5 THINGS THAT SURPRISED ME ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING

 

  1. How much I miss my mom friends.  There is a mom gang that hangs out in the parking lot at school after morning drop off.  When I was first married and my kids were little, I spent several years without any close female friends.  That is its own story, but that dry period made me especially appreciative of these women.  I admire them, learn from them and am inspired by them.  More importantly, I know I am loved by them.  Most importantly, I know my kids are loved by them.  I miss seeing them every day.
  2. How little my kids miss their friends.  My oldest and youngest are energetic extroverts.  They have a lot of friends and make new friends easily.  They are also the two that were lobbying to homeschool.  Everyone keeps asking me how they are doing socially.  They see their friends regularly, but not as much as they used too.  And they seem fine.  It’s my middle son who keeps looking for opportunities to see his friends.  He was in a good place socially when we started homeschooling.  He was popular and finally in the same class as his best friend Tyler.  We are finding ways for them to talk see each other more often as well as spend time with new friends.
  3. The synergy.  Right away we all noticed an unexpected synergy.  Honestly, I was afraid homeschool would be like summer vacation – lazy bored kids lounging around the house trying to irritate each other.  But it was just the opposite.  When the kids were in school, it was like every member of the family was going in a different direction at a different time of day.  Now we are all on the same page, with the same goals, working together.
  4. How motivated the kids are.  I was afraid I would have to be on them every minute about getting their work done.  That’s how it was when they had homework in the past.  And don’t get me wrong, they still have their moments, especially transitioning from one task to another.  But in general, the work they have is less repetitive and more meaningful and it seems to engage them.
  5. What poor independent learners my kids are.  They are very independent in everything else.  They have been doing their laundry for years.  They take care of our lawn.  They stay home when we go out for date night.  They clean the kitchen after dinner and leave it better than I would.  All of these things they do without any oversight.  But for some reason when they are studying they can’t seem to problem solve on their own at all.  The first bump in the road and they want me to fix it.  And it seems like it’s not just trouble problem solving.  They want me to just be by their side the whole time.  I was ruminating on this and it dawned on me that this is the one of the main reasons we decided to homeschool.  We felt they were not learning to be independent or critical thinkers.  This is going to be a major focus going forward but I can’t expect them the grasp it right away!

Introductions…

I read somewhere that your first blog post should be an introduction to who you are.  Great.  That should be easy.  Then I started to think about who I am and it got a little weird.  How deep into these weeds am I supposed to get?  I’m going for somewhere between “Hi, I’m Leah:  Christ follower, Wife to Juan and mom to three kiddos” and a rambling, philosophical, melancholy memoir.

To try to figure out who I am, I started making a bullet point list of things that describe me.  (I love bullet points and brevity.)  I looked at the list for a while, and realized that one thing about me is that I get excited about things, delve in and maybe learn something or do a project, and then want to move on, excited by the next new interest.  The four things on my list that have always held my interest:

  • God
  • My husband
  • My kids
  • My calling as a physician

I would say these four things are internal.  They are part of my being and cannot be separated from me.  I have a lot of other passions, interests, beliefs, opinions etc.  But those other things are external.  Their place in my life may ebb and flow and they do not define me.  They have the potential to fade from my life, be replaced by another interest or change of opinion.  They are not part of me on the inside but rather something that I seek out and embrace and enjoy for a time.  For example, we started homeschooling this month.  I feel pretty passionately about it.  But it is an outgrowth or subcategory of the first three internals, not a category in itself.

I am excited about this platform and the prospect of connecting to others with similar enthusiasm, to share with you and also learn from and be inspired by you.