Monday, June 1, 2009

Another Reason I LOVE Homeschooling

We've been on "summer break" for about 2 weeks. In that time, we've done numerous field trips, some crafts, lots of outdoors time. In other words, even though the books have gathered a slight glaze of dust on them, I've still been logging several hours of "education" every day.

This morning, I am sitting on the couch, waiting for the clock to tick its way to the time for me to leave for a doctor appointment. I have some sort of nasty illness that has knocked me for a loop, and I am desperate for something stronger than OTC meds to help me get back to being "me."

But I am not alone here on the couch. BigBro pulled out his recorder, dusted off the songbook, and spent nearly 40 minutes playing me one song after another. Then Princess went to find her recorder. BigBro showed her the fingerings for a few simple notes, and she wrote a little song using those notes. She brought her "sheet music" over to show me, and told me not to listen while she practiced in the other room. She was planning a show for me in a few minutes. LilBro is tucked over on the other side of the couch, creating complex worlds populated by cars with their own names and very distinct personalities (is a career at Pixar in his future?). Much entertaining talk, different voices, and giggling is emanating from him.

I see how incredibly creative my kids are, how good they are at entertaining themselves, how well they work together and encourage each other, and I offer up a short prayer of thanksgiving. What a blessing they are!

We are far from a perfect family, and I am very far from a perfect mother. I used to worry a lot that I was screwing them up with this homeschooling choice we'd made. But now I think, maybe not. I see three polite, confident kids, who can entertain themselves without electronics, without adult intervention, without organized camps and activities. In fact, they remind me a lot of myself as a kid. This was what summer was... long, lazy days, goofing around and creating new worlds with my sisters, my friends, my imagination, whatever was handy.

So, here it is... another reason I love homeschooling: my kids get to direct their learning. Now, I am not an unschooler. It goes against my nature to unschool. That requires way more faith and trust than I have. But we live a fairly balanced homeschool life... some areas are parent-directed, some child-directed. And for a few months each summer, nearly everything is child-directed.

Somehow, the learning keeps happening all the same.

Time to go... "La Concerta" is about to start... complete with a program listing the 5 songs I am about to hear.

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