By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Activities with Kids, Family Focus, Home Sweet School, The Journey of Motherhood
You haven’t heard much from me lately. I’m sorry about that. I have two reasons, the first of which I’ll share today and the second I’ll probably share soon (no, I’m not pregnant ).
Over Christmas break, my husband and I made a game changing decision for our family: we decided to homeschool.
Homeschooling is an option that had been marinating in our minds for quite some time but to be honest I had not felt ready to commit to the challenge. Even as a prior elementary school teacher, I had reservations about my abilities. I was worried I would not have enough time to “do it right”. I was concerned that homeschooling two children would double the prep and instruction time. I was hesitant that being “teacher” and “mom” might be a hard balance of roles. I questioned how I would get anything done with my toddler and preschool age kids being a part of the mix.
Yet, regardless of all my concerns and questions, as we began compiling our list of all the benefits that we felt homeschooling would offer us, I couldn’t help but get excited about the freedom that awaited us.
(“Dear mom, Thank you for being my teacher” a note given to me by Ashlyn on our first day of schooling at home.)
It has now been about seven weeks since our homeschooling adventure began. I am loving it! In fact, I can’t believe that I have not been doing this all along. I’m not saying that it is easy, but nothing worthwhile is without its challenges. Knowing that there will be days ahead where I may question the wisdom of our decision or my own sanity, I felt it would be helpful to make a list of some of our early favorite homeschool perks to reflect on.
Top homeschool perks from our first seven weeks:
- The morning “eat, eat, eat, hurry up, is your lunch in your bag, get out the door before we are late” stress is gone. In exchange, I can let the kids sleep until they (or even I on some days) wake up in the morning.
- We have more time to teach life skills and focus on things that are specifically important to our family.
(Hunter learning helping with the laundry between Math and History)
- The two hour commute time each day to and from school is done! In addition, I can now wake up to new snow falling outside my window and enjoy its beauty from the warmth and comfort of my home, rather than be concerned if the roads will be safe to drive on.
- I now really know what my kids are learning. I don’t have to rely on newsletters from teachers (which may or may not be sent) or my children’s memory to tell me what they learned each day.
- Our schedule can be totally flexible. If family or friends need our help mid-day, we can take the opportunity rather than worry about how to fit it in with picking up our kids from school. If we want to take a vacation, we don’t have to wait until Spring Break to do so, and we don’t have to be back by a certain date either.
- Learning is a family affair and everyone has something to teach. I have learned more US History in the past 6 weeks than I have in years, and I am loving it.
(Ashlyn teaching Quinten how to write his letters.)
- The evening “get the homework done, eat dinner, get ready for bed, go to bed before it gets to late so you can get enough sleep before we wake you up in the morning” stress is gone. Instead, we can enjoy our evenings. I can make dinner without also simultaneously helping with homework. We can relax if bedtime is a little later knowing they can sleep as needed in the morning.
- We have our kids back. Quite honestly we only REALLY had them on the weekends before.
That last one is a big one and is one of my top favorites. Sure I enjoy time away from our kids like any mom, but in an honest assessment of my priorities, at this age, I want my husband and I to be the primary source of influence in their lives.
It was fun to discover how many Mom 4 Life facebook fans were homeschoolers. I’d love to hear any questions, ideas or favoriate resources you may have to share as we begin this new venture!