Sunday, March 30

home education week begins!

Today marks the beginning of a special week long homeschooling event that Dana over at Principled Discovery is hosting. Please stop over there to follow the participants for the topic of the day. And better yet, JOIN IN!

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.

I really had to think about this one a bit since it was so so long ago. Our family was still quite young at the time as my oldest had just completed kindergarten in the public school when I first heard of homeschooling. It fit right in with my heart. I had grown up loving to play school with my dolls and then used that love to teach Sunday School and VBS through high school, so the natural next step was to go to college for elementary education. Alas, I didn't complete college because I needed to take time off to earn money for tuition and then never returned. That didn't stop my love for teaching children. And when my own children arrived it was a delight to be home with them. I was already informally teaching them as we spent our days together, so when the idea of homeschooling was mentioned, I immediately followed up on it.

After researching every homeschool resource I could find at the time, we made the decision at the end of the summer to begin the journey with our family. There were three children then....a first grader, a four year old, and a one year old. The necessary paperwork was filed with the state and through the advice of an experienced homeschooling mom a curriculum was chosen. And so we began.

The changes we went through were mostly schedule related as it suddenly felt like we had a huge responsibility on our shoulders. So a new routine was set into motion back twenty years ago and a much of it stands today. We had a vision to hold us steady through the good and bad times. And how delightful it was to re-learn with my children all the things I never paid attention to when I went to school!

Looking back, I can see more of a rigidity to our days. There was more of a drive to cover all the bases. And yet, I can see how I still had time to do many creative hands-on things with my children that I often don't take the time to do now. Of course, our family of three children had grown to our family of nine children through the years, so time did become a more precious commodity.

Looking at the present, I can see that there is more flexibility to our life. I've learned through the years that kids do naturally learn just because they are kids :-) They get excited about things and with a little guidance can learn about anything they want. In other words, a lot of learning takes place without me stuffing it into them. Oh, we still use a curriculum but are able to tweak it as needed. And there's always been time in our daily routine for puttering. There's still unfinished puttering projects on the workbench in the garage from boys who LOVED to take things apart and do their own building.

Perhaps the greatest blessing is the closeness of our family. The kids have a wonderful history together from the years of being homeschooled in this house through all the ups and downs. There is nothing sweeter than when the older ones travel home and we're all together - it's loud, it's full of laughter, and it makes my heart swell to mammoth proportions!

How about you? Are you a homeschooler who can look back and see the changes and growth from the beginning to now?

Tammy ~@~


Heather said...

Watching them learn on their own and being together are such wonderful blessings.

Marbel said...

I love being home to see my kids learning; their excitement and their curiosity are just a joy to see.

Julie said...

The fun of watching my daughter understand something new has been an unexpected blessing of home schooling. She just lights up ~

mom said...

Yes, the lightbulb moments of learning make it all worth while! :-)

Dana said... begin the journey with our family.

I love that sentiment regarding beginning homeschooling!

I was a lot more rigid at first, too. Really, my eldest may as well have started out in the public school. I even made her raise her hand to use the restroom. At least at school, they would have let her play with playdough and finger paint. I don't know what I was thinking!


andijean said...

I love the fact that our boys have time to take apart and build things too. Great post - thanks for sharing!


Julie said...

Hi Tammy. I don't comment every time, but I do read your blog often. I enjoyed reading your story, especially where you say homeschooling "fit your heart." That is so beautiful! I, too, got some advice from a more experienced homeschooling mom when I first started...9 years ago! And I would have to say that we are more flexible now then we were then as well...and it just seems to get more and more fun! Have a great Home Education Week.

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