The years I spent home schooling my children shine brightly in my memory. Just thinking of those days relaxes my muscles and my heart. They were truly the best years of my life as I struggled to listen, love, encourage, and inspire. My reward is great even today. I’m glad I became a home school mom.
In the beginning, I began home school because my first born is a tease. He loves a joke and he adores laughing, but sometimes he didn’t know what his limit should be. I felt he needed more maturity before venturing out into the world without me.
Once we started, I didn’t want to quit. I love spending time with my children. They are my friends. They are unique. And I love knowing them in every situation.
What I loved
I loved the hours of preparation for a school year. I would poor over all the curriculum choices and the subjects each child would learn. I’d buy a lesson plan book and fill every day with tasks, homework, chapters, and activities. I’d research the best science and social studies available determined to make it fun.
Personally, I can’t stand art and science experiments. Inevitably there would be a mess to clean up. As my children grew older, I christened an old child-sized table as the outdoor project table. It started life with us painted white but by the end, it was a combination of play dough, water colors, dirt, and volcanic eruptions.
I enjoyed setting up schedules more than actually keeping the schedules.
What I miss
I miss the days when I was tired, exhausted, and grumpy and it would become a writing day! After breakfast and prayer I couldn’t face boring school work and constant reminders to finish.
All four of us would change into bathing suits and shorts, or more likely, jeans and sweaters, and pack. We would take a blanket, snacks, notebooks, and pens to the beach to “do English.” Nothing could change frowns to smiles as easily as shouting, “Beach Day!”
Our favorite beach days required winter temperatures with overcast skies. Very few people brave the cold wind to explore the beach. We would lay out the blanket and snacks and take off our shoes to lay on our stomachs with pen in hand. Together we weaved stories, essays, and imaginations to the sound of breaking waves, crying sea gulls, and the occasional murmur of people walking past.
What were bad days
The worst home school days consisted of tears, sickness, and housework. But I would send myself to my room for a time out. After a priority reset, my attitude would change and I’d let some tasks go. Nothing is as important as a child’s smile. And a mother’s smile is reflected on her children’s faces.
For over two years, my children and I prayed for mommy not to yell. Due to sleep deprivation (all nursed, all were up several times a night for nearly two years, and my youngest had night terrors), I lost my temper. I didn’t know any other way to change other than prayer. So we prayed. And we worked hard on one principle, “We speak quietly and respectfully with one another.”
What were best days
My best days home schooling happened every day. I learned to let go of my expectations of what my child could do and my children loved learning. We spent time with each other, listening, loving, fighting, making up, and doing our lives together. Each day brought us closer together and taught me more than my kids.
My confession as a home school mom
As a home school mom I loved my children and my lack of routine. But I also craved routine in some ways. We created a notebook of memory verses and added to it once a month. Every morning we would read in the book helping us memorize the scriptures. By the time we stopped homeschooling, we couldn’t read through all of the bible verses in one morning there were so many. We memorized Psalm 91 and performed it as a play with actions and props.
Our family went camping and to camps together. We visited monuments, national parks, and museums. We used Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park to study California state history, learn about a gold rush, and native Americans. Sea World provided us with a year of animal sciences, learning about birds, water mammals and animals.
My confession is I loved being a home school mom. I loved the hard work of setting up a curriculum and lesson plans on three different levels. The enjoyment of constantly being on-call for my children contrasted with the exhaustion of always being alert. I miss those days because I miss my children and the simple joys we found together. Reliving the memories settles my heart and lowers my blood pressure. I loved being a home school mom.
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