We are homeschooling all four boys this year. Just saying that feels a little frightening. Lots of pressure. Lots of questions. Mostly, people ask, “How do you do that?”
I don’t know.
We just do.
Sometimes it feels really fun, like when we spend the afternoon at a historical reenactment like Muster on the Wabash in Vincennes, Indiana. The kids get to see how people dressed in 1811, watch a blacksmith working at his forge, and hear the muskets and cannon firing in an intense-if-only-mock battle. The kids are engaged in the learning, and it feels more like fun than “school.”
Sometimes everyone is in a cooperative mood, and our core lessons get finished in record time. We have time to listen to some classical composers, play with math manipulatives, study some famous artists, or dig into some really great books. The learning is richer than just the 3 R’s, and I find myself thinking that I’ve got this homeschool thing in the the palm of my hand.
Then there are days when school is a matter of holding the kids’ noses (and mine) to the grindstone and getting the work done. It’s not fun. (Hello – diagrammed any sentences lately?). It doesn’t seem very enriching, or even useful. (How often do you factor polynomials in your everyday life?) But we cover the material that we need to cover. Some days, homeschooling feels like this:
But basic facts form the backbone for future knowledge. Maybe it’s more important some days to learn how to buckle down and finish the job properly. Some days school is not about conquering the multiplication tables. School is teaching my children how to learn, how to ask questions, how to fulfill the assignment. School is giving your best effort when you don’t want to, and no one would really know if you took the easy way out. Some days, school is preparation for life.
Learning is a gift. Pass it on.
all photos from http://www.inmagine.com/