At the beginning of every year, I start evaluating all things from last year to determine our course of action for this year. It’s kind of like setting New Year’s Resolutions, except no one keeps those. I like to go a bit deeper and try to journal out things I wanted to do but didn’t, things I AM doing that I no longer want to do, things that worked out well and things that didn’t. Then I try to be a bit more intentional moving forward.
Homeschooling is one of those things that I can slave away and need some coffee in the morning and wine at night to get through. But then again, that has more to do with parenting and less to do with schooling. Temper tantrums, disobedience, and eye rolling happens in seasons for every kid (and I have three!) and they would happen here or in public/private school. They just wear on me more when we are home together.
However, every year I also find very tangible benefits to homeschooling. Some I can put down on paper or a chart. Some I just can’t. More often it’s the unquantifiable benefits that far outweigh them all and has us pursuing the same course.
We are getting ready to do assessments with their contact teacher at their charter school tomorrow. I needed some quantifiable results from an outside source to see if the kids are doing as well as I think they are. Even though I’m seeing it with my own eyes, I have a hard time believing my 8 year old with ADHD does multiple digit multiplication in his head. As much as I watch him do it. He’s a self proclaimed 3rd grader that is supposed to be in 2nd and I’m not sure he has memorized his time tables.
It also feels like all of the sudden the three of them took leaps forward when it comes to writing, grammar, and penmanship. I would pat myself on the back if I knew how I did it. I had been frustrated for almost an entire calendar year and all of the sudden – Whoosh! As if by magic – it clicked and it’s happening.
But if I’m completely honest, my 5 reasons to continue our homeschooling journey are:
1.- My kids aren’t fussing with each other nearly as much as they were last year! They have awesome moments of playing together or working together and they have more moments of resolving conflict calmly and respectfully. If you have a child diagnosed with ADHD, this is HUGE. As in, knock on wood, walk away and cross your fingers HUGE.
2.- My kids are taking a step back and making wiser decisions about their friendships outside the home. They are realizing that even though they can be friendly to everyone, not everyone is a good influence on them. I don’t think there’s a curriculum that teaches this. But I’ll take it.
3.- My kids are the most outward-thinking, compassionate beings I have ever seen. I am frequently getting reports from other parents who thank me about something very kind and helpful my kids did… of which I had no idea. And would never had known if the parent had not messaged me. Not something I can take credit for either, except to say that I’m convinced learning and living from a position of rest helps them to be less self-centered.
4.- My kids are overcoming bullying a lot more effectively. Yes, homeschoolers get bullied. Because homeschoolers are socialized. They are “weird” and often their kindness gets mistaken for weakness. While it’s never pleasant, we’ve been able to address and recover from every incident and I am thankful for that opportunity.
5.- My kids have not gotten sick in a long time. I have missed annual appointments because I forget. Nothing lasts more than a day. No fevers. No runny noses. YAY!
I’m a firm believer in that if it ain’t broke… don’t fix it. I’m seeing homeschooling working on all fronts. So that’s how we plan to continue until changes need to be made. With my husband returning to medical school there is a possibility that sometime in the future I will have to work full-time so he can attend school or do rotations full-time. We will cross that bridge when we get there, but I’m praying for a way to continue on this course that has been specifically charted out by God for us.