I’m a homeschooling mom. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. But what I learned from this experience is, that life in itself is all about learning and gaining knowledge. The world is nothing more than an oversized classroom. An oversized classroom in which we will always be students and teachers at the same time.
Today I am looking back on 8 years of homeschooling our son and 4 years of homeschooling our daughter. And it was totally worth it.
When my husband mentioned that he wants to home-school our son I hesitated at first. Of course I had all kind of questions (not to say worries). What about socialization, what about isolation, what about teaching them the right things? Will we be able to handle it? Will we teach him right? I had all those worries. Will our kids end up being the weird ones, who can’t cope with the world and wouldn’t have a clue how to move in a group? I had the same kind of stuff in my head most people bring up, when we talk about homeschooling. For me homeschooling was something only really religious people do or people, who live way out there, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, with no chance to get to a school. Just not the “normal” bunch of people…
I guess it would have been much harder for my husband to convince me, if we wouldn’t have met that couple and their kids back in the days. They lived in our city and my son and theirs became friends. Their kids were amazing. Well educated, smart, polite, fun and had manners.
I honestly can’t remember why we started talking about homeschooling, but it happened and they told us their kids were home-schooled. It was an eye opener for me. All those pictures I had in my mind about home-schooled kids were smashed, nicely smashed, but smashed. There was something else she mentioned that got me:
“Look at nature. Look at the wildlife. Nowhere you will find a group of kids only playing and spending time with the ones the same age. They mix and match and play with older ones or younger ones. They interact with the adults. But us humans, we put the kids in a room all day with kids the same age. They have no chance to watch and learn from older ones.
Life is about constant learning. You never stop. Everything out there is important and you learn from everything and everyone. Whatever you do with your kids, if you take them to the beach, to a park, to the city, to a museum or a zoo, there is always material for you to teach. It is up to you what you make of it. How you approach it. The books are important, but there is so much more. Follow the curriculum and get through those books but never forget the world out there. The world in itself is a huge classroom.”
She said so many more things, but those words really stuck to me. And it was that conversation that made me “take the risk” and agree to homeschooling.
The kids thrive. They are doing great and they know stuff. Not just the subjects taught by their books but other things. Things we discover when we are out there. Things they learn from simply being out there and talk about everything. Things they learn from older kids or from adults they meet. Or just things they see and then want to know more about. So we look it up.
I have to admit that I’m not the teacher in our little school. My husband’s the teacher… and the principal. I’m in charge of the excursions… and the food and for the after school entertainment 😉 It’s better this way. Homeschooling needs discipline and to be honest, I lack in discipline. I would probably be out there with the kids learning from all the little rocks and rivers and the ocean, from the bugs and the leaves and would forget to open the books.
Homeschooling is not easy. As I already said, it takes a lot of discipline and it can be pretty exhausting from time to time. You’re kids are always with you. We kind of never have a break from each other. I would lie if I claim that it doesn’t get to you every now and then. But then, on the other side, it is so rewarding to see, what you can actually teach your children. How far you brought them already and just to watch how they learn. It is amazing to have them around, as tiring as it can be to entertain them all the time. You also get so much back.
In the end parenting is like a job. You have your good days and your bad days, some days are easy and others are hard. But this is a job I love. My little co-workers or customers are amazing, demanding, but amazing 🙂
Life is a constant learning curve. It will never end if you don’t want it to end. And I want my kids to go out there one day and keep learning. For as long as possible.