summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Thursday, July 31, 2014

and, we jump in!!!

I am hesitant and happy and unsure to announce...we are homeschooling three more children this year. Suzanne for eighth grade, Charlotte Claire for third grade, Camille for second grade, in addition to Jonathan for fifth grade and Kathryn for eleventh.

Phew. It has been hard to decide, simply because I want to do what's best for them. My fondness for their presence in my life on a day to day basis clouds my judgement! But if I homeschooled based solely on how much I want them here with me because I enjoy them, I would have done it a long time ago.

Summertime drawing to a close has always been a heartache for me.

We have a good school district. The teachers are friendly and understanding, and our kids have always been treated well. I have gotten away with letting them miss inordinate amounts of school so that we could go on adventures, or simply because they needed a day at home, to lie longer in their warm beds, then lounge around, having tea and playing with their toys.

So what changed? Maybe life is going by faster, and I realize even more that childhood is fleeting, and I resent that these few younger ones of mine have to spend theirs in school, then spend an hour or more in the evenings doing yet more school work. Perhaps I realize that the hour a day they spend on the bus learning more than a child should ever learn about life could be better spent. It could be that they already know how to read, and basic math, and love to learn, so teaching them at home sounds actually joyful. Maybe it's because I realize the social life I always thought they should have in school isn't reason enough to send them on that long bus ride every morning.

Ultimately, I let the girls decide. They went through the pros and cons. Socially, perhaps it won't be the very best for them. But in a few years, Char will be in the youth group at church, which will keep her busy! They already have their church friends, too, and they also have all their siblings.

We decided that we can school for a few hours a day and learn as much as they learn in a full day at school. We can have our afternoons to go on adventures, to sew, or go to the library, paint, or play. They are extremely excited, and so am I!

This excitement doesn't come without some self doubt for me. It is a huge responsibility! These young children trust that Mommy knows what's best for them. Staying on task, teaching them thoroughly enough to pass those end of year exams, preparing them properly for this is a little scary.

But somehow the scales have tipped in the direction of homeschooling, and off we go!!!!

My days will be more structured, which Jonathan also needs. We can still have our spontaneous days of fun, but with five of them here schooling, we will have to behave ourselves, too.

Margaret will be going to school for her senior year, and Evelyn will going as a freshman. Sonja K. will be the only one in middle school as a seventh grader, so only three kids will be getting on the big yellow bus this year. (Last year, Evelyn was in 8th, Suzanne in 7th, Sonja in 6th).

As I told the kids, with every decision there are times you will question it, perhaps regret it a little here and there. But that's real life, not always 100% favorable in every respect. For me, it came down to the question, "What is REALLY important?"

Just because most people think going to school is normal and right and good and almost sacred, does that mean it is?

Anyway, I am a tired girl today. Mirielle worked six 12 hour shifts in a row, and had last night off. Since she moved to Emily and Abigail and Molly's house last week, I have not gotten to chat with her, and have missed her sorely. So when she came over last evening, I decided I was just going to stay up with her. Popcorn, watching shows, talking with Kathryn and Evelyn and Margaret and was nice, but when Mirielle was going out the door, I realized it was THREE O'CLOCK! Dang. When I woke up this morning, I felt like it hurt to open my eyes. There was a wonderful thunder and lightening storm going on at 7 am, which I loved, but living out here in the country, when it rains and pours, sometimes we lose power. When we lose power, we lose water, so I got up and filled some containers just in case. Then back to bed, ah loved it. I actually fell back to sleep until nine. Don't hate me, that's not many hours, especially because I got up in between.

So today is a strange summer day. Jonathan went to a park with his friend's family. Margaret took the two little girls out to church to paint scenery for a play that is going to be performed during our summer conference. Kathryn and Suzanne went to babysit for my niece's three little children, and Sonja K. went to her friend's house. That leaves me here with Evelyn and Joseph. It is so quiet you can hear the pool filter hum, which could put me to sleep. Evelyn and I are going to the library all by our lonesomes.


FLmom7 said...

Exciting! Hope you have a great year of homeschooling:) I am starting my 17th year homeschooling (I have 7 kids, the 2 oldest are in college and 1 of those college kids just enlisted in the Navy) I have 5 left (K,2nd,5th,8th and 9th). After all these years, I still doubt my abilities to teach/raise them, but my 2 oldest are doing very well so I guess things worked out okay:) I have a question for you. We're in Florida so our laws are much easier than NY. I was wondering what curriculum you use? Do you have to use something specific there, or do you get to choose and then just do the annual testing?

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed homeschooling 3 of my children! The rushing around in the morning and all the projects were not missed! And when people say what about socialization... Church, sports, family.... They never lacked for socialization :) Enjoy and thanks for sharing !
Blessings from Florida

16 blessings'mom said...

I don't use a specific curriculum. I will just send in a general plan to the district, highlighting what I intend to teach in each subject but not giving exact textbook references. It is all still pretty new to me, and a bit daunting, but I am excited about it, and September isn't looming ahead of me so gloomily anymore.:)

Joni said...

Oh, you're so lucky you can homeschool! Living in Finland 'temporarily' (it's been exactly 5 years now ...) I don't really have the chance. I actually did homeschool one year, but since we live here the kids need to learn Finnish skills and I can't teach them that. Thank goodness they have much shorter school days here. But I already know that if we are able to move back to the US some day, I will homeschool. Your reasons would be my exact same reasons. Good luck! You will do just fine!

16 blessings'mom said...

Thank you, Joni. I don't feel like I'll do fine, but that's normal with a huge new endeavor. A huge plan to start, then one day at a time:)

Joy said...

I've been homeschooling for a few years. It has been so great for our family, I bet you all will have a great time :D