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Monday, February 16, 2009

Nothing Gives Me Greater Joy


I've been homeschooling my children for 14 years.  Homeschooling does not start at Kindergarten - Homeschooling starts from the day you bring your child home for the first time.  They learn by the examples we set as parents and as teachers. 


When my daughter, Sarah, became school age, it was a tough but mutual decision between Big Bear and me to homeschool her.  But first, we let her start kindergarten in the public school near our home.  Sarah was a bright child, and had known her alphabet backwards and forwards by age 2.  She was reading small children's books by age 3 and we knew she was smart.  For some reason, though, when we put her in school, we were called to the school for a teacher's conference on 2 occasions because of concern that Sarah did not know her alphabet.  We were shocked!  There was obviously something wrong here and we were determined to get to the bottom of it.  So, we brought Sarah into the classroom with us for the next meeting and she showed the teacher that she did, indeed, know the alphabet, and could read too. 


The teacher was dumb-founded.  "Then why aren't you doing the work in class, Sarah?" she asked.  Sarah piped up "Because I didn't want my friends to think I was smarter than them." Sarah replied.  That was a profound statement coming from a 5 year old.  We also had Matthew, who was then 2 years old, in my lap, and he, too, could recite the alphabet with confidence.  It was then that Bob and I had a long discussion about Homeschooling and we decided to give it a try.  We never looked back. 


First of all, when you homeschool, you know what your child needs to know (I think).  You know what they are learning (or you should) and can control the information and education they receive (for the most part).  Which brings me to this - that Nothing Gives Me Greater Joy - than to see the thrill on my child's face when they "get it."  When they have struggled with a concept or a lesson and I take the time to explain it 20 different ways until finally the light bulb moment when they really "get it."  And then, without hesitation, we move on to the next lesson.  It is as if I am watching my child's brain grow right before my eyes.  There really is no greater joy.  Especially when you know that you are responsible for that moment.  That lesson.  That thrill on their face.


For that reason, I love homeschooling my children.  Believe me when I say it has not been all happy times.  Homeschooling is challenging, for the child and the parent teacher.  There are going to be good days; there are going to be bad days.  There are going to be days when you take a day off and rest and clean the house or do the laundry - together.  As long as you have balance, you will be fine.  As long as you remember that the reason you homeschool is to give your child the best possible education - and take advantage of resources available to you, you really will be fine.

Resources - they are a great thing.  And, they can be found by the thousands online.  Resources to help homeschooling parents be successful in their quest to provide their child with the best possible education.  I've taken advantage of so many resources that I lost count.  They've all been helpful.  And so, this weekend - the entire weekend mind you - I built a homeschooling market just for you - my readers.   Those of you out there who homeschool or want to homeschool, or are just thinking about it.  I took advantage of those resources and made them available to you through my little School Days Market as I call it.   Hey, I like convenience, and hopefully you will too.


I've handpicked every item in this store.  Some of them I have read, some of them I want to read.  Some look really interesting.  The items (books, scopes, manipulatives, etc.) that didn't float my boat I passed over and didn't add them to my store.  So, you have my word that each item I picked was handpicked with what I believe to be good judgment and care.  In other words, if I didn't find it interesting, it didn't go in my little homeschooling market. 


Take a look around.  If you know of a book or a product that you would like to see in the store and can't find, or if you have used a textbook, workbook, or read a book that is not in the storefront that you think would be helpful to other homeschooling mothers, please tell me about it and provide me with the ISBN number.  I will add it to the store.  Together, we can put together quite a nice place to find just the right products for homeschooling parents.  Resources and more.

Now you know what I was doing all weekend.  Maybe I should take the day off and get my laundry done.  Ya think?  Naaah.  I think my boys had better pull out their math books.


(Several of the wonderful pictures above courtesy of SouleMama.com)

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