Here's the deal: So everyone knows that I homeschool, right? And we love it. Well, not just love it, we WUVVVVV it! We adore it! We wallow in the bliss it has created for our family! We look at other families that send their kids to school and shake our heads in amazement.
This does not mean, however, that "life's the bubbles" around here! It's time, right N.O.W. for me to start school again. My kids are rangy and bored, picking their noses, picking each others noses, laying half naked on the floor with glassy-eyed stares and their feet in the air, and an assortment of other activities that come to mind when they are otherwise unoccupied.
So, right N.O.W., in the middle of July, I need to start my school year. I know some folks think we're lunatics for even homeschooling in the first place, and I'm sure this just notches us up one on their weirdness list but trust me, it's really the best thing. Remember your Grannie shaking her finger at you and your mud-encrusted siblings and saying, "Idle hands are the devil's playground?" Mm hmm! She was right!
Here's the part where I freak out. WHAT on EARTH am I going to TEACH them this time around? Oh yes, I have curriculum lined up, neat and tidy on my bookshelves, ready to go. I have Math, Language Arts, Literature, History, Science, and a barrage of other impressive-sounding subjects standing at the ready.
But how do I know it's the right thing? Is it enough? Is it OK to only read from the history book and never do a backyard archeological dig with household items and an old toothbrush? Is it OK if Benji just can't seem to figure out that cat and cent are both spelled with a C? What if Alec really hates reading again and suddenly becomes illiterate? Maybe Ava will see Alec pouting about math and decide she hates math too before she's even given it a try! And, here's a good one, what if one morning I just wake up and FORGET TO TEACH THEM?!
OK, enough already. Maybe all those things will happen. Well, except for me forgetting to teach them (Ha!) Maybe one day when Alec is 20 and in college he will look back and say, "Gee, Mom, I wish you had taught us Tibetan throat singing instead of taking us to the zoo!" Maybe. But probably not.
I think the reality is this: We are one hundred and ten percent certain that homeschooling is God's will for our family. We have seen the fruit of our choice to follow His will already, in the 12 short months that we've been at it. We will continue to plod along, day after day, in the path He's laid out for us, for better or worse.
I will continue to step on Legos and slip in pee on the bathroom floor because I'm not good at enforcing the chore chart. The boys will continue to magically disappear from the table if the phone rings during math, and Ava will still have an inescapable need to change clothes 14 times during reading.
I will probably always wonder if I've made the right curriculum choices, and if skipping that backyard archeological dig is harming them for life. I'll squirm a bit every time I read another homeschooling blog that is written by Super Mom, and squirm even more when I attend our yearly homeschool conference and listen to Mr. and Mrs. Perfect share humbly about what has worked for their little family of 12.
I may always freak out about WHAT I'm teaching them, but I will never freak out about HOW I'm teaching them. That is, after all, truly what home education is all about. It's about giving our little darlings a fierce thirst for knowledge and teaching them how to quench it on their own. It's about teaching them to be independent, self-motivated individuals, who can think for themselves, and make wise steps.
More than that, for us, it's about discipling our children. Earning their trust and holding their hearts so we can instruct them in the ways of the Lord and teach them to follow HIM, above academia, above sports, above career, above prosperity, above any other earthly thing.
And that knowledge, my friends, is my Valium! So here's to another year of home education, another year of playing hookey, learning in the grocery store, reading in our pajamas, and always wondering...