Where we are and where we’re going

I know I’m always back and forth on this homeschooling thing. I would say that it’s because we’re going against the grain or doing something that the majority of people aren’t doing. But I didn’t feel that way about cloth diapering or exclusively breast feeding my babies through 6 months (apparently only 14% of babies were from 2007-09) and beyond (Siri 8 months, Cas 7 months, Elin 12 months, West 18 months).  But then again, I gained confidence in those things and motherhood in general as time went on (and as I had more kids!). Something tells me the same will be true with homeschooling. The longer we take this path the more confident I’ll feel about our decision. Do you know what else I think it is? Homeschooling seems to stir up so many opinions in people, whether they choose to open up about them or not, the opinions are there. I’m not entirely sure what the big deal is but I guess that’s because I’m standing on this side of the fence. I also, can honestly say that I am so not a judgmental person. I’ve heard of the judgments though. Or shall I say myths? I guess that’s the nice way to put it. But really, people have opinions on what homeschool is and isn’t.

One myth being the lack of socialization, which is really such a crock. Daycare comes to mind when I think of this. And not to knock it whatsoever, but only to use it as a comparison. My kids didn’t go to daycare and weren’t around the same aged children all day. They grew up at home with each other. And their socialization skills are fine. Siri is, and always has been, an extrovert. She’ll talk to anyone and everyone and she’ll tell it like it is! Cas is more of an introvert but he’ll be open enough to tell someone he’s shy. Elin is somewhere in the middle. My point is that I don’t think kids need to be in school to be socialized or be social people. Or to want to make friends or easily make friends. I don’t believe school is the only way for our kids to make friends but I do believe there may need to be more involvement from the parents to get their kids involved in the community, or not. Our kids are still young, and therefore developing serious friendships is a bit premature, but I know as they get older and are involved in more activities they will, no doubt, make friends. What is absolutely awesome to me is that their relationships with each other have grown and become stronger and I know its because they are home together, building, creating, playing, fighting and making up. I also think its great that our kids can be who they are and develop their personalities, without feeling like they need to conform to what other kids are doing, how other kids are acting, etc.

There are also the homeschooling myths like homeschooled kids can’t go to college which is so not true. My thoughts on our kids going to college are much different than what they used to be and its not just because of homeschooling. There are people who go to college because they think they have to. They borrow way too much money to pay for school and then they get out of school, get a job that they don’t really like and work to pay off those student loans. I don’t want that for our kids. Even if we have the money for them to go to college, I don’t want them to think its the only option. Maybe they’ll start a business, maybe they’ll be a hairstylist, maybe an electrician. I want them to know college isn’t the only way to success, finding a way to do what you love and working hard at it is. And besides that, happiness is far more important than success.

All this rambling is not saying that anyone has openly judged us about our homeschooling decision, because I’ve only gotten some questions here and there from people who love us and support us and who are open minded and accepting of the decisions we make.  I do know there have been judgments made and questions asked about our decisions to those supportive people, however and not directly to us. That’s OK too. Those people are unsure and something about what we’re doing makes them even more unsure. I’m confident in the parenting decisions we have made for our family.  Eric, the kids and I are so happy where we are now. So happy that we aren’t worried about how other people are raising their children because we know whatever they choose is best for their family and we support them and wish for their happiness too.

Where we stand now: we’re continuing on our unschooling journey and we’ll see where it takes us. Maybe literally. We’ve been talking about how ironic it is that we chose to homeschool when we live in a state with the highest regulations on homeschooling. Required testing would begin every other year in 4th grade and I think, from what I’ve read, that first year can be the off year. So we’ve maybe got 3 years to decide on what we’ll do next if we’re still homeschooling at that point. Moving would be such a big change, but change is good, right? We’re only talking about the possibility right now. In the meantime, we’re making a short list of which of the yellow states on this map we’d consider living in.

Other random things that I want to remember:

For the last 6 months or so, West soothes himself to sleep by grabbing onto my nose. When he first started doing it I had a hard time breathing (he grabs my nose that hard!) and I’d have to breath through my mouth. I have no idea where this came from and now that he’s sort of tapering off from it (he’s now only just reaching up to grab my nose or face for a moment to be sure its still there) I want to remember it.

I’ve called West choochoo for a while now. Siri asked me last night why I call him that. I started off calling him chalupa when he was a baby and shortened it to my little choochoo. Siri asked that I start calling her sweetie ro-ro (ro for rose, her middle name). She started reading the wizard of oz.

Elin is drawing tons of pictures of little people (with no arms) and has been for the last few months. She draws our family and usually puts Grandpa in there too.

Cas asks me to draw him cars, houses and gas stations from this book. He likes for me to draw them on these little pieces of paper cut up by Elin. I’ll fit 4 or so little cars on the sheet. Then later I realized that he’s taping them on his walls as artwork above his bed.

I started reading Harry Potter to the kids at night. Elin says its boring, but Siri and Cas really enjoy it. They fell asleep last night while I was reading chapter 5.

I watched Princess Bride with the kids the other night. I tried to play it for them a year or so ago and they weren’t interested, but they sat through the whole thing the other night and loved it. It was a movie I watched more than once as a kid.



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