I’ll do my best to keep this post totally focused on the positives of homeschooling (as I see them). The things that get my heart pitter-pattering at the very thought (as opposed to this post full of my hesitations/misgivings).
Then I may or may not quit talking about it for awhile. It’s wearing me out, frankly.
REASONS TO HOMESCHOOL (not an exhaustive list):
Life Is Short. At least the amount of life I get to spend as a mom to kids who live with me. Livi is 10. In eight years, she could be headed off to college, on her way to getting married, beginning a new family that only marginally includes me and Gabe. I want to soak up these fleeting years with our girlies.
Life is Short, Part 2. Just like I don’t want to spend my days here on earth frittering time away on stuff that isn’t advancing God’s kingdom and bringing him glory, I don’t want my girls to either. Seeking his glory brings ultimate joy, and I desperately want that for all of us.
Flexibility. I can’t count how many times I’ve wished the girls didn’t have school so we could do something/go somewhere. For the zoo trip, I just pulled them out. Six days I think. This year I was good. Until this month.
More Time. My girls are on the bus for 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon. They come home from school really tired. I can’t drive them to school, because they go to different schools that start at the same time on opposite sides of town.
More Time for What Matters Most. I was a teacher. I know how hard it is to dedicate big chunks of time to things you care most about. There are so many little things to be done. Some of them seemed pointless, but necessary. Most of them are eliminated when you’re learning at home with Mom.
Living Out Our Family Purpose Statement. I’ve almost blogged about this seventy hundred times, but I keep putting it off, because I keep tweaking it. I think it’s almost there. If it’s not, I’ll post it soon anyway, and you can help me tweak it.
Global Awareness. In my ideal school year, we’d learn about the world until our heads fell off. Globes and maps and outreach and missions and travel and reading tons and tons and tons of books about other cultures and people.
Travel. I have big dreams. Taking the Girls’ Zoo Book (not done/published yet) on the road, back to zoos, reunions with friends we met and fell in love with. Cambodia. Kenya. The ends of the earth. You know, places like that.
Perfect Timing. I can’t imagine teaching a child his/her letters and/or how to read. Call me impatient (or worse), but I think I’d stab my eyeballs out. I didn’t teach Livi and Ava (they learned in kindergarten). I didn’t teach Nina (she learned at The School of Livi and Ava).
Some Beautiful Trailblazers. I have some amazing online friends (and a few in real life too) who homeschool. They inspire me to greatness. I admire them for so many reasons not related to homeschooling, but the fact that I’d be in good company makes me sigh and smile.
ESPECIAL (not sure that’s a word) THRILLS:
*Note: I realize that much of this is lofty, dreamy idealism. I’ve lived long enough to know that all the happiness you can imagine rarely plays out according to plan. Humor me, would ya?
Art Walls. My girls love to create art. Livi especially. I dream of clearing space on our walls, applying a fresh coat of a bright color, and letting them pushpin their artwork up until the wall won’t hold anymore.
Uncluttered Home. Ann reminded me that she doesn’t like “stuff” either–just her library card. I feel like we’ve been de-cluttering not to make room for tons of superfluous homeschooling “necessities” but freeing up space to learn and grow and be.
Globes, Maps, Globes. Globes on every shelf, maps on every wall surface (and shower curtain, tablecloth, etc.). In moderation of course (chuckle, chuckle).
Speaking Engagements. I typically speak to a lot of MOPS groups in the fall/winter/spring. I could take my girls with me. If I’m talking about sex, they can sit in another room. Or we could talk about missions or zoo trips together.
Chore-Sharing. I’m not that great of a housekeeper. And I’m even lousier at making my girls help around the house. I see that changing if we homeschool.
Reading, Reading, Reading. I love to read. So do my girls. I thought for awhile there that they weren’t going to like it. Whew. I envision lots and lots of reading. And making a book wall where we put up the titles of all the books we read.
So Much More. But I’m out of time and space.
THE BOTTOM LINE: As sweet Ann reminded me, “Only head this way — if God’s really calling. He calls other good and right ways too.” If God isn’t calling our family to do this, then none of this matters. May our ears, eyes, hearts, and hands be open to his perfect plan. (totally wasn’t trying to rhyme, but clearly I have missed my calling as a poet).