Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reader Question

I got this comment from a reader, Becky (great name.)

"I have a question for you: do you think a mother needs to have a passion for learning/teaching in order to homeschool her children?

My son is only 15 months, but I'm already thinking about whether I will homeschool or not. The thing is, I have never been passionate about learning. School was easy for me - I was able to get A's and B's with almost no effort. I did one year of technical college and was glad to be done with homework forever :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!"

Thanks for your comment, Becky, here are my thoughts.

I think homeschooling begins the day your bring your child into this world. With books you read, songs you sing, including the child in all you do. By asking questions and delighting in finding the answers. I am sure you are already doing that. Do you find joy in your child discovering a caterpillar for the first time? Or by drawing his first masterpiece (hopefully not on the wall)? This is all learning.

If we are called by God to homeschool then He will give us the joy (maybe not right away) but we know we need to do His will (because our ways just don't work.)

I would venture to say what you did in school was not learning, therefore you had no joy for it. It was probably a lot of busy work. I did a lot of that too.

I can tell you without a doubt that much of the learning we do brings me joy. Just yesterday we went to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. We have a family pass and try to go once a month. We had kids ages 6 to 15. They all had fun, but all learned something as well. The moms too. And no, not everyday can be spent at a hands on educational museum. But everyday can be spent joyfully.

I actually enjoy my children and want to be around them. I believe priorities should be God and then family. By being with my boys all day we have a great bond, plus so do they with each other. Yes it is hard and they do fight, but I get the best part of their days.

Beyond having joy daily, You get to define what school and learning is. Not the government, not the Superintendent, but you. Only you know how your child will learn best and only you truly have his best interest at heart (I know their are wonderful teachers, I know many, but they still will never love your child as you do.)

My goals in homeschooling are:

-raise Godly men of Godly character
-have my children's hearts (after God)
-teach them to love learning (learning should be a life long process that brings us joy!)
[I can't teach them everything, no public or private school can either, but I can teach them how to learn and do so in a way that that want too as well.]

Some added perks to homeschooling:
-being able to pray, use Bible, and sing to God all day long (my kids hate when I sing, so it has the added benefit of annoying them. lol)
-sleeping in
-learning in your pj's
-being there when you child gets something for first time
-hugs all day (still get them from my 13 and 8 year old)
-going to museums when barely anyone else is there (or going on vacations, day trips, etc.)
-no homework (yes,we are technically learning all day, but we don't have to do worksheets and etc. after a long day at school.)
-allowing your young child to use curriculum with God as center, young children are so easily influenced that if they read at school that the world was created by the big bang theory, they usually will believe it (that being said with my kids as they are older we explore other options and then compare them to what God's word says.)

I would encourage anyone considering homeschooling to pray and check out Proverbs. The entire book is about not educating, but discipling our children. That is what God calls us to do.

So, Becky, my additional advice to you is to find joy in everyday learning now, and by the time your child is school age you will realize you have been homeschooling all along.



Anonymous said...

I've wondered a very similar thing as your reader: can one homeschool if one doesn't like to teach?!

David and I took a class at the Boston Skillshare a few years back on homeschooling -partially out of curiosity and partially out of not having any other classes in that time slot that appealed to us. It was BIG food for thought and we had a lengthy discussion about it. No decisions were made (for one, we don't have children!), but I remain curious and supportive of the idea.

Thanks for your insights here!

Becky R said...

Dear Librarytour,

Knowing you personally and that you have such a love for learning and literature I am sure if you felt lead to homeschool you would be amazing at it!


Becky said...

Very beautifully written response - thank you! You are very write, I am already homeschooling my son :) You give me a lot to think about!