Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saying goodby to the homeschooling rat race!

The beginning of the school year, we started off pretty well. It took me a while to get into a good daily routine of chores, table time, and coordinating Jordan and Joelle's lessons with me around Jada's nap. But within a month we were on a pretty steady roll, getting lessons done and progressing through the math textbooks easily.

Then I started getting worried about whether or not my kids were being "socialized" well. So I joined a few local groups so my kids could meet other homeschooling kids, and make more friends. Along with the groups, came activites such as meetings, group classes, play dates, group field trips, etc. (Art Class? Why not, Jordan LOVES art!) (Oh, a fossil dig group field trip, I'm so there!)

On top of that I was a part of my church's women's fall bible study (Which was totally awesome and would do again in a heartbeat).

And our life got crazy.

I signed up for activities that had us leaving the house one or two times a week. There were even a few weeks that we were gone from home every single day of the week.

It was a train wreck slowly happening. We would get one good school day in, then be gone a day or two, and then have to take a day to get back into our routine. Maybe having one or two good full days of learning at home a week.

Most of the activities ended the end of November, leaving December to just focus on the core studies. It was wonderful. Our days were uninterrupted for the most part, only leaving the house for select activities, church, and family stuff. We were able to keep our routine consistently. Naps were taken. And I had sweet one on one time with each of my girls during their lessons.

The days became more relaxed, because I didn't feel like I had to cram two days of work into one day to make up for the day we would be out. Jordan seemed to understand her math lessons better, and retain what she did learn. Joelle improved in her phonics and handwriting and was able to read half of "Hop on Pop". Jada was happier because we were home during her naptime and not out doing something.

We took half of Christmas week off, and all of last week off of school to give the house a small cleaning and purging, but we still did some learning every day. Jordan wanted to continue her math, and also wanted to learn to knit. Joelle played with her abacus alot, counting out 100's then by 2's and 5's.

But I'm so ready to get back to our normal school routine on Monday. In order to keep consistent in our routine, I really do not think we will be doing very many activities with the Homeschool groups. I feel we need to be home more, and focus on us more as a family, and strengthen my relationships with my daughters.

I realize that in worrying about the whole "socialization", I have let us neglect what was really important in giving my kids an education. We chose to homeschool because we felt that our daughter was not learning to the full of her potential where she was. Not to socialize her.

Children are not properly educated through being highly socialized, but they can be properly socialized while being highly educated.

We have made a few really good friends, in these groups, and am thankful for the new friendships I have found. But was also neglecting old friendships with families we really cherish.

So no offence to anyone who may be reading this, but we probably will not be joining you for your scheduled play group, or group museum tour, or group art class, or day at the movies. I just find that they are not beneficial for my family.

I find that when at the museum with a group, my girls are more concerned about hanging with their friends than they are exploring the exhibits. We tend to try to keep up with the group instead of lingering at the exhibits that interest us the most.

I find that getting to many kids together for play group at once, can render more bad than good (especially when some of the other parents don't watch their kids).

I find that the leaders of some of the groups have scheduled activities that are convenient for their families and schedules, and it just doesn't fit for my family. Plus some of the activities were doing things my girls really weren't interested in, or did not get much out of because of being distracted by the other kids.

We will attend a few activities, a few zoo trips, play dates, etc. We'll still get together with select friends and families who don't let their kids run around like ________. But only only when it fits into the schedule of my family and is not detrimental to our lifestyle of learning.

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