted, “Are they sheltered weirdos?”)
I have come to learn that this is a valid question, and can only be answered on a “per-family” basis. Socialization depends on the parents and personal family style. Obviously, if a homeschooling family is very shy they may not choose to interact with others often. This would create children of the same breed. The same is true of children that go to school as well.
There are so many options to get homeschooling families out and interacting from every class imaginable, sports, field trips, traveling groups, you name it. Being “socialized” is no problem for the modern homeschooling family.
If you met our kids you would know that they are quite social, and have no problem making friends. In fact, I notice that being homeschooled has made them very comfortable around all age groups because they are not limited to daily interaction with only peers of their exact age. I remember first hand the feeling of being shy and uncomfortable around “older” kids. I have seen children look down on those that are younger. One of my favorite things about watching homeschooled children is the “little schoolhouse” effect. Children of all ages play together with ease, and acceptance comes easily.
Below, our friends came over for a break from school to play Just Dance. They danced it up for an hour, and we got our P.E. in for the day. Bonus.
Have a question for me? Feel free to ask! I’ll gladly answer and perhaps respond in another post down the road as well.