Throughout our ten years of home schooling, I’ve learned to accept its challenges and embrace its blessings. (Some days, I’m still learning!) Home schooling isn’t for everyone, and it does require sacrifice. Here are a few challenges I face every day:
- My dreams being set aside for now, for those of my children’s.
- Preparing lunch while listening to my eight-year-old read “Little House on the Prairie”…
- …and realizing I am no Caroline Ingalls.
- Knock, knock, knock on the bathroom door. “Mom, I have a question…” My response: “Well, you’ll have to wait, because this is one place in which I would rather not multitask!”
- Working out immediately after my feet hit the floor in the morning, because that will be my only uninterrupted time of the day–and I am NOT a morning person.
- Grading papers, making notes, and creating lesson plans long after the kids have left the school room for the day, and indulging in the occasional pity party because of it.
- Never feeling quite caught up with bill paying, laundry folding, house cleaning, etc.
- Feeling inept in the face of a challenging algebra problem.
- Feeling the pressure of being both mom and teacher, being responsible for my children’s character and their education. Some days I just want to be mom! (And other days, I’d just like to be ME.)
But home schooling is also stimulating and rewarding. I really do enjoy it, for these reasons and more:
- Tag-teaming with my kids to solve a challenging algebra problem.
- The privilege of getting to know my kids intimately, thanks to many hours spent together.
- A school room stocked with scented candles, treats, and blankets.
- A school day that need not begin until we are ready.
- A school uniform consisting of sweats (for the teacher, too).
- A cozy classroom upstairs, rather than downtown.
- The lovely view of endless fields and thousands of sunsets outside our school room window.
- The joy on each of my children’s faces as they have learned to read.
- Our earnest prayers together before each school day, asking the Lord to help us be kind to and patient with each other, and to grant us wisdom and understanding. (He does.)
- Bright and lively conversation and debates as we compare modern opinions with our Christian world view.
- Memorizing Scripture together (the teacher, too).
- Teaching my son to cook as well as change the oil.
- Teaching my daughter to change the oil as well as cook.
- Teaching my little guy that it’s okay to be a kid and not feel compelled to do all that his older sibs do.
- Raising chickens as part of our curriculum.
- Taking vacations in the fall, when the weather has cooled a bit and most other kids are in school.
- Taking a day off whenever we need to, though we try not to.
- Remembering to soak up every day, even the tough ones, because kids never grow up slowly–as evidenced by my two eldest in this photo of their first day of school in 2007. They are freshmen in high school now!
What does home schooling mean to you?