Since the beginning of their school years, I have been educating my children at home. We have almost completed 10 years. If all goes as planned, I have 10 more to go. So in light of a half-way milestone, here are ten random thoughts about our last ten years in relation to learning. I don't know that this perspective or the things that I have learned are exclusive to home educators. I imagine parents of children who have been learning for ten years would have similar thoughts.
Ten Random Thoughts on Learning
1) I have loved all the books that I have met through home schooling. My life has been greatly enhanced through the quality of books that I have found. I have always loved to read but, boy, I sure missed a bunch of treasures. I have no idea why. All of these great books are some of the best reasons for home schooling. So glad that I didn't miss out for a lifetime.
2) Teaching a child to read has been one of the highlights of my entire life. I've had the privilege four times. It's as grueling and exhilarating as giving birth --laborious and glorious!
3) Teaching my children at home has been easier and harder than I ever imagined. I remember the feeling of jumping off the homeschool cliff into so many unknowns. It's been easier than I thought because there are so many guides and resources available. Yet, it has been hard to navigate the management of a household, the curriculum, and the relationships all at once, all day, every day.
4) Home education provides flexibility. How this translates into real living is that not a lot of math problems actually get solved in the ICU waiting room. But some do. It also gives a chance for the grandchildren to bring joy and hope like nothing else to a struggling-to-breathe grandpa. Plus, some math did get done. Maybe as much as a distracted grandchild separated from the situation? In addition, we can keep right on going at that child's speed, taking time for math lessons missed during real life lesson time.
5) It is easy to feel like a failure when one is behind on lessons, the house is dirty, and grandpa still can't breathe. It is hard to be flexible with life's demands. It's hard to get behind on lessons, to have a dirty house. It's the best and worst of times.
6) The greatest personal growth has been the self-employment aspect. I don't make a very good school bell. I do really well finding out what the teacher or the employer wants and delivering it to them. Therefore, it has been different to be the teacher, the school bell, the one to enforce the deadlines for papers.
7) I am thankful for all of the people who we have met on this journey. I love the out-of-the-box creative thinkers. I love the support group where we pray for one another, challenge our thinking, and belly laugh together. I am a richer, better woman.
8) I've loved the learning--my learning. I've enjoyed creating an atmosphere where the children love to learn. I love reading picture books that explain things like clouds, popcorn, and how the inside of the human body works. I love to explore and observe. I've loved having a front row seat to watching my children learn and bloom in their skills.
9) My favorite time of day right now is snuggling next to my eight-year-old and reading aloud together. The worst school days are those when I'm too busy for the best part.
10) The reasons that I started are not the same as the ones that have kept me going. I began with mostly academic pursuits in mind. I have kept on going due to the amount of time for the family to be together.
What are your reflections of learning in your life?
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Also linking with Jen at SDG.