Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Now that I've been at this homeschooling thing for thirteen years, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at what has changed -- me, my children, my approach, our life. Here goes:
How many kids did I have?
When we started homeschooling: Two. Anne-with-an-e was going into first grade. Betsy was four years old. I didn't think we'd get to have any more children.
When I started blogging about it: Three. Anne was 12, Betsy was 9, Ramona was 3.
Now: Anne is in college, Betsy will be a senior, and Ramona will soon be 11/6th-ish grade.
How did I feel about homeschooling?
When we started homeschooling: Excited. Terrified. Uncertain about long term homeschooling, but desiring it. Confident in my abilities in some areas, fearful about others. Happy. Nervous. Wanted it to be perfect. Thrilled by the freedom.
When I started blogging about it: Excited. Sometimes scared. Relatively confident in most areas. Sometimes worried about ability to do high school. Happy. Nervous. Thrilled by the days that went perfectly. Thrilled by the freedom.
Now: Excited. Rewarded. Proud. Happy. Fully aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Confident in our approach. Happy to know that nothing's perfect. Thrilled by the freedom.
What were my kids favorite things about homeschooling:
When we started homeschooling: All the books we read together; all the time we spent together.
When I started blogging about it: Ditto.
Now: On reflection, both Anne and Betsy said that when they look back, the thing they loved most was that they had the time and freedom to follow their interests and talents. Ramona said that her favorite things about homeschooling are that she gets to do things in the middle of the day that not everyone can do: go shopping with me, paint her nails right before choir practice, take a nap, watch H2O with her mom. She also said she loves having so many choices about what she'll study and how she'll spend her days.
How much curriculum do I need? How much did I buy?
When we started homeschooling: Too much.
When I started blogging about it: Still a little too much. Those catalogs can be so tantalizing.
Now: Only what I need -- based on interests, areas of strength and weakness. We already own a lot of books. And libraries are the best invention ever.
How much did I depend on the library?
When we started homeschooling: Loads.
When I started blogging about it: Loads.
How much is Atticus involved?
When we started homeschooling: Plenty. He was there for me to talk to. He read to the girls. He let me vent. He whisked them away some days so that I could have a break. He made them laugh. He made me laugh. He asked about our days. He asked the girls what they'd learned. He played music for them. He danced with them. He cooked for them. He gave them books he'd loved as a child.
When I started blogging about it: All of the above. Plus, he got a blog name.
Now: All of the above, plus Shakespeare, American Lit, British Lit, poetry, composition. Monty Python, too. The Ministry of Silly Walks was important to their education. And how to slap someone with a fish, of course. Invaluable.
Am I glad we made this decision?
When we started homeschooling: Yes! I had the time of my life. Who knew that reading Little House books under our oak tree could be "school"? Best Days Ever.
When I started blogging about it: Yes! Who knew that kids could be so fascinating and so much fun at ages 12, 9, and 3? Best Days Ever.
Now: Yes! Absolutely one of the best decisions I ever made. Who knew that homeschooling would become a lifestyle, a family dynamic, a group journey. A gift. Best. Days. Ever.
Posted by Karen Edmisten at 11:08 PM