Thirteen Things I loved about Home schooling Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
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Back when we were beginning our family, about 25 years ago, home schooling was not the popular, cool thing to do that it is today. We became friends with some pioneering families who were really dedicated to the concept, however, and became convinced that home schooling was the only option for us.
As things have worked out, our oldest child was the only one who was exclusively home schooled (until he went to college). The next four children were home schooled plus Christian schooled. Now, the youngest four children have been home schooled, Christian schooled, and are currently public schooled. There are many reasons for this change from exclusive home schooling. One of the main reasons, I guess, is that we view home schooling as a TOOL, not as an end in itself. When the home schooling “tool” worked to the best advantage of our family and our children, we employed it.
For this Thursday Thirteen, I would like to tell you 13 things that I LOVED about homeschooling, not home schooling in general, but OUR home schooling (There are lots of different versions out there, ya know.).
- We were able to provide a warm, nurturing environment for our young children.
- We were able to be the main influence on our children’s developing characters when they were very young.
- The children were not rushed into academics too soon, but had lots of opportunities to play and explore, and to learn to help with the work of the home. You have probably guessed that I agree with Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s approach to homeschooling, explained in their books such as School Can Wait and Home Grown Kids.
- The children learned how to handle themselves confidently in varied settings because they went everywhere that we did, and were prepared beforehand on what to expect at the library, the store, the church, etc.
- We were on the lookout for the children’s special talents and interests and were able to facilitate their development. An interest in art, for example, led to us hiring an artist one summer to teach the youngsters watercolor techniques. We made sure to have plenty of art supplies on hand as well.
- I love interest-based education, something which is ideally suited to the home school. For example, when our first child became interested in WWII, American Indian chiefs, or astronomy, he had the opportunity to explore those subjects in depth, WHEN he was interested in them. When one of the girls became interested in breeding gerbils to obtain as many coat colors as possible, she did that.
- We went to the library A LOT. They have a limit of 100 books maximum which may be checked out at once, and we sometimes reached that maximum. Our rule with the children was, “You have to check out as much non-fiction as fiction.” All of our children continue to love books.
- I loved reading aloud to the children. If the children were interested, I would sometimes end up reading to them up to three hours a day.
- The children had time and energy for music lessons and practicing their instruments (3 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello). They still play occasionally, but I miss the “all-the-time” music.
- The children learned to take a lot of responsibility for their own learning, helping to research and select the curriculum, and helping to decide the time-table of completing their work.
- Life was more relaxed. The children got enough sleep. I got enough sleep.
- We could pretty much go where we wanted, when we wanted, without worrying about missing school.
- I enjoy my children. I love being with them. They have learned to be thoughtful and pleasant people. We had (and continue to have) such a good time together throughout those home school years.