Monday, August 22, 2011

Homeschooling: What We Wish You Knew (Part 6)

Today, we started back to school.

Here are the "Back To School" pictures of my three beautiful "students".

Age: 14 Grade: 10

Age: 12 Grade: 7

Age: 9 Grade: 4

They are just growing up so fast. It's hard to believe that my oldest is now a Sophomore, and will soon be driving. *Gulp*

Moving on to what else we wish you knew....

We wish you knew that, just because we homeschool, that DOES NOT mean that our children are perfect little angels who always listen, never fight or talk back, or never complain (or even cry) about their schoolwork.

I have people tell me, "Oh! I could never homeschool MY kids! I just don't have the patience! They wouldn't listen!"

Do you recall how I described our day on my first "Homeschooling" post? Yeah....all lies. It is NOT like that at our house. If you are reading this and you homeschool, and it IS like that at your house, please, tell me your secret! I don't know anyone who can say that it is like this at their house every day. Maybe on some days, but certainly not every day.

I have regular kids. Kids who don't always get up on time, and have to be threatened...oops...I mean lovingly convinced, to get their backsides out of bed. Once out of bed, they often have to be told to get dressed (no pj's) and ready to start school. Then, they have to be told to actually start school, and then be reminded several times each. During this time, I often get to hear phrases being yelled, such as "She won't let me in the bathroom!" or "She took my _____!" "Tell her to stop it!" or even "Shut Up!" Now, that will get you into trouble in this house. But, I hear it anyway. Sigh.

Then, while we are doing school, they will sometimes fight and argue with me about what they are expected to do. "But, it's so hard!" (usually said with tears) and "I can't believe I have to ____!"

It is rarely the peaceful home that I wish it was. I have three girls, and there is A LOT of drama in this house. Crying. Screaming. Throwing fits. Fighting. And, it is not all just from me. *Wink*

And yet....I homeschool. Ha!

Now, out in public, the girls don't act like this. They save it all for me. Aren't they nice?

Anyway, do you get the picture? My girls are just regular kids. I have one teenager, one almost teenager, and one who acts like she's a teenager! Poor Hubs. He is totally surrounded by hormonal women. It's a good thing he is so laid back. He just shakes his head and rolls his eyes a lot.

Homeschool kids are just!

Since they are home all the time, I do try to keep some semblance of order in our home. There are rules, and consequences for breaking them. Since I am both their Mom and their Teacher, the lines often become blurred. That's just the way it is. The person who tells them to unload the dishwasher and pick up their dirty clothes is the same person who corrects their Math tests and goes over their vocabulary words with them.

We also wish you knew that, sometimes? We don't like homeschooling. Sometimes, the days are long. Our patience is gone. And, if we have to go over multiplication facts even ONE MORE TIME, we may need to be committed to the "looney bin". We may not even like all of the subjects we are required to teach our children. But, we have teach them anyway.

We have bad days. After all, we are only human, and we are trying to educate other humans. Who have their own set of faults.

Sometimes, we need to complain a bit, and let off a little steam. But, we feel like we can't do that with you. Do you know why?

Because you will then tell us, "Why don't you just put them in school?"

Believe me, on those bad days, it is VERY tempting. In my case, that yellow bus passes right by my front door. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to shove my girls out the door, and say "Bye! See ya later!" and just have the house all to myself. Did I just say that out loud?'s the truth.

But, just because we may think that at times, doesn't mean that we want to stop homeschooling! We wish you knew that.

If we are homeschooling, we have weighed all the pros and cons very carefully. This is not a decision that we have made lightly. It takes time and commitment to homeschool your kids properly. It takes a concentrated effort on the part of the homeschooling parent/parents to be solely responsible for their child's education. *That's why sometimes, we don't answer the phone if you call between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M., and you have to leave a message. Just sayin'.

Just like you have bad days with your kids, we have them with ours.

But, then there are the good days. And they more than make up for the bad ones! The days where everything goes the way we planned it to, and we enjoy watching our children soak up knowledge like a sponge. When we witness first-hand the close relationship that our children have with each other, and with us. When we experience those "teachable moments" throughout the the day, that only come through time spent together. When WE get to be the ones who are the main influence on our children, instead of "the village". Those are the days that make this whole homeschooling journey worth it! Those are the days when we KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that THIS is why we homeschool.

Homeschooling can be hard. Most things in life that are worthwhile are. The hard things are the good things. And the good things....are hard.

We homeschool because we know the benefits it brings to our children, and to our family. And, we know that it IS worth it. No matter what.