Explore. Imagine. Love.

Purposeful parenting amid a world of sugar, screens and schedules.


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Homeschooling My Kindergartner

One reason that I love homeschooling so much is that it can look so different for everyone.  We can all do what best fits our family…depending on our personalities, how our kids learn, our schedules, and what’s important to us.  Today I’m going to share with you how I’m homeschooling my kindergartner. It might give you some fun ideas, encourage you if you feel like you’re not doing enough, or do absolutely nothing for you.  haha!  But I love reading posts like this and I hope it can help or encourage most of you in some way 🙂

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A Flow for the Day/Week

Following a tight schedule does not work well for us.  I would love to be disciplined enough for a schedule, but it hasn’t happened so far.  And even if I were disciplined, having three children five and under can make it really difficult!  But having a FLOW is really helpful.  I have less arguments with my children when they know what to expect. They know that after breakfast they need to take care of their dishes, brush their teeth and get dressed.  They know that before lunch they need to clean up what they were playing with.  They know that they don’t need to ask for screen time any other time of the day because it’s not going to happen until quiet time if they get their lists for the day done…then I have a schedule for what is allowed each day…educational shows, fun shows, movies or educational apps on the ipad.  There is less complaining because, “hey, it’s what the schedule says!”

Circle Time

I don’t remember to do this as often as I’d like to, but when I do remember to do it my kids LOVE it.  They love singing songs, reading stories, doing yoga, having dance parties, etc.  Really, circle time is just a time in the morning that I’m purposeful about doing these things with them.  We get out the calendar and talk about the week- it’s a time to learn about days of the week, months, years, seasons, etc.  It starts conversations and leads to some fun learning. It also just inspires us to think about the day differently and leads us to creative choices- arts and crafts, treasure hunts, etc. I am working on making it a regular part of our flow.

Read, Read, Read!

Story books.  All kinds of stories.  Stories about friendship.  Stories about compassion.  Stories that rhyme.  Stories that are nothing but silly.  I try to read throughout the day and not just at bedtime, which is easy to do when my kids (especially my one year old) are always asking.  (And by asking I mean literally throwing a book in my face and then climbing onto my lap!  haha)

Nonfiction books. I LOVE nonfiction books that draw in my children, engage them, and excite their curiosity.  The majority of my homeschooling happens simply from reading nonfiction books with my daughter, answering her questions as we read (often we stop reading completely to demonstrate what we are talking about so that she has a deeper understanding), and then sometimes doing fun activities based on subjects she is particularly interested in.  I just wrote this post recently about this and plan to write more in the future so stay tuned!  You can also follow me on instagram if you like…it’s not for Explore Imagine Love…it’s more specifically related to children’s books and homeschooling and I post a lot of Usborne books.

Life of Fred.  Have you heard of Life of Fred? My husbalife of frednd heard about it when he was in college getting ready to become a math teacher. Ever since then I knew
I wanted to use it but had to wait until my daughter was ready. We just started the first of the elementary set recently and Big Sis thinks it’s fun. They are silly stories about a kid named Fred, who wonders and thinks about things. For example, the first chapter talks about arranging pencils in a different way and they still add up to seven. Five and two, six and one, four and three…all make seven. It introduces vocabulary like the word “equals” and it brings up things like telling time, seasons, etc so that we learn about more than just math. I love learning through stories and am excited that she is enjoying it.

Magic Tree House. It is probably obvious by now that I like to learn with stories. One thing we are doing is reading the Magic Tree House books and then doing fun activities along with them based on that subject (castles, dinosaurs, etc.)

*Side note- along with Magic Tree House themes, I’ve purchased a Quest Club homeschooling membership for next year.  My kids are so excited to earn badges as they learn!

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Start to Read books.  My daughter is an amazing reader now.  Check out my upcoming post on how she learned to read.  Honestly, I feel like it just sort of happened…like she taught herself and was just reading one day.  But I have been asked what I did to teach her and, thinking back, there were a lot of things we did to lead up to it.  So I will share about those things in another post!

