Monday, January 21, 2013

Are you Crazy? or why we have decided to homeschool

School registration has begun in our little town. That has prompted a lot of talk about which neighborhood school everybody's kids will be attending in the Fall.

In response to one sweet Pre-K classmate who announced he would be attending the same school as the Dynamic Duo, one of my boys asked something to the affect of, "Are you going to school in our basement, too?" Then they proceeded to tell the class how we would be having school down there, but it was currently very, very dirty.

I confess.

Everything they say is true.

Especially the part about the basement's cleanliness, or lack thereof.

Ten years ago, I would have cringed at the thought of homeschooling my children. And probably argued until I was blue in the face about why it would be a terrible idea.

Five years ago, my answer to you would have been more along the lines of, "Well, I can see where some people would see it as beneficial, but it's probably not something I will do with my family."

Two years ago, I was intrigued with the idea, but didn't see how it would be feasible for my family (or my sanity).

I think you see where I am going with this. Slowly but surely, I have become convinced that this is something I think is right for us. For so many reasons. I am actually excited about keeping my kids home and being their teacher next year. Choosing curriculum caused me some anxiety, but it was also super fun.

Yes, I am a nerd. I loved curriculum planning when I was a "real" teacher.

I think kindergarten in our basement is the perfect place for my kids to be come Fall. We are going to take it one year at a time and decide what is best for the boys and for the family. A commitment to next year is not necessarily a commitment to the 12 years that follow. On the other hand, it might be.

I in no way think that homeschooling is the only way to go, or even the best way to go for every family. I hope no one gets that idea from me. The beauty of the American educational system is that we have the freedom to choose what works for our individual families and even each child. One of the reasons I am choosing to homeschool is that I don't believe in one-size-fits-all education. Thus, the size "homeschool" may not fit your family, while the size "public school," "private school," or "charter school" might be perfect.


I trust my judgement as a parent who knows what is best for my kids, and I hope you trust yours as well.

For the curious, here are a few of the reasons (some are, admittedly, better than others) why we are homeschooling:
  • education that is custom-tailored to each child's needs
  • smaller class size
  • flexibility in schedule
  • socialization not limited to age and geography
  • interdisciplinary curriculum not limited/driven by standardized testing
  • Spanish language acquisition (this doesn't certainly apply to every place, but the hubby and I are the most fluent folks we know where we currently live)
  • family time and bonding
  • interactive, hands-on education
I could go on. I could describe each of my reasons with more detail. But that sounds boring to type. If it is boring to type, it is surely boring to read.

I'm happy to answer questions if there happens to be something you actually do want to hear more about.

If you need me, I'll be sweeping the basement.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Just Perfect

"Are you going to keep trying for that girl?"

How many times over the past five years have I heard somebody ask me this question? Too many to count. It often follows close on the heels of this gem or maybe this one.

No. No, kind people of the world, I am not going to "keep trying" for "that girl."


For the record.

The more I dwell on your question, the more offended I am becoming.

I resent your insinuation (or outright statement) that my family is not balanced or not close enough to some ideal because we do not consist of one boy child and one girl child. I even heard or read or something somewhere that one person felt sorry for the 3rd child of one gender in any family because it was "obvious" that the parents were trying to get the other gender. Really? As if no parent anywhere would desire to have 3 children for any reason other than to balance the sexes.

I have 3 boys. I have no desire to try for a girl. My 3rd boy was not the result of my trying for a girl. I do not in any way feel that my family is lacking. I do not think that I am missing out on anything. I do not consider it to be unfair in any way.

For those people I have heard comment about the need for a boy in their families as someone to throw the ball around with, I say throw the ball around with your daughters. I guarantee they will love it.

For those who think they need a little girl to dress up and chat with about the meaning of life, I recommend having a meaningful conversation with your sons. It might just open your eyes to some pretty amazing things.

For the folks I have heard lament the lack of a son or a daughter and how they long for the kind of relationship that would be possible with that child of a different gender, I would like to suggest trying to have a better relationship with the children you do have instead of longing for something that doesn't exist.

For anyone out there who might be tempted to open your mouth and comment about my need for a little girl in my family, don't. I really don't want you to make my boys feel like they have disappointed me in some way just by being who they are. They are God's gift to me. I wouldn't change my family for the world.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Let them Eat Cake!

So I had a little rant about Christmas and consumerism and the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany.

So we traveled and had company and all kinds of things between December 25th and January 6th.

So we didn't get as much done during that time as I had thought we might.

Here's what we did do:

In all seriousness, we did learn about Stephen the Martyr on St. Stephen's Day. We did learn about the 3 Wise Men and what their gifts to the infant Jesus actually symbolized. We did have an un-decorating party complete with one last day of Christmas songs. We did have an Epiphany Cake - B was the one who found the treasure & got to be "king" for the evening. We did have a good time finishing up the Holiday season.

We hope you did, too.
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