Deciding to Homeschool…

6:30am- ALARM! *snooze*

6:45am-**AALLAARRMM** Ugh. FINE. The floor is cold. I can’t find my pants anywhere, why do I have to ALWAYS wear pants? Leg prisons. Stupid morning.

6:50am- Coffee.

7:00am- Wake the Kids Up

7:05am- Wake the Kids up AGAIN

7:10am- Cook a classic breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fresh squeezed OJ  Put a PopTart in the toaster

7:15am- More coffee

7:30am- Get the kids dressed

7:35am- Convince the kids that shorts and rain boots aren’t the best choice for today’s weather forecast

7:36am- Give up the battle, maybe they will learn natural consequences?

7:40am- Brush the teeth

7:45am- Make the kids brush again, because tooth brushes aren’t swords

7:46am- They aren’t paint brushes either…

7:47am- JUST BRUSH YOUR TEETH!

7:50am- Do the Girl’s Hair, Brush the biggest tangles out and call it good

7:55am- Frantically search for backpacks, matching socks, shoes that fit, and yell at them to stop fighting over who gets to hold the Elsa microphone while you tie their shoes.

7:57am- Make a mental not to teach them to tie their shoes, or buy more rainboots

8:00am- Wrestle children into the van, buckle carseats, and beg them to NOT eat that chicken nugget that is probably 2 weeks old.

8:01am- Remind yourself that they had a PopTart for breakfast, and then search the floor for more chicken nuggets for the other kids.

8:05am- Swerve through traffic and pray that I don’t hit every red light

8:15am- Kiss them and remind them to make good choices as they hop out of the van and run to the playground

8:16am- Wonder why the schoolyard is so empty

8:17am- Look at the calendar and realize that it’s Saturday. Crap.

8:18am- Drive to Starbucks and order a Grande, No Water, No Foam, Vanilla, Soy Chai Latte before heading back to pick them up…

–OR–

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Homeschool. 

They wake up when they have had enough sleep, usually around 8am, and stumble adorably into my room and climb into bed with me. Here, they poke my nose, complain over my dragon breath, and bicker over who gets to share my pillow. This is a moment I look forward to every morning, though my husband isn’t a fan. Good thing he’s already gone to work, right? After they tickle me to an upright position, we make our way to the kitchen for pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fresh squeezed OJ, because we don’t have any PopTarts anywhere in the house, and THAT is a beautiful statement.

Here’s the thing: I am so far from a morning person that I actually prefer to call them “super early afternoons.” The “M-Word” will get you a fast-pass to diaper duty if you say it before I’ve had coffee.  Our mornings set us up for the rest of the day, and when you have an affinity for m-words such as mine, you’d prefer to take the rush out of them, any way you can.

Is this the REASON that we are choosing to homeschool our children? No. But it’s a HUGE  bonus! The husband and I did not take the decision to keep our kids out of mainstream education lightly. It was a process involving research, hard conversations, and loads of prayer. My eldest child is currently attending a public school, and will remain there as it was agreed upon in our custody agreement, but finding the right school for him was a heart-wrenching and difficult task. He experienced things at a public school that convinced us to transfer him to a different one, and solidified our reasons to homeschool our 3 younger children.

We want them to learn through doing, and to have the freedom to use their creativity and natural abilities without time constraints and the pressure of learning at the pace of the other students. With my eldest, we noticed that he was not being challenged and allowed to learn at the correct level because there were too many children and too few resources available, which resulted in less focus and more distraction in the classroom. The children who needed the push were being held back when other students needed more attention and assistance. I fully appreciate that the teachers are doing their best, and I commend their efforts and willingness to step into those rooms each day. It’s not always easy. Not every day is filled with rainbows, gold stars, and shiny apples lining their desks. Teaching is HARD.

We also agreed to give our children a faith based education. Yeah. We love us some Jesus in our home. Unfortunately, this is a subject that isn’t taught at the public school level, and we aren’t financially able to put our kids into a private  Christian school, even with scholarships. We have 4 kids. It’s spendy! Don’t get me wrong, we believe in science, and it’s not like we are teaching our kids to whack people with a KJV Thumping Bible… not yet anyway…

They will be socialized, we aren’t hermits!  And they will be tested, they will learn that if they don’t do the work, they won’t pass the test.  And they will be able to do it all in their PJ’s, though brushing their teeth is still mandatory. Is this choice and option for everyone? NO WAY! But it is for us.

Though they may never use their toothbrush correctly or find actual matching socks… ever. I’m not holding my breath.


 

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