St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Homeschooling: Just do it!


When my oldest son wrote his entrance essay for college admissions, he told in it how he and his siblings had been home schooled  from Pre-K through high school and how his parents exercised  a “freedom in this country to choose the education they felt was right for their children.”  He described in detail how home schooling provided him the flexibility in high school to pursue more fully his own interests like art, and enabled him to travel yearly to Washington be politically active, participating in the March for Life event.  And so began his college career on the wings of having been home schooled with many opportunities available to him.

I would not be honest if I were to say it was all rosy and smooth ahem..cough cough ……there were many days, weeks, months, where it was very difficult, still, where God has convicted one’s heart, there is always hope and joy, a will and passion for continuing onward.  We knew home schooling through high school was what God wanted for us – it really wasn’t our choice, but it was our free will to say yes or no to what God was calling us to do.

If I could share anything about home schooling it would be the simple mantra:  “just do it.”  That’s it.  Don’t look ahead too far, don’t look back too much, just stay in the moment and do what must be done.  Set a course that is doable…like a semester, and see it through.   Home schooling, like breastfeeding takes a little navigation at first, but once you really involve yourself in it completely and with commitment, it becomes second nature, you can pull it off.  It isn’t rocket science, really it isn’t!  So just do it.

Next, I would say, don’t be so ready to throw in the towel so soon.  Like anything worth it’s salt, it takes time to see results.  Depending on when you are starting or re-starting, it may take months to see the benefits.  Don’t give up too soon (or ever…for that matter); just because something isn’t working right now, or your student isn’t enjoying it at the moment or moving forward, doesn’t mean it’s a wash;  it’s anything but that.   Sometimes progress is slow going…Home schooling is about mastery, so give it time, be patient.  When my 3rd grade student seemed to hit a wall with long division several months back, and asked me to help him through division every time it showed up in the lesson…for two months….I didn’t throw the program aside and switch thinking he’s just not getting this!..he keeps asking me for help!…no, I just remained patient realizing he’s a different learner anyway…it was a sequencing challenge to him…the 5 steps of division plus adding in extra digits every so often.  After two months of my having to sit with him to go over the problems, he finally stopped asking….he really did know it. From then on he never asked again…just worked out the problems, and has been getting them right.  So, do be patient.  Don’t be antsy to jump ship in curriculum or altogether.

Do take breaks and do fun things often with the family or friends for your children.  Get them out and let them defragment from school school school.  When you are homeschooling, it’s a 24/7 thing and it can seem daunting and endless to them, (and to mom too).  Fixed time during the week brings a refreshment to look forward to.  Be sure to not neglect school for other social interferences, but do not exclude getting them out into the world and doing something fun and a departure from the every day work of school.  As a mother of two college students…I can say school doesn’t just end when they go to college….it gets more complex….and because I’m a fully engaged mother, not nosey, but connected to my older children and their studies within reason…and they consult with me often about school I feel more schooly than ever! like it’s never ending for 18 years and on..…So, I myself, like other moms need a fun time out there every week also. (Our local home school co-op has been a good diversion for getting out and among other peer-mates and participating in other activities.)


And so along with these thoughts to consider, consider your own commitment level….is it a 5, on a scale of 1 to 10…or is it a 10…or 10+?  Are you in it for the long haul…or just tinkering with it until something you think is better comes along?   If it is the latter, I can guarantee you won’t be home schooling long.  If you have fears now, say anticipating high school, do your home work now.  You have time to work out a game plan you can stick to through the high school years.  Anything is possible these days with home schooling from Pre-K through high school, and in some cases, college.  So, don’t let a lack of_________stop you.  There is no lack of anything with home education any more.

These thoughts to consider have been brought to you by a concerned home schooling parent :)   God bless!

Just remember:  Just do it!

Homeschooling Books I recommend for that booster shot of confidence and wisdom:

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist

Homeward Bound by Kimberly Hahn & Mary Hasson

Catholic Homeschooling by Dr. Mary Kay Clark

Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning,  by Karen Andreola


Laura said...

What a great post. You covered so many important items about homeschooling. Thanks.

Home School Mom: Denise said...

Thank you Laura :)