Sunday, February 4, 2007

why I homeschool...

In the last few weeks there have been several poignant reminders as to why I homeschool. The first, of this batch of reminders was last week. My 10 year old daughter had finished all of her library books and library day was a full 24 hours away. "There's nothing to read" she moaned, while standing between two full bookshelves. "How about my Shakespeare" I said, offering the closest book to me. She took it, my Shakespeare library, mega volume of all of his works. Half an hour later I walk by and notice she chose to read Hamlet.

Last Friday we got new math textbooks. The children had been wanting something and I decided to try getting books through our school district. That required me actually visiting our local elementary school for the first time. Although that was an education, the real homeschool moment didn't come until later. That night I went to check on everyone and turn out the lights...taking a moment to look at my peaceful, sleeping children. My oldest three were curled up snugly in their beds, pencils in hand...they had fallen asleep with their math books. I guess love of learning is still alive and well.

One of my standard reasons for enjoying homeschool has always been time. Time to read, paint, explore, love, and be. Well this week my children have spent that extra time with clay. We did a science experiment involving clay, then they asked if they could play with it...5 hours later they were still playing with clay. They were mostly making birds and nests the first day. Striped nests that looked like they had popped out of a Dr. Seuss book. Day 2 brought another 6 hours of clay...including a hard fought discussion on whether to go to homeschool play day or stay home and play clay. Day 2 was birds and snakes. Day 3 started the flowers, baskets and dinosaurs and finally a mom smart enough to take some pictures...

There was also the revolutionary war discussion comparing Kings and Presidents, the discussion of time and the definition of an eon and reading pioneer journals. But none of that really "counts" because rarely did they fit the image my school district personnel described to me as on task learning time. Instead they were on the couch, or in the kitchen...just my children and I.

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