Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home Education Week {Looking Back}

I don't think I've ever participated in a homeschool carnival before, and I was really branching out by starting Blogger Friend School this year.  But I came across the wonderful blog,  Principled Education , and thought it would be fun to be a part of her celebration of Home Education Week.



    Looking Back Sunday, March 30

    Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.

    Before I became a home educator, I worked in accounting for a heavy construction company.  It was sometimes an interesting job, sometimes challenging, but rarely truly rewarding.  The company offered to help foot the bill if I was interested in taking courses for my CPA designation, and that would have meant a bigger salary too.  But at about the same time they were making their pitch to me, I found out I was pregnant with our first child.  And there really was no question about it: I was going to be an at-home mom.  And by that time we had also decided that we wanted to educate our child(ren) at home.  But let me back up a bit...

    Only a couple of years earlier, I had not even HEARD of homeschooling.  Not in the modern world, anyway.  I guess I knew that sometimes missionaries had to teach their children at home, but I figured they probably used correspondence courses.  A family began attending our church that homeschooled their children, and they were the first such family that I had ever known.  I was very interested in learning more about this unique (to me) way of educating, and it wasn't long before my DH and I were thinking that this might be a good choice for us as well.  By the time we became parents, our minds were made up.  Moving several times while Harrison and Spencer were very young, and meeting other homeschoolers along the way cemented the decision.  And since I had dreamed of being a teacher ever since I was young, it was just "right" for us.

    What do I miss about life before?  I guess the paycheck most of all.  That extra money would buy me lots of curriculum now.    I also miss meeting a wide variety of people that exist outside of my "stupid Christian bubble"  as one of our friends puts it.  Yes I meet lots of people now, but to be honest, the vast majority of people I meet are contacts through church or the homeschool community.   

    What have we gained?  A measure of freedom and independence that we couldn't have if we were tied to the school system calendar.  We can take vacations when it suits us to do so, even if it is in the middle of the school year; and make time in our schedule to accomodate unexpected illnesses or travel, and things like --oh... eye surgery, for example.   We know where our kids are, what they're doing, what they're learning (or not learning) in school, what they like and what they don't, who their friends are and how much time they are spending with them.  I got to see them learn to read - I got to see that myself, not have them get off the schoolbus and tell me.  In my opinion, watching my child read a book for the first time is every single bit as exhilerating as hearing them say their first word or take their first steps.  Probably more so.  And for me personally, I have gained the chance to learn and study all over again as I teach and plan lessons for my kids.  I can express an interest in the things that it was "un-cool" to be interested in when I was In high school.  I can take extra time to understand something if it doesn't make sense the first time.  I would have loved to be a professional student, but this is close enough for now!


drewsfamilytx said...

Great post!

I agree with you about the reading. I can't imagine someone else hearing my child talk for the first time, seeing their first steps, or hearing them read their first word or book. *I* was there! I got to share in their triumph and celebrate with them! It is an amazing blessing and privilege to home educate and spend so much time with my children. Not always easy, but always worth it!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post and thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! That time thing is important for us since m husband works for the railroad and isn't around a lot. If he is home in the middle of the day, we break from school for daddy time. If they were all away, they would see their father half as often as they do now.

I enjoyed this little glimpse into your life!


pottershand said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

andijeane said...

I loved being the one to help my children learn to read too. It was probably my favorite homeschool experience, when each of them "got it" and took off in the world of reading. I would have loved to be a full-time student! Isn't homeschooling great in that respect? I am always researching and learning new things too.

Great post! Thanks for sharing!


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