Thursday, November 18, 2010

Giving Thanks - Day Eighteen

I get to homeschool, and I am so thankful for it.  I learn with my children, and I learn more each day.  In the beginning, when you give birth and begin educating your children you forget that you are really homeschooling them. You teach them to crawl, to walk, and to say “please and thank you.” You take the child in your lap and read to them, sing to them, and play with them. They grow in wisdom and stature. Then comes more children, at least for me! I am educating them as well.  BUT THEN....."that" time came.

I had to really homeschool now. My thoughts on homeschooling have evolved over the last few years. I just knew that I could not fail. Of course, I would NEED to have a house with an extra room. I NEED special desks.  And by the way, I was just given desks, that have to be refurbished, and I have a big white board for the wall. I still need to get that set of bookshelves that every homeschooler is supposed to have. I have an amazing closet that houses all the textbooks. I put posters on the walls. It's official; I am a "real homeschooler" now. I NOW will NOT be a failure.  THOSE were my thoughts, at first. 
My dream for that special school room:  Each day the children would march into the little room at the end of the house. It's going to have chalkboard paint, maybe some dry eraser paint.  The children would begin with prayer. Then they would say the Pledge of Allegiance. The mommy even purchased a nice denim jumper with cute appliqués.  Oh, wait......, I do not have a jumper.  But you get the picture, I have this idea in my head of how it should be.
Over the years, only the past three, actually......I began reading more books on child training. Obviously my children weren’t trained well enough.  I even considered starting them on a strict diet of discipline and proper nutrition. Still something seemed amiss. I remember the year I was pregnant with Shallah, I was not feeling well.  I was exhausted and sometimes nauseated. Unable to perform all of my schoolmarm duties. 

The children weren't bothered by it as much as I was bothered. In fact, they enjoyed the time spent curled up on the couch, reading a story.  (maybe a flashback)  As we took a break from the regular school lessons I noticed more of a peace. Naturally the home-school mom perks up a bit. After a while, Levi was asleep, Abishai and Ezekeiel are playing with Legos in the corner of the room.  And Jael is drawing now?

Or how about the year living with my in-laws (thank you), that year provided it's own share of difficulties. And again, the kids were only bothered a bit. 

Even since moving into this house with my own school room I really thought it might go back to my vision of "real homeschooling!"  Even though we have only been here a month,  the table that was once in the schoolroom is removed and in the dining room, now.  Learning takes place in various locations around the house. Learning is NOT and DOES not have to be such a stress.  My lesson plans are now only done a week in advance, unlike my original YEAR IN ADVANCE.  I still use a curriculum to keep me on track, but I have learned to relax.  As time goes on, I am sure that I will have to relax more, as I am only homeschooling two of the five with a regular schedule.  We start with breakfast, and it's all downhill from there.  Some days we get done quickly, others it seems to take all day.....if we have that unexpected visit from a friend, well, we know we can catch up later. 

I am so thankful to be given this responsibility. I am so thankful that I am given the right to teach my children.  My main goal is to teach my children to have a deep love for learning and shout for joy when they hear Mom say, “Time to read!”  If I manage to instill a love for learning, THEN I am a successful homeschooler.