Writing

My daughter loves to write but she still needs a lot of practice. She’s been asking about cursive and I read that it’s actually a little easier to learn so we’ve just started working on some cursive.  I don’t know that one way is better than the other, but the article makes some interesting points.  My daughter likes to spell a lot of things as he draws them and she likes to make our grocery lists.  She also has shown an interest in writing her own stories- but it’s a little challenging and she gets frustrated on her own so I help a lot.  In order to practice writing, I have gotten her a bunch of wipe clean books and she really enjoys them. I also bought some big lined paper that I actually found at the dollar store, which was awesome. I stocked up and am having her write her answers out for Life of Fred and am encouraging her to use it for when she writes other things too.educational apps

 

Games and Apps

I am definitely careful about the amount of screen time I allow my kids to have. But I also really love technology and even as a kid, really loved staying after school to make silly “newsletters” or use the story maker game. I think it’s awesome how much kids can learn from apps these days. Again, I am pretty picky. If you’d like to see my favorite apps, stay tuned.  I plan to do a post on that soonish. We also really love board games.  We play a lot of them and I think that most games are not only fun, but provide some educational value!  Here’s a list of some of my favorite board games.

Being active

In the summer it is easy to stay active and we are constantly out walking, riding bikes, etc. When it’s snowy outside and I have a baby to lug around, being active does not always come naturally to me, so I am purposeful about making this a thing. We go to gymnastics..it’s a drop in class for homeschoolers of all ages, which fits us perfectly! There is a homeschool PE program at our local YMCA.  And there are fun places to go like an indoor swimming pool, a bouncy house play place, etc and of course we do things at home. We do yoga together and have dance parties and go sledding.  We even have at home gymnastics days sometimes because we can’t always afford to go to the classes.  We do summersaults off the couch onto mattresses, we play follow the leader, and we have a homemade balance beam to play on.

Free Time

Free time is so important and something that they don’t have enough of in public school, in my opinion.  My one year old explores the world and watches his sisters. My three (just turned four) year old is so imaginative…she mostly likes to play with her sister but she’s getting better at solo play.  Her favorite thing is playing “mommy and sweetie.”  And my five year old (just turned six) plays with her siblings, draws, dances, crafts and is teaching herself to play the piano. After she goes to bed she stays up late with a flashlight reading. It works out because she sleeps in until eight. A benefit of homeschooling!

Co-Ops

In my town we have a few different options for co-ops. I just signed up for one for next year, but for Kindergarten and preschool we just found some friends with young kids and met to do crafts, play, go on walks, go to the park, etc.  Especially at this age, your group doesn’t have to do a lot of structured, complicated, educational activities.  It can be more about relationships for the parents and fun for the kids.  They can learn things like how to listen to other adults, how to cooperate with other children, how to take turns and share and handle conflicts…also co-ops are great for doing things together that you can’t really do alone- like have a big Valentine’s party!  Our group was awesome and accomplished just that.  But I’m looking forward to trying something new next year!

If you have young children and liked this post, check out my post for how I homeschool pre-school!

THANKS FOR READING!


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Studying Winter Animals

I have shared before how I have a bit of an obsession with themes.

My love of themes will someday turn into a lot of cool unit studies for homeschooling, but for now they are very mini unit studies since I just have young children.  As much as I’d like to go all out and come up with TONS of fun ideas for crafts, science, math….what I do instead is mostly follow their lead on what they are interested in…letting them come up with ideas, offering more activities that I’ve come up with only if their interest holds and they are asking questions. And I don’t really push academics at this age so I do not really incorporate math, etc.

It’s mostly for Big Sis at this point.  Little Sis enjoys some of the stories and activities, but she has a sort of sixth sense about when someone is trying to teach her something and loses interest.  Ha!  She’s going to be an interesting one!

