Thursday, September 2, 2010

Parenting with less stress {Homeschooling for us!}

 For us homeschooling was the natural choice for our children. You see both Ken and I had been homeschooled for most of our school years ( I did go to public school kindergarten and Ken spent his last couple of years at a Christian school.) So the choice for us was normal, easy and not at all stressful.

  You might wonder if because it was such an easy choice for us, if we made it without really thinking or having any firm ideas of our own on why we wanted to homeschool. That would not be the case. Even though it was natural for us to do it we also very strongly felt that it would be best for our children as well.

  In this post I thought I would share some reasons we have chosen homeschooling, some ways that I believe it is less stressful for us than sending our kids off to school and also some quick tips that we have found to help homeschooling to go smoother for us.

1. Why we feel convicted to homeschool our children.
  • Our children can be taught a biblical world view. This is not what is taught in our nations public schools and this is exceedingly important to me.
  • Our family can be together. God gave us our children to train and love. I would rather do that full-time than part-time. Sometimes I almost feel selfish with this one, I simply would hate to see my kids go off everyday and have to miss out on so much of their lives.
  • We can supervise their socialization. This is something that is often thrown up at homeschoolers as something they are lacking, I have heard the words "What about socialization?" many times (though more when I was a child than now, I think people are getting used to homeschoolers) and I would agree that socialization is something to be concerned about but I am more concerned about the negative aspects of socialization and am happy to have a little less of it for my children.
  • We want our kids to excel academically. Often in large classes some kids will fall through the cracks because teachers simply cannot give one on one attention. I do have time to give my kids one on one attention and also we can cater somewhat anyway to their particular learning style and they will usually excel.

2. Ways we find homeschooling to be less stressful. I was reading a parenting magazine lately that really started me thinking on this, they were listing all the different stresses with getting ready to send your kids off to school. While I was reading I kept thinking over and over, "This isn't even an issue with us". So many of the stresses are avoided by keeping our kids at home. I am sure we have some other stresses but I haven't found them to be very bad. :-) Here are some of the things we get to avoid:
  • Lunch box issues. We don't have to pack a lunch nor be concerned about whether our kids are really eating what we sent or not or wonder what sort of unhealthy things they are eating. (This was a major concern in the article I was reading.) We eat lunch together at home- usually lovely, healthy leftovers! :-)
  • Kids not getting enough exercise and fresh air. I guess Phys ed and even recess are being skipped at many schools, which is probably not very good as we have a rather obese nation already. This isn't a problem at home. It is certainly in our budget to send the kids outside to play and we are usually quite efficient with our schoolwork and get it done in a few hours so their is still plenty of time for play.
  • Buying school clothes and supplies. I know this can be stressful to some budgets. I admit we do have to buy school books but we don't have to worry about a new school wardrobe, our kids can continue to wear the second hand clothing they already had been wearing. We also don't have to get all new school supplies very much. We reuse stuff that we already had before.
  • Children overburdened with homework. I know this to be a real issue, at least with some teachers. Kids I have known in 4th and 5th grade had hours of homework left after arriving home at 3:30 pm. This has prevented people from family time as well as evening church activities. This is not an issue for us as we get our work done early on in the day.
  • Kids taught things we don't approve of (worldly sex ed, evolution, etc.) With homeschooling we teach them ourselves so this simply isn't an issue.
  • Getting everybody out the door in time each morning. Only Ken has to leave the house so that is easy. We do still try to get a decent start each morning (We start school stuff around 9 after we clean up from breakfast) but we can be much more relaxed.
3.Things we have found that help our homeschooling day to go smoother.
  • Start each day with prayer. We want God's help, strength and wisdom each day and our day certainly goes much better by asking for it. I pray by myself in my early quiet time and then we pray together as our school day begins.
  • Get focused by spending time singing to God and memorizing His word each morning.
  • Have a permanent spot for school books. Mara's go in her desk and the rest of the kids' books go in a spot in our dining room.
  • Have a permanent place for answer keys. Those always stay at Ken's desk.
  • Keep plenty of pencils on hand and have a sharpener handy too.
  • Be practical about how much bookwork a child can handle.
  • Do lots of living (fun!) learning. In other words learn as much as you can from life, not just from school books. Be inquisitive (not just kids, parents too!) and really have fun!
  • Read together a lot. Chose good books, a variety of books, learning books and just for fun books.
  • Have good attitudes. This starts with Mom!
Those are some of my thoughts on homeschooling. I will admit I can be a bit passionate about it. I hope I don't offend anyone by that. I know that every family is different and I understand that everyone has to make their own decisions, this is simply the decision I am so happy we have made!

  I would love to hear your thoughts!


Lisa said...

Wonderful post Abbi! I just had a rant over at my blog and I hope you don't mind if I link to this blog post of yours. Excellent points, and said much more kindly than I did on my soapbox.


Becky R said...

I homeschool for almost the exact same reason as you, although I was not homeschooled. I ddin't even know what homeschooling was.

I love homeschooling and being with my kids.

Thanks for the post.

Abbi said...

Thanks to both of you!
Lisa, I don't mind if you link to me. Not at all.

It is so fun to meet so many other homeschoolers via blogging!

Melia said...

Love this post. You hit it on most points of why we also homeschool. When people ask me why I would do such a thing, my first answer is normally the one that shocks them the most. I tell them that we do it because God told us it was what we needed to be doing. It is the truth and I still get tickled at how people try to respond to that answer!


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