We are 2/3 or the way through our 2nd year of homeschooling, and here is my honest assessment: Every day I worry that I am not challenging my kids enough. Every day I have a battle of wills with at least one kid that I KNOW would not happen if they had a “real” teacher. Every day I wonder how on earth I am having these concerns when I used to manage 32 eighth graders – five times a day.
And still, I think we will be homeschooling next year again. Because even with my doubts and concerns, I know that my kids are learning things they would not be learning in school. Even if maybe Ben isn’t doing as much writing on his own, he’s learning about ancient history (Athens & Sparta) and also about how the human body works. Leah is learning more about the Revolutionary War than I ever did and reading books that reinforce those events in history.
And that’s just the academic side of homeschool.
Of course, the sleeping in and flexible vacationing are obvious benefits. More unexpected is the improved relationship amongst the kids themselves. More days than not, they are all three playing together, regardless of their gender and age differences. If Leah was in school all day, I’m afraid that she would see Adam as a nuisance rather than the cute goofy boy that he is.
My kids will be doing standardized testing in a few weeks at the school where they will be attending in the future. In preparation for that, they are spending a couple days there – one morning last month, and a whole day in April. They LOVED their visit in March. I knew Leah would – she was with her kindergarten & first grade class and one of her best friends.
I was more concerned about Ben. But he loved it too! Both wanted to stay the whole day.
However. The next morning I had to drag their bums out of bed at 7:45 so we could leave for Bible study at 8:30. Their groaning only got louder when I reminded them that at the same time the day before we had been DRIVING to school. Obviously the novelty of school was motivating for one day, but even they could see that the day-to-dayness of it would get old fast.
Then there’s Adam. If Leah & Ben were to go to school next year, I think this little dude would be awfully lonely. That would mean SOMEONE would have to entertain him, and that someone would be ME. The same ME that had a second kid so that I wouldn’t be the sole playmate for the first kid.
There you go – a summary of our homeschooling life for the last 2 years.