To be completely honest, there are some days we ask ourselves the same question! I often hear “I don’t know how you do it! I need the break when they go to school!” Trust me there are days when we need a break from each other! We don’t usually get one, well unless you consider locking yourself in the bathroom a break, which it isn’t because they will find me!
Our decision to homeschool was an easy one. It started when we were expecting our oldest, who is now 13. From the beginning we decided, okay I decided, that homeschooling was the way to go. By the time she hit kindergarten she asked to go to school. I was heart broken, but wanting a happy child was important, so off she went. Over the next four years we dealt with the normal school drama. Awful lunches (a daily complaint), long hours of homework, and a nightmare of a gifted class. By fourth grade Louisiana LEAP was upon us. My little overachiever was being stressed out over this test and by mid year was miserable. Her little sister was in first grade and had the most wonderful teacher on the planet, but if one was coming home they both were!
Now, I have to mention the drama. Our oldest tested into the gifted program. Wonderful right! NOT! Being an education major, I understand the gifted mind. Gifted children don’t think like everyone else…or maybe I just raised kiddos with out the box thinking….ok that is probably it, but excuse me for thinking that if you are teaching gifted children you would know the general personality traits. You know the ones, unorganized (who has time for that when everything interests you), a bit messy ect. I have to say the experience we expected and what we got were totally different. The work was all packet based, for a child that is a visual learner this was not good. To be honest, we sent a happy, self confident child to school and they returned a defeated, timid child back to us. The teachers were nothing short of bullies. She was torn down in every emotional respect and it has taken us almost three years to undo the damage done by two teachers. What about the youngest you ask? Well, that one there has a completely different personality and she just doesn’t give a rip what anyone thinks about her. She doesn’t just march to the beat of her own drum, she has a chorus line!
See these reasons I listed here? They really aren’t the main reason our children are home with us. The main reason is, I found myself begging my hubby to let me check them out by noon daily because I truly missed them! I didn’t want other people raising my children, instilling their ideals in them. I wanted them to have the freedom to learn more than what was in a lesson plan or that can be squeezed into 182 days. I take joy when I see them working together on something that has taken them on a three hour research adventure! I love seeing them grow!
There are days we struggle to get motivated. Doesn’t everyone have those days? We are blessed that we can stop and regroup and catch up tomorrow. We enjoy taking life slow and stopping to smell the roses, or whatever that is on the rug! Most of all we enjoy spending our days together! Life is to short to rip and run, kids only get to be kids for so long, they should get to enjoy it. I am not saying its easy, its a sacrifice on many levels. Christmas is small here, we budget everything and don’t have money for anything extra. The reward is so worth it! See its not all about books and homework and testing. Its about showing love and compassion and patience (HA I don’t have much of that at times). Most of all, we get to do life together and you just can’t pass that up.