Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Gift of Time

One of the heaviest burdens and greatest rewards of homeschooling is the knowledge that you are independently and willingly taking 100% of the responsibility for educating your child. It can be like the first time you are alone at home with your baby - awe-inspiring at the same time as making your pits bead up with sweat.

One of the strange and lovely side-effects of this, for my family, is the desire to seize any learning opportunity that presents itself. Gone are the days when there were "too many questions" of any kind. "I don't have time" has been nearly eliminated from my vocabulary when it comes to learning, showing or explaining something. I never wonder what they learn at school - I know exactly what they are learning! And if they want to learn something before grade level they can just go right on ahead and do so, thank you very much.

The picture at the beginning of this post is my son in second grade. The project he is working on was not a part of our lesson plans. He designed and performed the experiment himself; charting the growth of the plants each day.

The first weeks (at the end of a school year) when we brought the kids home included finding the chrysalis of a silk moth, watching it 'hatch' out, releasing it and dissecting the cocoon. I took it as a good sign that homeschooling was the right choice for us!

My daughter planted, tended and harvested her own crop of sunflowers over the hottest months last summer. She saved the seeds and replanted them again this year.

When my children ask my husband "how does this work?" he takes the time to make sure they understand his answers. When they ask me "how do you make that?" I take the time to involve them in the process. My sons know how to knit and crochet.

The bottom line is: Some of the best lessons to be had are not outlined in your curriculum. Enjoy your children and watching them learn.

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