Welcome to my wonderfully crazy life!

Homeschooling 6 blessings (so far) is teaching me a few things about grace, passion, patience, mercy, love and home management. I want to share these things! While some people love reading my long chatty emails, others insist that email should be done in memo form. Spoilsports! To save the sanity of those lovely folk, I will blog. I hope you will follow us on the amazing adventure the Lord has set before us.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"I could never homeschool" (The How)

"Better you than me!" or "I can hardly stand having my kids around on the weekends."  and "What about socialization?"  Nearly every time I tell a non-homeschooler that I homeschool my children, I get some kind of comment along those lines.  For the most part, these people are either truly impressed or they think I am nuts (if they knew me better, they would be certain I am nuts, but that happened way before I had children.)  They also wonder how and why I do it. 
Let me start with the less important part, how do I do it?  I think this question is addressing two separate issues.  First, what does homeschooling look like in my home and, second, how do I get everything done around the house and school the kids?  Well, the pictures here show what homeschooling looks like in our house.  We build things together. 
 We do experiments using simple things. In the picture to the right, my husband is showing the children how having a wider base lowers your center of balance, thus making it harder to be pushed over.  It's simple physics.  Wow, the boys really needed a haircut!

We take our lessons outside whenever we can.  Here we were practicing our skip counting by skipping.........while we counted.  For the record, writing all those numbers in sidewalk chalk was a great work out for my glutes and abs.  Who knew?
We do a little bit of the sit and work stuff too.

We also do a lot of this.  Yes, my oldest is reading to his two sisters.  Do you see how one sister is just adoring her big brother and baby sister?  They bring dogs into schools for kids to read to.  How much better is it to read to an adoring sibling?  Do you see the love?  We do a LOT of loving.  Hugging, playing, snuggling, wrestling, laughing and lots of loving.  All with our favorite people in the world.  That is what homeschooling looks like in my family.

Now, what about all the housework?  Well, I am no great housekeeper.  I will admit, I would rather spend time playing and learning with my kids than scrubbing floors.  However, cleaning does need to happen because it is no fun to play when you end up covered in cheerios and other less tasty things.  Also, it is comforting to have a house that people can pop into and you will not be embarrassed.  I don't quite have that, yet.  If you pop into my house, you will likely find a pile of clean laundry waiting to be folded, a few dishes waiting to be washed and dirty floors.  The door to the office is closed because it is downright frightening (hopefully we will fix that this weekend, FINALLY!) The downstairs bathroom shows signs of vandalism and is not always sparkling.  The vandalism thing is a long potty training story and I don't want to tell it right now.  Just making sure you understand, my home would cause Martha Stewart to have a conniption fit.

We teach our children to help out around the house and we will soon institute a chore chart.  I do think it is important for people to take care of their homes.  There is no reason why one of us should do all the cleaning for 7 people.  Children need to be taught how to care for their home, clothes, vehicles and selves.  We call it being a good steward of the blessings God has given us.  I have a weekly group meeting at our house and that has been a great way to make sure the weekly chores get done consistently.  My scientist husband calls it a "forcing function."  I like that.

Oh, I also don't sign up every child for every activity under the sun.  I am a homeschooler, not an out-of-the-house-all-day-schooler.  I should warn you, it will only take one comment or question about socialization to open a can of worms.  Fear not, we are not Socialists ;)  We attend church, have a small group that meets at our house for bible study, go to the Y for Homeschool PE and are part of a homeschool co-op type thing.  Oh, and there are two homeschool families in our neighborhood with children around the same age as mine.  So, lots of chances to accumulate lots of different friends.  Yes, almost all of them homeschool.  If you think that means they are all the same you don't know homeschoolers! 
That is the hows of homeschooling.  Next up, the whys.  I have some 'splainin' to do.