Monday, April 25, 2011

Not that you asked...

As oldest is getting ready to graduate High School, it naturally leads to a time of reflection and introspection. For us, it's a bit different because we are a home educating family, aka: homeschoolers. You know that word that seems to imply a bunch of weirdos that don't know how to socialize, wear matching dresses and polo shirts and enjoy making volcanoes and baking their own bread.

Guess what....making a volcano is pretty cool but building a rocket is cooler.  Home made bread is delicious but baking desserts is really my passion. We're not big fans of the polo though. Home educating families come in many shapes, sizes and colors.Yep, we're one of those families.

There are a million and one reasons why families choose to home educate and I can't speak for every one of them.  You can google and find lots of articles and blogs about the whys and hows of home educating.  I want to share with you some of the benefits we have experienced and how it has affected our lives, since we are at the end of one educating season.

We all know that time is a commodity.  Families often complain that they don't have enough time to do the things they would like to do.  They don't have enough time with each other.  Relationships often suffer for lack of time to properly nurture and care for them. Home educating practically eliminates this obstacle.  Families spend the biggest chunk of their day together, that would usually be lost to forced educational separation.

This daily time together, virtually eliminates that weekend crunch.  That time on the weekends that you spend trying to make up for the daily loss, attempting to fit everything into two days: social life, bonding, fun and relaxation.  When you home educate, you don't need to rush as much.  You have time together daily doing meaningful tasks instead of participating in artificially created, awkwardly forced events and situations.

Chores, meals, and yes, math problems are done together.  Sure, much of the magic is lost.  You know, kids being gone all day, coming home to the immaculate home where all their clean clothes magically appear folded in their drawers daily. But does anyone really live like that anymore? A home educating family is as real as they come.  They work together to keep their home as pleasant for all it's inhabitants, as possible.

Being within close proximity with so many variables, at any given moment, provides oodles of opportunity for conflict resolution and problem solving. Children get an up close and personal look into adult life. Daily responsibilities can not be over looked as an every day part of life.

Utilizing this luxury of time allows ample opportunity to really get to know a person. If you are away from your family, kids/parents, for 4-6 hours a day, it goes with out saying that you miss momentous opportunities. If my children have a question about life, a discovery or a struggle, we have time to talk about it.  To learn about solutions, to learn about each other.  I don't have to force conversations with awkward questions....relating come naturally with the ebb and flow of the seasons and hours of the day.

Life and people are not born perfect.  When issues and concerns arise, they can be handled immediately.  Or worked through together.  My kids have not had to learn about or cope with life lessons from their peers. I have been available for them to deal with these tough issues together.  We have been able to comfort each other in our greatest hours of need. 

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