We homeschool. Yep, you read that right.
We homeschool Emily. Not because it was the plan, not because it was my life desire, not because I dreamed that it would make me a better mom. We started because we were disgusted by what our daughter was able to do, or rather NOT do at school. Her school participated in an auxiliary program where the focus of the school was on this program and not on education. Definitely being my daughter, when given the opportunity to do nothing, she did nothing. I can't say that I blame her, but enough was enough.
Kids love to be challenged, and that was what was missing.
I never wanted to be a school teacher. They are not appreciated, they work endless hours, and the pay, well – sucks.
Being the Pollyanna that I can be, I could almost picture what life would be like homeschooling. Emily would enter the breakfast room with her hair fixed, clothes ready, eager to start her morning with a healthy breakfast and then dive right into being an excited learner.
Then I woke up.
After my eyes were wide open, it was time to find a curriculum. Wow. There are a lot of options out there. Trying to pick the best was a little overwhelming, but we feel like we did it. The best thing about the one we chose, I am NOT her teacher. She has a teacher that is NOT me! (doing the happy dance right now about that!)
I get asked a lot about homeschooling and so here is just a snippet of what we have learned over the past two years:
- Getting dressed for the day is a must. PJ days are earned, but are not a daily thing. (for us both!)
- Be prepared to feel like an idiot. I don't remember the specifics of the War of 1812. I remember when it took place, because I am smart like that – but wow, didn't expect her to learn about that and the Cold War and the JFK assassination in the 4th grade.
- Fractions are still my friends. Not Emily's. She does great, but doesn't think they belong.
- Sentence diagramming is a reminder that there is evil in the world. THAT, Emily and I agree on.
- We eat every meal together. This is both a blessing and a frustration. I love that time with her, but I really want a lunch break!!!
- Yes, there is homework. And yes, that sounds just as redundant to me typing this as it does to you reading it. After all, all of her work is done at home.
- Penmanship is mandatory at her school. While neat work was an expectation for me growing up, they are strict with the grading of her penmanship. It is an entire subject!
- Kids are a sponge. I am amazed at what she learns, the vast amount of it as well as the info itself. It is a gift to be able to really watch her learn and absorb. Absolutely mind blowing.
- I don't have to pack lunches. I honestly don't know why a friend of mine asked me this question. But I figured that someone else might wonder the same.
- When she puts her mind to it, she is done in four hours. FOUR HOURS! That is nuts and awesome, right? 8 subjects, four hours.
Also, I get asked about her social interaction. This is exactly why she does competitive all-star cheer. She is on a team with other girls her age. They work together to accomplish a goal and to keep each other safe. I had no idea what all-star cheer was before she started. I thought cheerleading was something done just on the sidelines and at pep rallies. Nope! It is amazing what these 9 and 10 year old girls on her team are doing. She loves it – and three times a week she is there.
So while homeschooling was never the plan, it has its perks. I don't have to get up early in the morning – which is good since I don't believe that anyone should be up before the crack of nine… but that is another story!