|Oh Brother, M & Doo-Dah|
M is our only curly top. She's twelve at the time of this post and has a variety of transient interests. She writes sometimes and then she crafts for a while and then it's on to something else. Sharing is actually one of her best skills.
Doo-Dah (a.k.a. Doodle or Dood - but he won't respond if anyone else but me calls him by these names) is our firstborn. He's 18 today. That, folks, is down right craziness. High school graduation day is the first of June this year. THIS YEAR! Oy. He taught himself banjo and guitar a few years ago and recently bought his own banjo.
That means we've been home schooling for somewhere between 6 months and 75 years. Doodle says, "It's been only twelve years or so, you know." OK. Twelve years. I taught him subtraction so I guess he's probably right.
When we got married, we had already decided we would home school any children we would have. In theory, I should have known that the "we" in this case would largely be "me," but you'll find that I've never been good at foreseeing the details. We had reasons to home school. They were great reasons, too.
And things went great with those reasons, too. We got a few questions and some doubtful glances but we knew we could overcome those things. Confidence was ours and we had strong, solid reasons for our choice.
So, then we had children.
But that's OK. We were still strong in our convictions. Great reasons. It would be a powerful experience with strong family, the joy of learning and a natural, loving way to share our convictions with our children.
Then we were home schooling.
It was a new gig so it took a while to get some things worked. But the problems we had didn't have things like organization, curriculum, or learning styles at their core.
The problem was all those great reasons. Don't get confused on me here. They really were great reasons. They just weren't our reasons.
But now that we have made it through the struggling of those first years, we DO have our own reasons. I'll share them because a) they might help you find some reasons of your own and b) it's all part of "how I do it".
Home school is efficient. I can teach my child to read from knowing no letter/sound pairings to a 2nd grade level in about 15 min a day, 5 days a week in just over a year. It will cost me less than $50 in materials to do this task. I can teach them math from knowing only single digit recognition to decimal long division in about 15 more minutes, 5 days a week in about 3 years. Materials for that, if I order everything in it's most complete form, is about $150.
My children have less prejudice. Now THAT could make some waves. I intend to explore the how and why I've come to this conclusion, but until then I'll just note what others have said about this.
- "Your children seem to enjoy this even though there aren't any other kids their age here to talk to."
- "It really helps that he looks at my face when I talk to him. It's so much easier to hear and understand each other."
- "Your kids don't stare. I mean, your little ones do sort of but they're just little and probably stare at everyone. What did you tell them?"
I am selfish. That's the flat-out truth. That look of struggle that the boy has on his face with handwriting before him? I want to help with that. That "EUREKA!" moment when my daughter can multiply fractions from a word problem? I want that, too. All of those moments of struggle, growth and achievement. Those should be mine to experience with my children.
These are just a few of our reasons and only a small glimpse at why they are our reasons. I'll be revealing more about our whole home school experience as time goes on. It's one of the things I do.