I’ve been wanting to start posting about these mini unit studies for ages, but I’m finally purposefully taking time to write.  So hopefully these posts will start to happen more often!

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My first one is on WINTER!  

Have you heard of shine-a-light books?*  I love them SO much!  I just love fun nonfiction books that are interesting to my kids anyway, but these books are extra special because you can shine a flashlight behind each page to find a hidden picture.  Once you turn the page you can learn more about it.  Like this:

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My favorite one is “Secrets of Winter”…maybe because it’s so applicable to our life where we live. Its beautiful and we get to learn all about what happens in the winter…frogs can freeze, some animals’ fur changes to white, some animals hibernate,  etc.

So at our homeschool co-op we read this book and then did some fun winter animal yoga.  You can get on pinterest and find some awesome examples of different yoga poses but I ended up just creating my own.  I told a story about wind coming in, snow coming down, and what different animals were doing to get ready.  Then we got into our cave and hibernated a bit as I sang a song about hibernation.  Then Spring came and we woke up and stretched some more.

Then we did this fun experiment to see how animals stay warm in the cold.

The kids thought it was neat how long they could keep their hands in the icy water without getting cold.

The last thing we did at our co-op was play (many) rounds of hibernate-and-seek.  One child was “Spring” while all the other kids pretended to be a different hibernating animal.  It was a hit.  (Of course…because what kid doesn’t like hide-and-seek!)

There are SO many other things you could do on this topic and Pinterest is great for that.  But my FAVORITE thing about homeschooling is letting the kids’ interest lead us.  So we did some other learning on this topic that I don’t have documented.  We asked questions and looked things up….”what other animals hibernate?”  “what do bees do?”  “what do ants do?”  “do frogs really freeze?”  (Another reason why I love homeschooling….because I learn so much too!!)  And of course we did a lot of playing outside and observing nature.

Any other ideas out there for activities or your favorite books for learning about winter?  I’d love to hear them!

 

*I am not going to turning this blog into one big advertisement for Usborne books, but I do want to mention that I am an Usborne Books and More Consultant (they are so awesome for homeschooling!)  I sell these children’s books so that I can build our homeschooling library and earn some extra income for my family.  If you’d like to check out the shine-a-light books you can click HERE to see them all on my site.

Feel free to message me if you’d like to learn more about the books or if you’re curious about getting involved somehow to build your own library!  Use the “contact” me link either on the top right of this page or on my Usborne site.  Cheers!

 


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Homeschooling My Preschooler

There was a notice sent out about a kindergarten roundup for next year’s kindergarten class. I can’t believe Big Sis is old enough to start school. I thought back on how much I enjoyed school and I had a moment of sadness. But it only lasted a second. I immediately thought of all the ideas I have for our future, all the encouraging blog posts I’ve read, the community of homeschoolers I have found, and my husband and his students. He is a high school teacher and so many of his kids have lost their curiosity and desire to learn. They just want to be told the steps rather than figure out how to solve a problem. They just care about their grade, and they would rather not have to work hard to earn that grade (a lot of their parents don’t think they should have to either!) There are a lot of reasons why I want to homeschool.  Helping my children keep their curiosity, creativity, and desire to learn is a big reason why I believe in it so much.

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Big Sis is 4 1/2 and loves to learn. She asks questions about everything and I try my best to answer them. Some things I don’t really know though. So I am starting a list of questions she has that I need to explain further because I really want to answer things as they come up. What is a cartoon and how are cartoons made?  What are the other planets like?  She asks all sorts of questions and I do my best to answer them.  She has especially been interested in planets and space lately.  So my grandma gave her a globe.  We look at it and talk about oceans and where we live and where other people live and where different kinds of animals live.  And the other day we turned off all the lights and got a flashlight and talked about the sun and the earth turning and how we have night and day.  Later she pretended to be a teacher and she taught me about night and day, gravity, etc.  It was so cool to hear her talk about it and it gave me an idea of how well she was understanding things.

