I am sure I’m not alone in loving the everyday lessons that arise as a homeschooling family. Sure, I feel great when I pull off a well designed lesson plan, and the learning meets my expectations. However, my heart positively soars when I see my children gaining solid knowledge in organic ways that simply pop up as we do life together. Life skills are never far away, and if we walk through life slowly enough to have the luxury of doing tasks in careful, mindful ways, then these lessons are ready-made!
Are you ever struck by the “are we doing enough?” question as a homeschooling family? I wrestle with those concerns weekly. I think about the specific tasks that “should” be done but sometimes fail to make the top of the daily to-do list. I feel the stress creep in as the joy gets pushed out. Then I force myself to make a mental list of the life skills we practiced that day. My household has five children in it, so there are many opportunities to practice sharing, negotiation, compromise, selflessness, organization, categorizing, decision-making, leadership, and forgiveness. We exercise our bodies, our minds, and our creativity. Every single day. Even on the down days when we lounge a bit and read a lot, we are practicing many skills that will be valuable long past these “school years.”
When I think about my deepest reasons for homeschooling, I come back to appreciation. For my children (and myself!), I desire an appreciation for the beautiful Earth that has been given to our care, an appreciation for music and art, an appreciation for my kids’ own abilities to create music and art and objects of all kinds, an appreciation for their unique personalities and capacities for learning and sense of humor, and an appreciation for meaningful friendships. In our particular family, an appreciate for God as a loving Creator is of foremost importance.* I want my family to have the time to appreciate these things and more–all those wonderful intangibles such as honesty, integrity, humility, and grace. Don’t forget the very concrete skills, too. We experience our share of laundry, sewing, dusting, digging, and cooking (and on and on and on). So much life to live!
Everything I have listed can be found in the unique and brilliant lives of families who choose public and private schools as well. I do not doubt that! However, I love the opportunity to thoughtfully craft a life for my family that makes room for these things purposefully and without hurry. When I have doubts and worry about the many, many subjects to cover in the fleeting years we have, I give thanks for the everyday lessons we share together. They add up to a magical sort of life. ~Erica~
*Neighborhood Homeschool has a diverse staff of bloggers from a variety of lifestyles and faith traditions. This is an welcoming space where people can share their unique experiences and points-of-view.