Some of the things I love most about homeschooling have nothing to do with adding or phonics or punctuation or mulitplication or ancient Egypt. And after having my girls in school for one year, I appreciate some aspects of homeschooling even more now.
I love that our evening schedule is more flexible. We can stay up late doing our Bible reading or playing or wrestling and not worry about having to get up early for school the next morning.
I love that our kids can all sleep in the same room, even on a weeknight. Our children love sharing beds. Often, I wonder why we bothered to buy all those Flexa bunk beds when we could have bought just two. 🙂 Thursday night, four of them shared one top bunk. When the girls had to get lots of sleep and get up early for school, they couldn’t share a room or bed with the boys on a school-night.
I love having school in our pajamas. Some days we don’t get dressed until mid-afternoon. Other days, the children wear dress-up clothes or mismatched clothes or even their swimsuits all day long. No, they aren’t actually swimming, and yes, it is too cold for swimsuits; but my boys love swim-trunks. Yesterday, my 7-year old, Rachel, wore a t-shirt and skirt that did not even come close to matching and her brother’s cowboy boots for half the day. She couldn’t have dressed like that for school. Many days, Caleb, my 5-year old, wears his basketball shorts and sleeveless basketball jersey all day long. Sometimes, he wears those a couple days in a row. Ok, ok, a few times he’s worn them 3 days in a row. Oh, and the practical side of me loves that we save so much money on clothing expenses. If they wear the same basketball clothes 3 days in a row all year long, it saves a buck or two. 🙂
I love feeding all my children pancakes for breakfast at 10:30 in the morning on a weekday, just because we want them.
I love not dealing with homework. Last year, when my girls spent 6 and a half hours in school and we spent half an hour driving home and then we had to deal with homework and our evening activities, I hated it . . . errr, I mean I really disliked it. Really, this was very surprising for me. I had taught school and knew the value of parental involvement; but I had a totally different perspective and — I’ll be honest — at times, a very rotten attitude. When I was expected to spend 15 minutes practicing math facts and 20 minutes listening to read-aloud homework and 10 minutes studying for spelling and however long working on a model of Venus, I heard myself grumbling, “If I wanted to do all this stuff, I would have homeschooled.” I mean, really, sometimes it took us just as long to do the math homework as it had for us to do math during our homeschool day. And our daughter wasn’t allowed to do this math homework at school, even if she had extra time. It had to be homework. *sigh* So . . . . I’m really glad not to have to deal with homework in the evenings.
I love having my girls here to help me during the day. Lauren, my 8-year old, is quite a little mother. She enjoys holding her baby brother and changing and dressing our 2-year old, Jackson. She plays with them and hugs them, and they love her so much. If she were gone all day long, they wouldn’t feel nearly as close to her as they do now. I also love that the girls take the dog out and empty the dishwasher. Maybe that’s selfish, but it’s also good for them.
I love watching my children play together and learn together. They are each other’s best friends. They are forming bonds with each other during these early years that will not be easily broken. Yes, they fuss and disagree . . . . they aren’t perfect. But they do love each other, and they truly miss each other when they are apart — even if one of them is gone for a couple hours.
I also love having my children home with me. I’ll admit I don’t always love the fussing and the messes and the noise, but I do love having them home with me. Last year, when my girls were at school all day, I missed them a lot. I felt like someone else got to enjoy the best of them, and I got stuck with exhausted leftovers. I didn’t like that. I love having them home during their most energetic, joyful, loving moments of the day. I love that I get hugs from them in between math and phonics. I love that I am teaching Caleb to read. I love watching Rachel make her first cursive letters. I love hearing their jokes and laughter. I love watching them help each other with school. I enjoy them; I enjoy being part of their days. I love it that we’re going to have all these memories of each other and that we feel like we really know each other. And that’s better than wearing my pajamas until 2:00 in the afternoon!