My hope is that this series will encourage anyone out there potentially thinking of joining our 'ranks', either one day soon, or sometime in the future.
You will be able to hear from a Mom who:
-has had our four children in school full-time, up until this past September
-who has THREE very energetic boys, along with our daughter
-who is teaching/leading both elementary and middle school curriculum
-who knew NOTHING much about homeschooling up until this past year year...asides from occasional media reports and selective magazine articles :)
-who is planning on homeschooling for the next year, but is balanced enough to understand that we will have to re-exam our family's needs each school year
So for today, I want to focus in on the JOYS I have found along our homeschool journey....
One of the most amazing aspects I have enjoyed about homeschooling is the closeness it has produced in our family. Especially among our four children...
I have often found the older siblings helping the younger ones with their work, unprompted, when Mommy has had to momentarily step aside to answer an important phone call, or even just get a meal on the table.
I have even walked into the room to find the older siblings working together on their assignments, and my heart melts as I hear a child who has already mastered a particular concept passing on the same principle to another who is struggling.
Again, I don't want to give the impression that our kids are perfect! They are not.
They still fight.
They still argue.
I'm still working on teaching them to do their work cheerfully and with a thankful heart...
However, I can't negate the positive improvements I have seen this past school year. I can't deny the feedback I am receiving from others when we are out in public settings, or even just around close friends.
Homeschooling has also improved many of their academic skills. I guess this may be a given for those more experienced homeschoolers, who KNOW from first-hand experience that when you devote one-on-one time with ANY child the result will be more confidence in school work.
One of our children was struggling with reading last year. So much so that the teacher was giving extra help, sending home extra work, etc. She was an awesome teacher and I appreciated all of her hard work. It certainly did help.
Part of the answer may have been maturity, but I have noticed that reading has come much more readily this school year. A big leap in school work has been demonstrated overall with this child. I am proud to say this one is now reading us stories, and constantly learning new words.
Another one of our children has always struggled with math assignments. I have spent hours this school year reviewing the questions and formulas over and over. I can't say we are acing all of our tests, but that said, we have seen much improvement in recognition of formulas, and in the area of logic and problem solving.
Another JOY that homeschooling has brought to our family is an increase in creativity!
One of my children is an entrepreneur at heart. He is always trying to sell, sell and keep selling! This year, due to the flexibility our schedule, he has been able to start his own small business: making cupcakes. While this is something we certainly don't want to consume all of his spare time, we are delighted he is learning practical ways to: make a living, interact with people, and to work hard!
Another area of creativity exploration has been in the arena of writing. My two eldest children and I have been going through a writing skills book together. We read the assignments and then work as a group on the practical applications given. It has even helped me to expand my vocabulary!
Or how can I fail to mention our extra time for music, friends, social events, and day trips!
Yes, homeschooling has brought many benefits to our family this year. The above mentioned, and even more....
Next blog I will share a few of the CHALLENGES we have gone through, and what I have been learning through each of them...Stay tuned!!!
***Below: please feel free to comment about the joys YOUR FAMILY has found through homeschooling!
And don't forget to post your Mama's blog so everyone can see who you are :)