Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blue Like Tidy-Bowl Cleaner, Kool-Aid, and Heaven:

Thoughts on Home, Family, and God from the middle of Suburbia!

I used to have an idea of what a homeschooler was like, until I became one. I thought of tight buns, long skirts, and homemade bread (whole-wheat of course). While that is a wonderful lifestyle I admire, that is so not me.

I’m more likely to drive through Starbucks, than to press fresh carrot juice. I watch Heroes with my kids and spend more time surfing the Internet than weeding an organic garden. Again, while all of those things are great, they’re just not what I’m about.

I remember the first time I ever considered homeschooling. We had friends from church who had eight kids, some of them teens, that I couldn’t help but notice. They set themselves apart not because of how they dressed or how they ate, but because of how they loved. The kids enjoyed hanging out with their parents, and the parents seemed to be having fun, too. Fun with their teens. They liked each other, and it was so unique I couldn’t help but notice. I wanted teens like that.

From the time my kids were toddlers I’d learned to fear the teen years. My toddlers could throw a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store and people would respond, “Oh, that’s nothing, just wait until they are teens.”

I’m glad to say that, years later after over a decade of homeschooling, I have teens like that. We hang out, we have fun, and we enjoy each other. Not that homeschooling is a magic formula, but by choosing it I was making a conscious choice to give my children time. Time to learn, time to share, time to grow up together.

Sometimes people are surprised when I tell them I’m a homeschool teacher. Maybe because I still look sane. Or maybe because I smile when I say it.

While it’s not the path for everyone, I’m thankful for my friends’ example. I also realize that even though I don’t look like how you think a homeschooling mom should, maybe people do see something different.

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At Thursday, 24 April, 2008, Blogger windycindy said...

Hi, I have known a few families in our area who have gone the homeschooling route. Most of them did the teaching at home until high school and then their children would attend public high school. I don't think that was fair, because after years of homeschooling, they were thrust into a new environment at a difficult age! I have never felt qualified to home school; especially,
the higher grades. Chemistry, Physics, Algebra, etc. I could not teach what I couldn't do. My degree is in Psychology! Anyway, I am proud to report that we have two teenage sons that we are very proud of and like us. Cindi

At Thursday, 24 April, 2008, Anonymous Simply Dawn said...

Our homeschooling journey is just beginning, and we were drawn to it by the same example as you. The way the family loved each other. There were some bad examples too, but the key component was the love. The parents spent time with the kids, respected them and it was returned. I think that in itself is hard to find nowadays, whether you homeschool or not. It requires saying "No" to the instant self-gratification that we are told we are entitled to, and saying "Yes" to laying our plans aside for the sake of pouring our lives into another.
God bless you and your family for the choice you have made.

At Friday, 25 April, 2008, Anonymous katy said...

Amongst many of the good traits of homeschooled children, they are best known for winning spelling bees. Are yours good spellers?? :)
If I can do it over, I would homeschool. You made a good choice.


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