*Feature Photo: The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
I think many parents feel that to homeschool they would have to portray the idealistic image of the “perfect” teacher—like Miss Honey from Matilda or Miss Stacey from Anne of Green Gables. In other words, I think it is assumed that parents who love to homeschool are naturally perfectly patient, perfectly poised, and perfectly present. That we enjoy and cherish every moment of every day in our homeschool journeys with our children.
This is simply not the case.
Not only do we homeschool parents experience all the same struggles of parenthood—losing our patience, losing our tempers, losing our keys, losing our minds— we may even DISLIKE homeschooling sometimes. But at the same time, we aren’t lying when we say that we LOVE to homeschool.
This is because “like” and “love” are quite often opposed.
I LOVE doing yoga on our back porch before the kids wake up, but I don’t always LIKE doing it . . . especially the forcing myself out of bed part. I LOVE gardening but I don’t always LIKE going outside to weed and water every day. I LOVE to cook, but I don’t LIKE having to make dinner every night. I begrudgingly LOVE our dog . . . but there are frequently days where I struggle to LIKE him. And—if I’m being 100% honest—even for my husband and our kids, who I LOVE more than anything in the world, there are definitely moments (or hours) when I don’t LIKE them very much. Just me?
Homeschooling is the same way. I don’t force myself to homeschool because I think it’s the only good option for our kids or because I have some strange sort of compulsion/obligation to. I do it because I truly LOVE homeschooling our kids . . . despite the fact that there are days when I don’t LIKE homeschooling very much at all! Days when I would rather be by myself. Days when I would rather be at “work” or with friends. Days when I momentarily fantasize about putting the kids on a school bus and having someone else “teach” or “deal with” them for the day. But it is the LOVE that keeps me going through these moments and days of dislike or burn-out.
It is the LOVE of fresh air, sunshine, and a nourished body that rouses me from the warmth and comfort of my bed in the morning . . .
It is the LOVE of a fresh herb bouquet that beckons me back outside day after day to water and weed . . .
It is the LOVE of a simmering pot of soup and a loaf of freshly baked bread that seduces me into rolling up my sleeves, peeling those potatoes, and kneading that dough . . .
Just the same, it is the LOVE of witnessing the daily unfolding of our children’s minds, bodies, and souls that motivates me to put in the prep and planning, manage the chaos, and persist through the inevitable wacky and weary days.
“You LIKE because . . . you LOVE despite.” -Set it Up
So, DESPITE the days that are bumpy, frumpy, grumpy . . .
DESPITE the days that are rough, tough, I’ve-had-enough . . .
I can, in all honesty, declare that our family LOVES the homeschool journey we have chosen. So here are our reasons why, each in our own words (ok, I admit I helped the baby) . . .
~32 REASONS WHY WE LOVE HOMESCHOOL~
1.) I don’t have to wake up early to take Bro-Bro to school.
2.) Bro-bro is home all day to play, do school activities with me, read to me, and put me down for my nap.
3.) I can nap as long as I want because we don’t have to pick Bro-Bro up from school.
4.) Bro-Bro teaches me new things every day. He teaches me new words, and how to work the lock box, and how to stack blocks, and how to play pretend.
1.) “I love doing special projects and activities in school.”
2.) “I really love art time and cooking with Mama.”
3.) “I love doing Music & Movement time with Sissy.”
4.) “I love having “Cozy Corner” (reading time) with Mama every day.”
5.) “I love having time to work on my HO (scale model) train layout.”
Mama (that’s me!):
1.) Skipping the morning rush. Sleeping a little later, snuggling a little longer, moving a little slower . . .
2.) Any pants go
3.) Crazy hair, don’t care
4.) Tea Time all the time
5.) I get to read children’s books all day, everyday
6.) No car line
7.) No homework . . . or homework battles
8.) No tests . . . less stress
9.) No Parent/Teacher Conferences (can I get an “amen”?)
10.) More time . . . for talking, reading, eating, and just being together
11.) More flexibility for:
- sick days
- lazy days
- “off” days
- out of town visitors
- play dates
- extracurricular activities
12.) More control over:
- what and how our kids are taught
- education style / method / philosophy
- what our kids are exposed to
- what our kids are not exposed to
- work/school/life balance
- valuable experiences to offer our children
13.) More opportunities to see:
- every inspired or satisfied smile
- every spark of curiosity
- every “aha” moment
- the creation of every masterpiece
- the start of every new passion, obsession, or phase
14.) More opportunities to hear:
- every new word being sounded out
- every new song being sung or Bible verse being recited
- every giggle evoked by the pages of a book
- every clap, stomp, shake of a maraca, or whack of a tambourine
- every. single. last. question.
15.) More opportunity to witness:
- each and every milestone
- the unfolding of our children’s minds, souls, personalities . . .
- the miracle of childhood
1.) “I love that our children get so much time to be home.”
2.) “I love that our kids get so much time to play and to just be . . . kids.”
3.) “I love knowing that our children are being taught by their mom. No one on this planet is going to put more focus, attention to detail, and care into our children’s education.”
4.) “I love getting a text from my wife when I’m at work with a picture of the kids totally engaged in one activity or another.”
5.) “When I get home, I love that my son always wants to show me everything he did in “school” that day, and that it is all there for me to see.”
6.) “I love having a part in our son’s education when I’m home in the evenings or on the weekends; teaching him skills like woodworking, or fishing, or fixing things around the house.”
7.) “I love that we have more time and flexibility to go more places together, and work on more projects together, and read more books (whichever ones we want) as a family.”
8.) “I love that we are able to tailor teaching methods for our son to fit his unique needs, abilities, and interests.”
Thanks for reading!
Comment below why YOUR FAMILY loves homeschool!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~