Homeschooling is great because it allows for flexibility.  It can look like something completely different depending on the kid or family.  I can already tell that Little Sis is going to learn a completely different way than Big Sis.  I think homeschooling is going to be great for them for different reasons and am excited to see what kind of kid Little Bear will be.

So what are we doing right now for “preschool?”

The answer is…not much!  Haha  Or so it seems.  I don’t feel like we are doing  much of anything but when you look at this list it looks like a lot.DSC00948

I really believe that children so young should just be allowed to play and learn as they please.  They play together most often- playing princesses or super heroes, hiding from bad guys, building a zoo, taking care of babies, going trick or treating, giving each other doctor check ups…but sometimes we all play a game, have a dance party, do a craft or do a puzzle.  I try to get them outside but I am not as good about that in the winter, especially with a baby.  I make sure that the majority of their time is spent being active participants rather than just passively watching a screen or something…although we definitely love watching movies in this house 🙂

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Big Sis likes to learn so I let her take the lead on that.  I encourage her and help when needed when she is counting or sounding out words.  But I make sure to say things like, “try to sound it out…what sounds do you hear in that word?”  or “well you just did SIXty, so what do YOU think comes next?” rather than just telling her the answer.  (Big Sis just counted to one hundred the other day without any prompting.  She was so excited!) Then I really encourage her and give her high fives when she figures things out or tries really hard. At this point I don’t care at all if a word is spelled correctly…just that it is spelled how it sounds. (Not that I am pushing her to spell things…she started that on her own too!) Because more important than her getting something right, I think, is for her to learn to be proud of herself and feel satisfaction when learning or figuring things out on her own. 

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This was the first time Big Sis ever wrote a word on her own without asking for help that was spelled correctly.

I answer her questions.  This week she has learned about planets and space; how our body works with blood, a pumping heart, energy, and why we need to eat healthy food; dinosaurs; taking care of babies; and how to tie a bow… because she asked.  I love it.

We read a lot.  All kinds of books.  We started reading chapter books a few months ago and Big Sis just loves them.  Little Sis doesn’t usually sit still for them yet.  But she still likes to look at the book when we are done and pretend to read, so I think just having her around it is a good thing.  She loves books for  her age though.  Books with lots of pictures.

Big Sis and I watch documentaries sometimes while Little Sis naps. She doesn’t usually watch an entire show in one sitting, but frankly I’m surprised she watches them at all.  I watch them with her and talk about it as things happen, because the narrator most often talks over her head.  But she likes to see planets, astronauts, animals, insects, etc.  She really learns things this way.  Just this morning she was talking about how I have milk to feed Little Bear and asked me if I remembered the show we watched on kittens and how the kittens drank their mommy’s milk too.  Netflix is great for this.

She plays educational games on my ipad during quiet time if she cleans up her toys fast enough to have time for it.  We have found some really fantastic apps and it’s crazy how quickly she learns from them.  I will do a post about my favorites soon.

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She learns responsibility at home.  Or…we are trying anyway.  Chores, helping, and not whining are a tough ones for us.  But I just made a sticker chart for awesomeness like “nice to your sister all day” because we are really working on using our words instead of our bodies to communicate when we are upset. (In other words…there’s a lot of hitting, pushing, and pinching going on these days!)  I kept the sticker chart small and attainable.  Then I also made cards for getting things done- getting dressed, brushing teeth, toys picked up, etc.  She has a “to do” envelope and a “done” envelope.  She needs to get all the cards to the done envelope on her own without me telling her she needs to do it.  She gets a sticker for this.  I made a small sticker chart for Little Sis too, to get her started.  It is going to be more tricky with her and I hope that I keep at it.

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Taking part in a really fun preschool dance class through our community of homeschooling families.

