Thursday, September 27, 2012


So, we've decided to homeschool. I think the entirety of my small group of readers already know that, so this post is for posterity more than anything else.

I've been drafting this post, in my head, for years. And yet, now that I'm sitting here at the computer ready to write it, I'm unsure what I want to say. I feel a bit like I'm starting out on the defensive, so maybe I should just get that out of the way. I want to be particularly clear that our decision is not a reactionary one (at least not entirely) and that we fully support our friends and family who have (and who will) make choices different from the ones that we are making. I also want to focus on why we DO want to homeschool as opposed to why we're not making other choices. We are not anti-school. We've made the choice that we think is right for our family, for right now. That might change in a year or it might never change.

I hope that we will be supported in our choice and that our circle of friends and family will be happy that we're happy. I know that I am truly happy when I see a family who is really satisfied with the choices they've made for the education of their children. That includes families who use public schools and are active in their children's classrooms. It includes families who use public charter schools or private schools or who homeschool. So many of my friends and family members are really invested in their child's education, really passionate. That is what matters. If you have questions or doubts about our choice, that's okay. But please reserve judgement until you've informed yourself. Please feel welcome to ask any questions of me at any time. Questions can even be left as comments on this blog, anonymously. 

I've been asked why I want to homeschool. It's a tough question to answer because there are so many reasons. If I had to give one reason only, it would be because I want to spend this precious time with my children. I want to have adventures with my amazing sons. I want to watch them learn, to know exactly what they're learning so that we can make connections to every day life. I want lessons to be experiences and experiences to be lessons. I want to be able to cuddle up in our pajamas and watch TV or play board games all day every once in a while just because that's what we need. I want to be able to take a day off from school because it's just the most gorgeous weather we've ever seen, or because we're dying to go visit a friend we haven't seen in forever, or because we need a break. I want to enable spontaneity. I want to be able to tailor their lessons to their learning styles, the speed at which they pick things up, and their interests. If they want to become experts on the social interactions of African elephants, I want them to have the time to do that. I want to rest assured that they are mastering the skills and core of knowledge that everyone should acquire. I want them to learn to work together, to challenge each other, and to be each others' confidants, teammates, and supporters. I want them to have plenty of time to just be children, to play and explore and invent and imagine and move their bodies. I want them to be passionate about learning and about living. I want them to be active members of our community and to make meaningful connections with it. Most of these things could still happen, at least to some degree, if the kids were in public school. But I believe that homeschool makes it easier for these things to happen. Alexander went to public school for two years. I've only been homeschooling for one month. But, so far, it feels more natural having him here. It feels right.

And now, some pictures of my kids "doing school."

Jack is a very eager learner, very careful and detail-oriented. He is very focused and will pay attention to school work for far longer than I would require of him. He loves to do rhymes, opposites, pattern completions, and numbers. He often enjoys participating in Alexander's science and English lessons. He looks way too grown up in this picture.  
The figure in black on the right side of the picture below is the "Math Ninja," although he appears to be doing copywork in this picture. Alexander has a sensory aversion to pencils, so I allow him to do most of his writing with fine-tipped markers. Jack is doing pattern completion and Kai is about to do some coloring. Sometimes we do all gather at the table like this (excuse the God-awful tablecloth, but I feel quite protective of my new dining table), but we're often moving from room to room depending on the activity or lesson and I try not to make them sit for too long at a time. 
For the past two weeks, we've been working on pop-out cards for our art projects. This is one of the first ones that Alexander made. He even made a pop-up book and he is now a professional artists, as a neighborhood girl bought one of his creations at his "art store" that he set up in front of our house.
Here Alexander is forming his spelling words using Scrabble tiles, with some crazy light coming in through the Venetian blinds. A friend recently told me that they stopped teaching spelling in the school that Alexander attended kindergarten and first grade at, because spelling has gone "out." However, here in Pennsylvania, spelling is a required subject for homeschoolers.

I don't intend for this blog to become a homeschool blog. It's still just a Mommy blog. But, given that homeschooling is now a part of my mommyhood and a big part of our lives, you can certainly expect to hear about at least some of our homeschooling adventures along with our milestones, silly quotes, and other life stuff.

1 comment:

Chateau HnH said...

Great blog entry - sounds like it is working out very well for you...and the young ones.
Keep up the great work!