A few of you have asked what we do for school...do our kids go to public school? Private school? Homeschooled?
If you had to take a guess, by looking at us, which would you choose?
Yes, we homeschool.
When I was school-age myself, there were a few homeschooled kids whom we knew. Some of them were just downright weird. Some of them were downright great. Particularly one who went back to public school just in time to meet me. (Wuv. Twue Wuv.)
When I was a young, rookie, high school math teacher, I watched some of the weird homeschool kids go wild upon their eye-opening initiation into the public school arena. Others just seemed to flourish, excelling in the newness of public high school.
Being that I'm not a very nurturing person and a terrible elementary school substitute teacher, I was pretty convinced that if I homeschooled, I'd land my children in the "wacky, socially inept" category of homeschool prodigies.
I resolved that I would never, ever homeschool my children. This, of course, was the cool answer anyway, which gave me bonus points for impressing people. (Lame, Karen. Lame.) Ask any of my close friends and they will tell you that my intentions were clear - our wild maniacs turn five-years old and I send them away on a bus from 8:30 until 3:30 five days a week.
Like all non-parent advisors, I knew best. I was so sure that I knew what was best for us and our future family that I even made sure to let other people know that our plan was best for them.
Then, we had kids. And Real Gil found a great job with wacky hours.
After sending Punkin off to school for kindergarten, the wacky hours seemed to get even wackier for Real Gil. We made it work for her half-day of school.
Then, like many things in my life, it all came down to a great sale.
We call her "The Tenement on Wheels." She even has carpet on the ceiling. That's what you get when you buy a good, 10-year old deal on e-bay.
So, many people have asked me why I homeschool...My answers are many...
- I'm home with two preschoolers so why not just throw a first-grader in the mix too?!
- We love having our family together.
- It means Punkin gets to see her dad. (Did I mention his schedule is a bit wonky?)
- Homeschooling isn't as "uncool" as it used to be thirty years ago. I think it might even be the wild, on-the-fringe sorta cool thing to do. I'm lacking in coolness and not above using my children to get some.
- I love teaching, I love my kids, and we are blessed with the chance for me to be at home with the Littles. Of course, I have no pipe-cleaner-and-glue-stick abilities, but throw me a list of vocabulary words and I can't help putting them to music. Okay, I'm totally lying about that last part. I've never, ever sang a list of vocabulary words, but I really want to. If I ever do, you can bet your grandma's best coupon clippings, you'll be hearing about it on this blog. In the meantime, even without a song and dance, it all seems to be a good fit for our family. And so far, no one has failed first grade.
- Perhaps the most important reason we homeschool is because it's what God has specifically called us to do. We will only do it until we feel He is leading us in another direction, and in no way think it's for everyone. It has to be a calling for me to eat as much humble pie as I have in the last year or so. If I had a dollar for every time someone said, "What?! You are homeschooling?" Usually, I resort to some goofy joke about making my own kefir and sewing prairie bonnets for my daughters, just to cover my own squirming discomfort. Or I just sigh and roll my eyes like an adolescent: yes, I know. I always said I'd never...
- But mostly...I homeschool because Disneyland has absolutely no lines in mid-October (We slap our knees in triumphant laughter at those empty mazes weaving through the ride entrances). And RV parks are crazy cheap in February. We get a few looks, but I'm pretty sure we'd get those even if we sent our children to organized school (not to be confused with unorganized school which is definitely the teaching method around here).
So there you go. A few of you asked why we homeschool. I'm sure you're a bit disappointed with how little depth there is to my answer, but that's the honest truth (except the part about me being cool - I really don't care about it anymore....very much...most of the time...). I'll pass on a really annoying post on what exactly we are using for homeschooling curriculum tomorrow. If you aren't interested in homeschooling, be sure to not bore yourself with the most tedious post ever as I don't know how to make curriculum exciting. Only practical. That's the new side of me you're going to see this week as I map out our own curriculum for the year.
On a more serious note, I hope my words have only encouraged those of you who are homeschooling, and have not, in any way, by any means, discouraged or alienated those of you who are not homeschooling. I hesitate to write about such a personal topic usually full of defensive triggers. Perhaps that's why I add dumb jokes throughout...I'm just so thankful that we have a God who prepares the good works for us to do beforehand and we just get to walk in them (Eph. 2:10). Whatever yours are today, I hope you are joyfully walking in them. And knowing that they don't make you or define you, but they are yours for the taking and ultimately for His glory.
Resting in Him,