Saturday, January 22, 2011

One Year Down

In December we crossed the one year mark for our homeschooling journey. I've learned so much this year...and the kids have too! I've learned that it does no good to load up on awesome, highly recommended curriculum that doesn't work for our kid's learning style. I've learned that power struggles aren't worth the struggle half the time and that harmony is our best friend. That the best learning isn't carefully orchestrated, it just happens naturally. And once in awhile, a day spent in pajamas doing nothing useful is a good thing.

I've also come to realize exactly how different one homeschooling family is from another. And we have wrestled with that some in the last year. Often I come across the ultra organic, vegan, vaccine abstaining sort of families or those where the kids have zero guidance or discipline. So many times the 'image' of homeschooling is the wholesome, well-organized family with the 2.3 kids, where the world is viewed through the lens of the Bible, and everyone is practically perfect all the time. This Mary Poppins fantasy life just doesn't fit us, and I rail against anything that smacks of such phoniness.

Now, I don't know how things go in your home, but our house is relatively well organized due to the fact that we are military. So we do have that going for us. On the other hand, some nights we get carried away and are up until midnight playing games or watching movies. We are a house of Trekkies, lovers of sci-fi, and all things technological. We do love nature, and take an interest in protecting our environment. We grow what we can in our garden, and make what we can with our hands, rather than buy foreign goods in a store. Our family goes to church, but you are just as likely in our home to hear us discussing evolution, cybernetics or the big bang. Our kids are familiar with other religions, (as well as the option of no religion) and they aren't judged for their beliefs. We teach the kids to have an open mind to different lifestyles, different cultures, different mindsets. Conversely, we shelter them from the sex, drugs, and the bottomfeeder mentality that is so often found in modern society. They know it's out there, and why it is wrong to behave in those ways.  It is my sincere hope that they keep that innocent tolerance for a lifetime.

This week has been good for us. Dad was supposed to be deployed by now, but is delayed by a week, so we have just a little longer together. Our oldest found out for himself that sacrifice can be sweet by donating his trombone to his former middle school so that it can be used by less fortunate musicians. Our youngest has discovered the joys of oobleck and other non-Newtonian fluids. And this week we lucked into a trial membership to an online math program that seriously rocks! Both boys hopped on their computers and didn't budge for TWO hours! When suppertime came, they said they didn't want to stop just yet, they wanted to complete that next progress marker. This morning (Saturday) our youngest wanted to log in just 'in case I wanted them to do school today.' That's the kind of learning I'm all for! And if this kind of homeschooling is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Keep the faith,