We also got connected with a really great community of homeschoolers in our area.  We joined a PE class that meets once a week to play games and sports…things that are hard to learn at home with just us.  I also met a mom who lives down the street from me with girls the same age and we just recently started a preschool group.  We just started but we plan to meet twice a month for songs, games, crafts, and play time.  The purpose of it is really to develop relationships with other homeschooling families, have fun, and help the kids learn skills like cooperation and listening.  We will also be getting together to do fun kids programs like the children’s museum and field trips like to a local farm.  I am really excited about it.

Do you homeschool?  What does your day look like?  What kinds of things do/did you do with your preschooler?  What are your favorite blogs about homeschooling?  Thanks for reading!


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Praise Kids for Struggling

I just love this post by Salman Khan.  He writes about how instead of praising his son by saying “oh, you’re so smart”, he praises his ability to persevere and struggle through challenges.

My husband is a high school math teacher and can tell that most of his students tend to believe that they are either smart or not smart…good at math or bad at math.

During his first year of teaching, a group of students were claiming that a certain subject that he was teaching was too hard.  Feeling a little discouraged, he asked me if he could teach it to me.  I hadn’t done any math in a really long time so he had to give me some reminders on how to do some basic things, then he taught me the subject.  After that, he gave me a quiz.  It was challenging.  I had to really think about things and ask questions and try to remember things that I hadn’t practiced in about 10 years, but I managed to do really well on the quiz.  My husband went back to school, hoping to encourage his students by telling them that I was able to do it and that they just needed to believe in themselves, not be afraid to struggle, ask questions, and try hard.  Because if his wife can do it, they can do it too.  But many of the kids responded by saying, “yeah, but I bet your wife is smart.”  They refused to hear the message that he was trying to send to them.  They just don’t think that they are smart, or good at math.

This comes up with kids who haven’t struggled before too.  If a student in my husband’s class isn’t doing well, but that student is normally an “A” student, a kid who is “good at math”, sometimes the parents think that it must be the teacher’s fault that the student is not doing well.  It’s not possible that the student has come across a subject that is a bit more challenging than they have faced in the past…that the student may have to work a little harder in pre-calculus than they did in algebra.  The student is just “good at math” so there is no reason other than a bad teacher that he or she isn’t getting an “A.”  Right?  😉

I think both of these stories are great examples of why it is a good idea to praise struggling and perseverance and embrace mistakes.  If we teach our kids to enjoy the process of learning, solving problems, asking questions of the world and discovering the answers…to make mistakes and keep going and experience the thrill that comes with figuring out the answer after struggling…to CHOOSE to try things that are not easy…I think we are teaching them a valuable lesson.  We are teaching them that they can do things if they try.  We are teaching them not to give up easily or decide that they are just “bad” at something.  We are teaching them to not just choose to do easy things, but to take on difficult things too…and succeed!

Big Sis has been learning to do monkey bars and rings lately. I praise her for trying and trying even though it is difficult and she doesn’t always make it…rather than telling her that she is “so good at that” when she makes it. It’s so easy and mindless to say, “oh good job.” I have to really think about it and purposefully praise her for struggling. I don’t always remember!

