Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Here we are starting another new school year. Where has the time gone? We began our homeschooling journey ten years ago. Really? Ten years?

When our son was two years old I realized that he had somehow taught himself to read. While playing with toys was definately a fun way to pass the day, I also knew that our son needed to be challenged in order to be happy. Enter homeschooling! From our first day of homeschool until today it has truly been a learning experience, not only for our son but for me as well.

It can be tricky to stay one step ahead of a ravenous learner, especially when a "canned" curricula just won't cut it. I've tried a wide variety and while some do hold his interest for a time, none of them have worked from beginning to end. And to be fair sometimes it isn't that the curriculum has a deficiency, but that we have, well, quirks. Take biology for example.

Last term things were moving along swimmingly until that fateful day when the next chapter in the science text began a study of biology. Anatomy to be more specific. You know, things like the circulatory and nervous system. Things came to a screeching halt. Unfortunately one of the things our son inherited from me was my squeemishness. I was never cut out to be a doctor or nurse. So rather than force our son to continue down a lesson path that would cause he and I way too much stress for no good reason I simply steered our homeschool down a different path. A lovely study of birds followed and everyone was happy.

Let me just say that our son is very familiar with the inner workings of the human body. He just doesn't like thinking about it too much. If he didn't know anything about it then we'd have to take a different approach to learning the information - one that would not be offensive to his sensibilities and low tolerance for blood and guts. This is the beauty of homeschooling - being able to tailor material to the child and his way of learning. It's also wonderful to be able to explore areas that the child is interested in and letting him build his love for learning.

This school year we are using a set curriculum for Pre-Algebra, but that's about it. Everything else has been tailored by me to fit the needs and interests of our son. Is it more labor intensive and time consuming for me? It sure is! But when I see our son enjoying learning (even math!) it's all worth it.

Homeschooling can be a challenge, but our kids are worth it. Each day is a gift, a treasure to be enjoyed - challenges and all. If we put in a little effort we can shape our children into the people they were meant to be, not simply fill them full of facts. Homeschooling is so much more than book-learning. I hope you are enjoying your journey!

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