I asked the kids how they felt about how we homeschool, and the first thing they said was that we’re relaxed. So I asked them what that meant, and they gave me quite a list. Sam said, “Not having to do school when we don’t want to.” I’m not sure exactly what he meant, but I know they don’t mind doing school. Well, sometimes they mind doing math, but I accept that as the family hardship. Maybe he meant what Sarah said, “We don’t worry if we can’t do school.” You know there are plenty of days like that with my migraines, fatigue, projects at the old house (we finished painting the stairs today), and Jeff’s schedule.
Rachel likes the not worrying aspect too. She’s glad we aren’t worried about requirements (too much anyway). She said that we could do a lot of good school-type things from some list, but if we don’t do them, we’re still ok. I love that. She also said that she’s glad I don’t worry about grades as much as she does. It’s kind of funny that the girls think about what grades they get, because they really don’t get any. I only give a percentage grade on science tests so they have some idea about it, but for some reason it matters to them what they get. I haven’t figured out why.
They said they like that we don’t separate living from learning. I just put the learning of any subject in the same category. It’s been my job to teach them to get dressed, use the bathroom, cook, clean the house, read, write, multiply, understand government, manage money, be respectful, and serve others. What’s the difference? Why would I decide any of those things shouldn’t be done by me? Sarah was thinking that other people probably don’t do a lot of academic learning at home. They don’t have science experiments in the freezer or Egypt in the basement or China in the den. Sounds boring to her.
Then we talked about how we’re together all the time, having conversations. We talk all day every day. Sometimes we don’t get much else done. This is one of our favorite things about homeschooling. We know each other so well, we can tell what each other is thinking. It’s like we don’t need to talk because we talk so much! Sometimes they just say one word and it means this whole big thing, which totally cracks them up. We’re going to have to do one of our comedy sketches about it. Something they appreciate about my knowing them so well is that I can figure out ways to explain things to them so they get it. I admit that sometimes it takes a few times or a few dozen, but we get there eventually. Also, they get to help each other understand things.
They like how we sometimes have a great idea and start planning and get excited, but then we don’t do it. If we lose interest or momentum, it’s ok. Like when we read Murder on the Orient Express, we thought it would be fun to have a party with the teens at church and act it out. Rachel started writing parts and we talked about who would be good for each part, but we never did it. It still sounds like fun, but we’re not worried about not doing it. Sometimes it’s good to be able to quit something you don’t want to finish. That’s just real life.
Rachel said how she likes that they are influenced by our family culture and not the high school culture. This is the biggest reason we started homeschooling all those years ago, and it has worked out wonderfully for us. Sure, sometimes they’ve felt like they don’t know anything other kids know. But I tell them other kids don’t know all the things they know. Everyone is that way. All the kids that go to school don’t know all the same things either. Adults sure don’t. I tell them that nobody ever wants to compare what I know with what they know. As adults, we just talk and learn from each other. Everyone’s so different, and that’s what makes the world interesting.
See you tomorrow!