I hate to admit it, but these habits and this mindset are things that I really struggle with sometimes.  I find myself making the same goals over and over and consistently failing at them and thinking that I am “just bad at” that thing.  But the truth is, I could do those things if I really wanted to.  I am lazy though about certain things.  I wasn’t really taught to struggle much.  There were times that I struggled, sure.  But then my mom (who was really fantastic, by the way…not trying to put her down) would maybe say something about my large homework load or stay up really late with me helping me to get it done and come and make sure I got up in the morning and got to school on time when I was exhausted.  She didn’t let me fail and learn the consequences.  She was a great mom and helped me through my messes…but perhaps I didn’t learn to struggle on my own enough.  I didn’t learn how to take responsibility for myself after a failure and fix my own mistakes.  I didn’t ever ask teachers for help…partly because I was shy and mostly because I never wanted to admit when I didn’t understand something.  I was a “good” student and I was “smart” and asking for help and making mistakes went against this belief I had in myself.  Failure was not an option and was my greatest fear.  So when I went to college and was one of hundreds of students in giant classes and was not special or “smart”…when I didn’t have someone making sure I did what I was supposed to do and nobody even noticed whether or not I showed up to class…when some classes were more challenging than ever before and I was going to have to try a lot harder than I was used to…I suddenly learned a lot of lessons the hard way.  But even though I learned a lot, I still struggle with a lot of these lessons now.  How different would my life be if I had learned them when I was a child and developed a different attitude and better habits much earlier in my life?  It’s not something I really spend any time thinking about, but I bet things would have turned out at least a little differently.  I might not succeed, but I am hoping to let my kids learn these things early on.

So read the article if you haven’t!  Let me know what you think.  Thanks for reading!  🙂


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Why I Want to Homeschool

Why I Want to Homeschool.  Explore Imagine Love

My oldest is 4 and we’ve begun to homeschool.  But since she is not expected to be sent to kindergarten yet, I haven’t had to answer any questions about our choice.  That time is coming though.  And I know that there will be a lot of questions. So I decided to write down all of my reasons…not only to have my thoughts organized for when people ask, but because in the future on difficult days I might need a reminder as to why on earth I’m going to all this trouble!

Organic, “free range” learning

When I was running summer camps and we had anywhere from 30-50 children at a time, I quickly learned that the easiest way to keep things from going nuts was to keep them all contained.  Free time was fun and important but that’s when all the conflicts arose.  Kids got hurt, kids were mean, kids didn’t follow rules, and in older camps boys and girls started doing things we don’t want boys and girls doing!  So I made sure to fill the day with a lot of planned, adult-led activities.

It’s no wonder that this is necessary in school.  In order to keep the class under control and to teach them what they need to know, a lot of times children need to sit in their desks, face forward, be quiet and listen.  It is important that they learn what will be on the tests because then we can make sure that teachers and schools are doing their job and that all of the children are getting an adequate education.  Etc. etc.  There are so many creative, fun, amazing elementary teachers and as much as they might want to do more hands-on, exploratory, curiosity-building teaching…it can be really difficult to do within the education system and with so many kids.  Not entirely impossible, but difficult.  Even the best teachers talk a lot about getting bogged down and giving up on some of their ideals in order to do the easier thing.  (Which I’m sure can happen in homeschooling too.)

Homeschooling allows for so much more flexibility in how children learn.  They can explore and touch and play with things in order to learn.  They can ask a million questions.  They can spiderweb from one subject to another as their curiosity leads them.  I am excited about homeschooling because everything is an opportunity to learn.  As we cook together, they will learn about nutrition, about cooking, about following recipes, and math/fractions as we measure ingredients.  As we shop they will learn about the value of money, how much things cost, addition and subtraction, responsibility.  As we hike we will learn about the world around us and an appreciation for God’s beautiful creation.  As we travel on vacation we can learn about the things we see at museums or historical landmarks or about where Lewis and Clark went.  As we are driving down the road and see a rainbow, they might ask how a rainbow is made…and we’ll go home and look it up.  In all that we do, we will ask questions and find out the answers to those questions.  Things that they are super interested in can be looked into more- we can watch documentaries, write reports, make costumes or food or do a craft, etc.  This is often called interest-led learning.

We will sit down and do worksheets sometimes or play with apps on the ipad.  We will sit and read stories and do crafts.  But that will be a small part of the day rather than most of it.  Especially at first when they are so young.

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Encouraging curiosity and a love of learning

My husband is a high school math teacher and he feels like by the time most kids get to him, they have lost a lot of their curiosity.  They want to be told the steps of how to do something rather than think, “how might we solve this problem?”  He wants to be able to give them some information and have them come up with a question that needs to be solved.  He wants them to think of math, and the world, as a fun puzzle.  But they tend to just sit and stare, say “I don’t know”, and wait for an answer.

