Have you thought about homeschooling? Are you scared? I often hear critiques of how much my children are missing out on because they do not attend a traditional school. Rarely is the concern for academics, but usually social.
How will they make friends? They make friends the same way as all children
How will they learn to interact in a group with other children? They practice, just like all children.
Won't they miss out on all of the fun extracurricular activities that we all remember so fondly? Their trips are even cooler!
Activities like co-ops and field trips and park days give us the perfect framework for all of this. We are part of a killer homeschool group called Parents Educating Children. It is Christ focused and parent led.
SO back to the big scary questions-
How will they make friends?
They make friends the same way as all children, only under a watchful and choosie eye of their parents. This means that when we see something that is inappropriate, we can nip it almost immediately. Clearly this will not last forever, but for now, I do get to approve of my children's friends and who they interact with as well as their parents because I am spending time with them as well. It allows gives us some latitude to jointly council other children and have our children guided by other parents that we trust.
How will they learn to interact in a group with other children?
Practice makes perfect! Court does not understand the concept of waiting in line. He is also a new 4. Most 4 year olds do not get lines. At home, he doesn't have to wait a whole lot. He is one of the little ones, he goes first. But, in the "REAL WORLD" lines are a part of life. HE NEEDS THIS SKILL! So, at Publix, we wait in lines and talk about waiting our turn. At lights, we talk about waiting. We always talk. That is homeschooling. Then when we are with other children, we refer to the past example.s. "Remember, we have to wait our turn just like at the store." It really isn;t brain surgery- it is parenting with purpose.
Won't they miss out on all of the fun extracurricular activities that we all remember so fondly?
Field trips when you are part of a homeschool group are incredibly exciting. First, they are collaborative. This means that if I am studying sea creatures, I can plan a trip to the aquarium and 20 other children will jump in to come with us. Then when another parent plans a trip to the symphony, I can come along, regardless of my curriculum. Most homeschoolers really do believe that learning is always happening and experience is one of the best methods to imprint information. That means a multitude of field trips and activities to places that most parents do not know or care about on their own.
Second, Field trips and activities are cooperative.
For example, I HATE snakes. I have no intention of going to hang out at a herpetologist on my own or pretend to be one, but I want my children to appreciate and learn about snakes. So when my friend Lynn wants to let her boys catch the snakes in my yard and my children want to help, I can do that.
There are a multitude of things that may scare a parent about homeschooling, but the social and fun things that you don't want your children to miss out on, should never be on the list.
Here are some pics from our field trip this weekend.
It was a Cracker Cowboy Campout followed by an exploration of the Lake Okeechobee and the canals around it.
This is Elton. He is a 6th generation Florida cracker. He took us around the ranch, taught us all about Florida history, cracker style.
Elton is a real cowboy. We learned about the parts of the riding gear and different ways that cowboys demonstrate their skills.
Elton then taught the children how to rope a steer. They all got to try their new skill. Eli rocked it!
After the official field trip was over, we camped out, and enjoyed the beautiful grounds with praise and worship and our own little entertainment group.
Day 2 brought an exciting lesson on Locks and Lake Okeechobee. We even got to use the locks with our kayaks.
We ended the day with some old fashioned Florida Gator hunting, with the camera of course. The canals brought some lovely specimens to appreciate, both reptilian and avian.
This is what homeschooling is all about. Thank you, Lord for letting me do it.
In love, Leigh
In love, Leigh