When I tell people that I homeschool, they usually reply that I must be patient and or very organized. I am not sure I am excellent in either respect. I do like to be organized and I am always trying to be patient. Truthfully, I am not sure either one of the above is important to being a homeschool mom. I also hear some people say that all you need is a library card and the Bible to homeschool. In some respects that is true, but it is really a pat answer. There really is more to being a successful homeschool mom than a library card.
So what are the tools, you ask?
A thirst for knowledge ~ I think this is one of the most important tools to homeschooling. If the teacher hates learning or at the very least lacks the desire to learn, how is the student to acquire an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Both teacher and child should seek to know more and ask questions.
Building a dam
Exposure to new things ~ Whether that be new books, new places, new thoughts, new people, new toys or new life skills. We are always learning. Giving a child a saturated environment sure does help the mind keep growing.
A pulley ride ... which pulley works the best?
Exploration ~ This one takes time, but is so important. When you are learning with your child about something, it is so vital to really dig in and explore the topic. There is so much to learn about everything and it is extra fun to explore the world together.
Wonder ~ To have wonder in the world around you with all that there is to explore and learn. Kids are naturally filled with wonder. However, wonder can be messy, time consuming and inconvenient at times. Grown-ups are filled with wonder, too; it just gets buried under the To Do List at times. Sometimes we have to schedule wonder in this busy world. So be it! Keep the wonder alive in yourself and your children.
How do you separate the water from the plastic pellets?
Willingness ~ You need a willingness to spend huge quantities of time with your children. In fact, you need to be willing to spend almost all of your time with your children! This is not to say that you will never have Me Time again. But for now, the majority of your days and nights will be spent with your children and/or preparing activities for your children.
Sacrifice and Perseverance ~ Many things in life take sacrifice and homeschooling in no exception. It also take perseverance. Homeschooling is not always easy. In the last 13 years of homeschooling, we have dealt with unemployment, under-employment, hospital stays, hundreds of doctor appointments, illnesses, and being foster parents. However, it is all worth it. I would not trade homeschooling for a minute more of Me Time or a larger paycheck.
Sharks and stingrays, oh my!
There is no perfect homeschool ~ Most importantly, I think homeschool moms (and dads) need to have fun and know that homeschooling is a journey and not a race. Everyday we have dozens of opportunities to impart our love of learning and guide our children on the path of learning. Even on the poor days/weeks when all of our plans go up in smoke, our children are still learning. We have homeschooled through many crises, and the kids have learned so much during those difficult times. Sometimes the life lessons are more important than the academic ones. I love a saying I read recently ~ Don't wait for the storm to pass ... Learn to dance in the rain. That phrase rings so true for our family. If we sat and waited for the storms in our life to pass we would miss everything.
Digging for fossils.
All of the photos were taken at the Catawba Science Center. What a fun place!