Whenever I am in a public arena and someone finds out that I homeschool, they often ask, "how does that work?"
I hate that question, because I don't know the answer. First of all, I'm not sure what they are wanting to know. Are they asking, "How do you stay sane?" or "How are you smart enough to teach several grades and subjects?" or most likely, "How are you sure that your children are learning as much as those in real schools." Oh, and of course, "How do your kids get a social life." (eye roll)
Secondly, I change "How it works" so often I don't have a one minute summary to share. Life changes fast, and school must fit in somehow.
And finally, I can't explain how it is so different than "classroom" learning so most of those accustomed to a school setting won't wrap their brain around where mine is coming from in our short conversation.
Since I'm much better at writing than a face to face conversation, here might be my answer:
I have a curriculum, but sometimes we get way off track because our lives find incredibly interesting subjects that we love- and we learn better when we love it.
I have a plan that usually changes by the hour.
The "school hours" are shorter but the learning lasts all day.
The school year doesn't end, but the structure changes according to how nice it is outside.
I am aware of state standards, but mostly try to forget them.
I am grossly under qualified in credentials, I am vastly over qualified in investment.
If I would happen to put one of my children in a public school, I have no idea whether they would be ahead or behind the class. I wish not to compare, and I wish not to tempt myself to worry about it. I know my kids are smart. I believe all kids are smart in one way or another. As for classroom smart, I don't know. But I guarantee they are learning.
I am all too often influenced by a small voice in the back of my head..."are we doing enough of this- or that..." And if I get too obsessed by that voice, that is when it is hard.
We learn best in a relaxed, go- with- the- flow organization.
My goal is for them to know how to learn. Then they will be able to learn whatever is necessary at whichever time in their life.
As for me, most people assume I am super organized. On the contrary....not at all. However, I am creative and I can sneak learning in almost any situation.
And I am assuming that any other homeschool mom you ask will not have the same answer as I would. Maybe similar- but somewhat different. We are not clones. There are many ways to learn.
This morning I was personally in turmoil over something unrelated to school. Brooke and Max were pleasantly playing together. I gave Savannah and Summer instructions to copy four of their reading sentences. They replied, "can we do more if we want to?" Both of them.
They sat down at the table and worked quietly. I had a few moments. And it hit me, all was good.
When I was younger, we had a small, clear cube. Inside that cube was a plastic square with a small indention in the middle. On top of the plastic was a small metal ball that seemed to be forever rolling. The goal was to direct that ball to sit in the indention. It looked easy, but it certainly was not. I remember tensing up, intently focused to getting that ball to it's sitting position...but many times it kept rolling and rolling.
This morning, for those few moments, I sat on the couch and just took it all in. The ball was still. It was beautiful. I wish I could have bottled up whatever it took to make everything work together, for it is rare.
But even in the tense times when the ball won't seem to stay still, so much good is happening. I cannot speak for anyone else, but my family was made for this.
Today I am thankful for:
1. My kids can cook.
2. A little boy, Max.
3. A roof over my head.