Tuesday, October 30, 2007

School Days

I haven't written too much about our homeschool time. This is our third year "officially" homeschooling. Every year I have a distinct plan that I want to follow, and so far it's never gone as I planned. In 2005, I had no idea how the adoption process and fundraising was going to consume my time. Last year, I didn't plan on the transition of adding Lily to our family being so difficult. And this year, well, I've started babysitting for a four-month-old little boy, and his kindergartener brother, whom I must pick up from school, and Lily has speech therapy that takes us away from the house eight hours a week. In addition, I'm tutorting at least 2 hours, sometimes 3 hours, a week and now leading a women's prayer group on Thursday evenings.

Never is there a day that I can sit down with my kids and "do school" for several hours in a row a day.

Now some of you may be thinking that I'm doing my school-aged kids a true disservice. And daily I DO have to evaluate how I can efficiently and effectively help them to reach their fullest potential. We do a lot of reading. We work on math and science and history. We listen to classical music and identify instruments while we're doing art. They memorize Bible verses for AWANA, and set and reach goals in a timely way. They are sociable, polite, respectful, imaginative, active, reflective, curious, hopeful, eager learners.

I think they're doing great. That is the beauty of homeschooling. Not only can I arrange my schedule around their schooling, but I can arrange their schooling around, and through, our life as a family. Family life becomes part of the classroom. Society is only as strong as its family units, and not only am I strenthening our own family, but I'm raising my children to invest in their own families and to invest in others' families as well, in addition to building their worldview in a safe, nurturing environment. Don't misunderstand: I don't want my children to be sheltered in a bubble. I want to them to observe and experience and participate in life they way that God intended. Jesus came so that we could have life and HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY. That is what we want for our kids. And that is what my goal when I approach homeschooling.

So there's a little bit of my homeschooling philosphy. Only a fraction of it, and it also changes and grows and deepens and develops as I teach my children.

Here are a few pictures I have of them doing school. We are studying ancient Egypt and learning how to tell time right now. Also, Caleb is reading a book about pioneer days. Seth and Lily are mastering their ABC's and learning some phonics...all through reading and play. And maybe Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer.


jeny said...

Hooray for Homeschool!!!
You rock Jody, I am amazed and look up to you. Your children are so bright and well rounded and PRECIOUS. There cannot be anyone out here thinking you are disservicing them. You are my homeschool mom hero. I love you!

jeny said...

I love reading the nice long comments you left for me today. I really got the giggles reading Caleb's response to Noah's backpack contents, and then I was just about rolling with laughter at your list of items found in pockets and packs. Noah is not afraid of creatures, but I'm so glad that he's a little squeamish so I've never found anything dead in a pocket. The extent of nature I've found would be acorns, leaves, rocks, sticks . . .
And of course there was the blue crayon that eluded me when I checked pockets, so it turned the laundry a tie-dyed azure. . . AGH! I hate laundry :)

jeny said...

Good morning!
I'm just visiting my little collection of blogs before Noah and Bronwen get up and our morning gets into full swing.
I hope you have a beautiful day; I'm thinking of you and praying for you today, sweet Jody!
I love you