At least once a day, someone asks James if he is in school, or if he's going to school. He always has the same answer for them, "I'm home schooled." There are usually 2 responses to his answer, and they are almost always directed at me: "wow, your Mommy must be busy," or "I could never do that." One of those is true. The other, most decidedly, isn't.
I will be the first to admit that having my kids home with me all day, every day, isn't easy. At times it is really hard. I would love 2, 3, or 5 mornings a week with only one sleeping baby in the house. But I love being with my kids more than I want to be away from them. My time with them is so fleeting. A while ago, James said to me, "home schooling is good because you get to stay home and be with your Mommy." And that is one of the biggest reasons why I am choosing to home school my kids. They get to be home with me. They want to be home with me. That is an attitude that I want to cultivate. That is a attitude that I will cherish.
This time we have won't last forever, so I want to enjoy it as much as I can. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that. I have to stop doing the dishes, and get on the floor and play Memory. Or Candyland, or train tracks, or whatever else it is that my little people want me to do with them. For me, that is the hardest part of home schooling. Like all moms, I struggle to find a balance between the work I must do to keep our home running, and devoting enough time and attention to my kids. The part that makes it a bit trickier, is that some of that time is supposed to be "school" time.
Lucky for us our school work right now is play. That is how we learn at our house. When James first got to the preschool age, I was all excited and bought some coloring books from Target to help him with writing letters, numbers and the like. He was not the least bit interested. He already knew his numbers, letters, shapes and colors, and none of them had been learned with workbooks. They had been learned while playing, reading, drawing, walking, living.
Almost everything I do with the kids is a learning experience, a teachable moment. And the beauty of home schooling, is that those moments can take any direction they want. So the other day when we were playing Memory, and James decided he wanted to make his own set of Memory cards, I said "go right ahead." What an amazing way to take the concept of the Memory game to the next level. He sat down and began creating his own set of matching cards. When he has enough, we are going to laminate them and use them. I didn't lesson plan that. It just happened.
When people tell me they could never home school, I want to say, "it isn't rocket science." It is being with your kid and loving them and following where their ideas lead you. It isn't easy. Often the things in life that are most rewarding are not easy. But a lot of the time it is fun. It is an adventure and it is what we do.