August 18, 2016

Learning by Immersion: Why we're Homeschooling Again!


We are back to learning at home again.  
Back to the place where I thought my kids could never get a "great education".

Well....not so!
Come to find out if I allow them freedom, this place is the best place for them to learn.

This is the very place my kids always find comfort and peace

HOME



I gotta admit..I do not regret placing the kids in a traditional school for the last 3 years (4 years for Moriah). 

 
Gosh darn it...I needed a stinkin' break!  
I was close to a break down! 
I was the picture of the burnt-out homeschooling mom who felt unsure of what the heck she was doing.
Always frazzled. 
Jumping from curriculum to curriculum. 
Playing the comparison game with other "better" homeschooling families. 

Barf!!  

I spiraled into a vicious cycle of insecurities, fears, and out right self loathing of what I was doing for my kids and family.  

I know I sound like a total basket case. 

So yeah...it was a good thing to take a three year break from having to teach the children.  It was good for them and for me. 
  

I basically left on a journey... down my paved road...to sample the green grass that looked to be easy on my achy feet.


So what did I find?...Busyness. And lots of it! 

Here's the thing... I got caught up in the rat race of conventional life: 

  • wake up
  • eat
  • dress
  • rush to drop kids at school
  • work
  • pick kids up at school
  • after school activities
  • rush home
  • make dinner
  • eat
  • homework
  • bedtime
  • do it again....


(Gosh...I'm tired just typing this.)

It really thought it was going to be an easier path...
Nope...it wasn't.

                            

The point of my post is to tell you why we're homeschooling again.  

Towards the end of 2015, I remember hearing in my heart that I was to go back to the foundation of why I began homeschooling in the first place.

I had to go back to my thinking box and remind myself that what I wanted for the children was something different.  
I wanted all of us to be immersed in pursuing our interests and curiosities.
Making learning a lifestyle.

I didn't want to fill my kids with knowledge that wasn't going to stick with them. 
I wanted to focus on the process of learning rather than the product. 

You see..
We are all born curious.
Learning happens when we are interested in something.
That's where we'll use all our effort, time, and brainpower to dig deep into that curiosity.  

This is something I want for my kids. 


I also want to give them the freedom to explore, practice and immerse themselves in something they like.  Not handing them a schedule and demanding they complete it.

I want to be the guide to help achieve their life goals. 






So you might ask..."What about all those important subjects like history, science, math, writing, reading, etc....?" 



They'll get it when they search out their interests. 


I also want to express my trust towards them.  
Having an open communication with them, even when it means discussing a show they find interesting.
Or watching them play a video game, which I may think is a waste of time.  

These are the things they find interesting. 

It's about coming down to their level and truly observing their interests. 
Carefully watching them: What makes them laugh; What makes them withdraw; etc...

It's about following the thread into the tapestry of what they are weaving.  

I've been thinking alot about when Justin was homeschooled.  Justin and I discussed it just the other day.  


We talked about how his first three years of homeschooling were the best days of his education.  What happened to the rest?
Well...Mom fell into the curriculum purchasing mode.  Eek!! 

(If anyone knows me well, they know I had a lot of curriculum.) 

Anyway...I look back and remember the days I would make Justin sit and finish his school work before he could go out and explore nature. 
Most of the time he'd rather be exploring or reading his history books than doing "assignments".  

As he got older he continued to devour history books of all kinds.  I figured he was learning something so I didn't intervene....well...not until I saw an awesome high school curriculum that was literature based.  Something Justin wasn't interested in but he did it anyway.  


My point is that today Justin continues to be interested in history, nature, and adventure related things.  It was inside of his very being.  To this very day, I still find him reading history bios and nature books.  Learning never ends. 

Justin is on his journey.  Not sure exactly where his interests will lead him.  He's currently planning a solo trip to Yellowstone back country.  He's made comments about pursuing something in Agriculture or becoming a Park Ranger.  It's funny because back when he was a little boy he said he wanted to be a rancher or a ranger.  Hmmm...we'll see.  :)

I'm not scared for my kids.  I'm not scared they'll fail.  
Each one of them will find their place; their purpose...as they continue to seek the One who created them.  

I have no fear.  


For now I want to enjoy time with my children: laughing, living, learning and growing.  
We want to travel and see the world (another reason for homeschooling).  


I want to watch them with curious mommy eyes.  
I want to learn from them.  
I want to immerse myself in their interests.  
I want to watch them take flight...always knowing where home is.  



You might say...
"That's life not school."

Exactly..
We learn as we live!



 Learning is a lifestyle.   


Free to learn whatever we want!
Knowledge is at the tip of our fingers. 
All we have to do is grab it..



 And immerse ourselves in learning.












1 comment:

Ordinary Woman, Extraordinary God said...

Beautifully expressed and written, Chris! You've come a long way, baby! So delighted for you and yours!