Homeschool 101: The Update

As we head into our second semester of homeschooling, I thought it might be fun to give a little update on how things are going so far. Fun for me, anyway. This has the potential to be wildly boring for you.

I’m kidding!

Please keep reading…

So after four months of homeschooling, we’ve got a few things solidly under our belts. Those things are, in no particular order:

– The kids can all read Latin fluently.

– I churn butter every night before bed.

– Tia knits daily. Yesterday she made me a sweater.

– Landon is reading Socrates.

– Sloan split an atom just before Christmas.

– We survived.

…….

Okay, so maybe only one of the above statements is true. Although Sloan did receive a microscope for Christmas and I’m quite certain he’s on the path to atom splitting. Or, you know, he may just continue to look at boogers under the contraption. Hard to say at this point.

There are many, many aspects of the homeschooling journey that I have really loved, the largest one being freedom. I really, really love the freedom we have to follow our own schedule. I love that we are still on break this week simply because we can be. I love that I can stop lessons for the day at 1:00 in the afternoon and we can just read books the rest of the day. I love that I don’t have to have them all up, dressed and ready to go for the school bus that comes rolling through here at 7:15.

Lawdy that’s early…

On the other side of that coin, the freedom sometimes freaks me out. For example, many times we are through with all our lessons by 1:00-1:30 and I find myself twiddling my thumbs and worrying that maybe I missed something. That leads to a whole train of thought that eventually has me picturing¬†Sloan sorting trash at a local dump someday because¬†he couldn’t get into college because I failed him in the second grade.

It’s a vicious train of thought.

I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not likely going to destroy their education. We are learning every day and we’re doing it at a pace that works for them, so that has to be a good thing, right? Not knowing the standards for what they should be learning is what has given me greatest cause for stress, though. Am I doing too much? Am I doing too little? Sometimes it overwhelms me.

Then my four year old labels all fifty States on a map and names more than half of their capitals and I think, We’re doing just fine.

Or Sloan walks by and, just for fun, speaks to me in alliteration. Then there was the time he reenacted the entire sinking of the Titanic at the lunch table with two apple slices and a piece of bread. He is such a kid after my own heart.

Tia is still not reading fluently, but she gets a little better every day. As I mentioned earlier, though, she’s a bit of a whiz with the evil numbers and is well on her way to needing first grade math curriculum.

The hardest part of homeschooling, for me, has been the lack of alone time. There are so many things that I want to do and not having the children home all day would make accomplishing those things a frillion times easier. There are some days when I daydream about packing it all in and marching them to the local school so I can have two minutes of peace and quiet to think.

But in the end, I still know this is right for us and that it will be worth it. I will not regret this time I have them home. The kids may regret it but I will not.

The jury’s out on whether or not we continue homeschooling. At this point I would like to do it for a couple more years, maybe, but I don’t see this as a long term thing. I don’t know why that is, it’s just a feeling I get. We have joined a homeschool co-op for this semester, which I am excited about so I won’t be going it alone anymore.

I’ve felt like Ma Ingalls quarantined on the prairie these last few months as I’ve journeyed down this path all by myself. And yes, Little House on the Prairie analogies are totally apropos if you’re a homeschooler.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear my little budding scientist in the kitchen now turning on the stove and cracking eggs. Um…yikes.