I am no expert, but I feel like if we went about educating our children a different way, they might be able to have better attitudes and more curiosity as they enter into their teens…and if they are one of those weird homeschooling families they might not be around the kids who tell them that learning isn’t cool and that the cool thing is to just care about how they look and what boys (or girls) they can impress.  At least, a mom can hope…right??  😉

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Children learning to engage with people of all ages

One of the things I really like about homeschooling is that they aren’t in a room with 20-30 other kids their age.  When you think about it, your kids are really learning about the world- what is important, what is valued, how to act, etc.- from the people they spend the most time with.  And in school, that means they are learning these things from other kids their own age.  Their home life is definitely very important and I’m sure their teachers will have an impact on them, but they are spending the hours of 8-3 Monday-Friday for most of the year with a bunch of other children their same age.  That scares me a little.  I was a public school kid.  I remember what it was like.  And it’s not like I can or want to shelter my children from everything in the world, but I want them to be surrounded by good examples and great mentors to help them as they learn about the world.  I want them to develop relationships with other adults, nice older kids, and then to be good examples to the kids younger than them.

A close-knit family

When I meet a homeschooling family, one of the things I notice is that the kids play really well together.  They are used to doing it, they know how to do it, and they are friends.  They still have their sibling squabbles, sure, but I don’t often see an older sibling getting together with her friends and being mean to her little sister and telling her she’s not welcome.  I see brothers and sister who take care of each other and know how to include each other in their play.  I love the idea of my kids all being really good friends and I think that although this can happen even if they go to school, this is a really great benefit of homeschooling.

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Low student-teacher ratio

I think that one of the biggest gripes of public education is the student to teacher ratio.  One teacher in a class of 20 kids cannot meet every individual child’s needs.  All children learn differently.  All children have different strengths.  As my husband is teaching, he knows that some kids aren’t following and other kids have already gotten it and are bored…and he has to teach to the middle.  All he can really do is teach the best that he can so that the majority of the kids get it and then strongly encourage the kids falling behind to come in for extra help before or after school or during a free period or at lunch…he is always there to help.  But a lot of times they don’t come in.  And then parents are mad at the teacher!  (Aah!  Don’t get me started on how some parents treat teachers!)  😉

ANYway, a big plus of homeschooling, I think, is the individual attention to each child’s education.  You can teach them at different speeds and in different ways, according to how fast they catch on and how they learn best.  And it wouldn’t just be me or my husband teaching them.  Big Sis already loves to teach Little Sis how to do things.  Siblings helping each other to learn is a beautiful part of homeschooling, I think.

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Taking an active part in my child’s education

And one of the things that I feel most strongly about is my responsibility as a parent to bring my children up to be responsible adults and to love Jesus.  And again, this can happen whatever the situation.  My husband and I both went to public school.  But it’s something I really care about, I am really excited to try it and I believe in it.  I think I would want to homeschool even if I wasn’t a Christian because most of my reasons are about learning and family, but because of my faith, I think it’s even more important to me that I dedicate so much time to their education because I want God to be the center of everything.  I want them to learn to love God and love their neighbor and to have that love be the center of what we do.  We’ll learn to read, to add and subtract, to problem solve, and discover how the world works…but we’ll also do volunteer work and have an outward focus of kindness and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation in all that we do.

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I might not homeschool all the way through high school.  I think with a good foundation of curiosity, motivation, love of learning and values, they can go to public school and hopefully bring those things with them.  Then again I just watched Mean Girls for the first time the other day and I started to question these thoughts 😉 (it was on Netflix, my husband was gone for the night, I was curious….don’t judge.  haha)

Do you homeschool?  What are your reasons for doing it?  

Thanks for reading!