Today in my first blog on homeschooling I thought I’d share a bit about my mission in homeschooling my kids. What’s the goal I have by homeschooling? What do I want to accomplish?
We began homeschooling about 2 1/2 years ago when our oldest was around 3 1/2. Ever since she was little she has loved to learn. She knew her ABC’s, numbers and shapes before she was 3, and was like a tiny sponge that soaked up anything you would show her. By the time she was 4 she was reading, and now at almost 7 years old she’s cruising along at at least a 3rd to 4th grade reading level and doing a cross between those same grade levels of work as well. It’s never been anything I’ve pushed in the least but since she was little I’ve always wanted to cultivate a love of learning in her. Her sister who is 5 is not far behind her and soaks up everything that is put in front of her. And as their brothers are coming up now I hope to instill in them that same love of learning.
That is my mission in homeschooling. I want them to love to learn. I want them to never stop learning. If there is something they’re interested in, we explore it. We’ve explored space, dug deeper into the life of George Washington, learned about the different parts of flowers and leafs, and my girls know more than I could ever know about the lives of Pocahontas, John Smith and the pilgrims.
My favorite thing about homeschooling is watching them flourish and grow in their knowledge, and getting the privilege to be a part of it. I love seeing them curled up in their beds reading, or reading to their little brothers, and knowing that I was a part of cultivating such a milestone in their lives. Getting to hear my 6 year old using multiplication facts, or my waiting with my 5 year old in the doctors office as she is wanting addition and subtraction facts one right after the other and begging me to keep them coming. Their love of learning has been unlocked! Praise God!
I feel like the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to their learning has been our approach and methodology. After all, the motivation and method are crucial when trying to create a plan to educate your kids for the rest of their lives. Whoa! If that isn’t a sobering reality… I don’t know what is! 🙂 So, what’s the reasoning? Am I just looking at school as something we need to hurry up and get done with? As a chore that must be check off on the daily list? Or instead am I helping them dig into things that interest them? Learning what they love and finding out their passions that grow as they get older. Looking at their learning styles and finding ways to help them retain knowledge. If I sit my 3 1/2 year old little boy at the table and expect him to diligently sit and do a work book for longer than 5 minutes, he’s going to hate it and not look forward to it at all. Knowing my song, he WILL see it as a chore. But if I make it fun, get ABC puzzles and take time to sing the ABC song with him as we point out each letter. If I congratulate him when he gets a letter right, seeing his face light up at the praise. Then, THEN I’ve accomplished two extremely important things: our relationship has grown because of the time we’re spending together AND learning comes alive for his auditory learning mind!
As their Mama, I know my kids the best. I know when they need to slow down in a concept or subject, or when they can speed up. I know when school needs to be pushed to later in the day and they need some extra attention. And because of homeschooling we can do that. It is because of all of these things that I am thankful for the chance to be a homeschooling mom! Now don’t get me wrong, it has it’s challenges. But the truth is, what part of life doesn’t? Thats just a fact of life. The benefits are so much greater than anything I could have imagined.
Each morning as my children wake up and I see their faces, I’m reminded of how much they seem to change overnight. Where did the time go that somehow my oldest is going to be 7 years old in a few months and I can clearly remember the day she came into this world? Now, she’s making lunches and beside me as we are cleaning the kitchen. It makes me even more grateful for the chance to homeschool them and walk daily beside them, guiding them and being for them as they navigate this life.