By Jan Udlock
From Estelle: Jan Udlock is my guest blogger today; we are both doing the Word Count Blogathon; I love learning about new subjects, and homeschooling is an area of education I have little knowledge in, making it a natural subject to be explored on my blog.
Since I’m on the fringe of retiring from homeschooling my five children after 19 years, I wanted to share a few benefits of my experience. A little about me: I come from a super feminist background and never wanted children. However, I found salvation in the Lord; got married and then chose to stay home with my kids.
My first thought was that homeschoolers were a bunch of over-controlling mothers. Then I looked into it further. Here’s what I found to be true.
Lessons in Love: Homeschooling my children enhanced my relationship with them. I would never trade the relationship I have built with them as they’ve grown into the young adults they are today.
A Mirror of Me,Their Mom: I realized that children are our mirrors so if you notice any impatience, sarcastic attitudes or arrogance in your kids, take a second look at yourself. Ouch!
Social Solutions: I find homeschooled kids are great at interacting with many people, and not just their peers, because through homeschooling they have a great deal of interaction with kids of many ages
Seek and Ye Shall Find: If you don’t have the ability to teach your kids a certain subject, there are always numerous resources out there to use. I google any question I have and I like to use the website Khan Academy for math questions.
Accountability is Key: You need to keep yourself accountable to someone or some organization depending on what state you live in so that you can get help when needed. I can honestly say my first two kids had a solid math, reading and writing background but I dropped the ball in Science and History. However, my son recently graduated with a BS in Health and Human Performance, and is a personal fitness trainer. Through the help of other people who were homeschooling their kids, I was able to give him what he needed in Science and History, and he made up for my deficit. My daughter? She just graduated with a BA in Sociology at the age of 21.
A Sensa of Mensa?: I once thought if I homeschooled, I’d have brilliant children and that didn’t play out quite like I expected. My kids are a mixture: I have academic kids, and I have ones that are gifted with hands-on abilities.
It’s OK to Play Favorites: You know your child’s strength and his areas that he needs to work on so that makes it easy for you to work one-on-one with him. You also don’t have to waste giving him busy work if you know that your child understands a concept.
Currently my last three kids who are still living at home are enrolled at a homeschool charter school so I’m looking into my new choices.
Still, whatever new adventure I embark on next, I will always value the days, months and years of hard work, tears, and laughter, trying to find one more way to explain a math concept, or calm a child who has torn up his school work, and most importantly, finding the time to savor our small (but important) victories.
What benefits do you see in homeschooling?
Jan Udlock is a freelance writer, mom of five, blogger and recently works as a virtual assistant. She can be found at Imperfect Mom.