Monday, June 02, 2008

Homeschool, Year One....Part Two

I would hear homeschool families talk about how much they enjoyed the "freedom" that comes with choosing to homeschool, but frankly, I was very hung-up trying to figure out how I would manage appointments and errands and cleaning if all my children were at home all the time.

Breathing my air. Standing in my space. Using up my brain cells.

It didn't sound like freedom. But it definitely exposed the wicked and selfish ways that I thought were so well hidden behind my "I deserve" mantra. God had some work to do.

He is still working. Hard.

But there is freedom in the day-to-day schedule, the vacation schedule, the bedtime and rising schedule, which leads me to.....

Blessing #2- Freedom

We started our school year three weeks later than public school and headed to Disney World the second week of September. This was a cost-saver in many ways and the parks were much less crowded. We were also able to take advantage of the "free dining" plan that started the end of August and continued through September. It felt like we were pulling the big *Hookie* since this was our first year, but we got used to it :)

Most of you know that we live a solid 1,300+ miles from our family. We usually make a trip home to Texas every other summer and it requires a good two-weeks worth of vacation. Since we were not tied to the public school calendar we were able to travel to San Antonio for Thanksgiving for the first time in long time!

Gigi's House

A couple of other places we went (that I actually posted about)

Williamsburg & Culinary Arts Competition

Theater & Bowling

We took fun daytime trips here and there, spent time enjoying sunny days outside, and even slept a little late when we needed to.

But. By far. Hands down. No question. The very best benefit of a flexible schedule came with the opportunity for our whole family to be so intimately involved in Benjamin's birth and the days that followed. The children were at the hospital during labor and (almost) delivery but even sweeter they have been present ever since. The memories that have marked their hearts and minds forever are those spent holding and rocking that precious little brother!

I cannot believe that four whole months have already passed us by! Cliche, I know, but it does seem to zip by faster with each child! We have certainly tailored this school year around the needs of momma & baby but it has been so very sweet.

Still, we did not choose to homeschool because of the blessings or rewards. They are simply the fruit of this labor and I want to share the special ways that homeschooling has brought unexpected joy to our life.

Being present. Together. Through the mundane, yet profound moments of life. It has stretched me beyond what I could have ever imagined and I am more than grateful for how it has unfolded thus far. To read more about my thoughts on homeschooling, go here. I also liked this article from Gregg Harris.

I am still planning my curriculum post for the 08-09 school year, but I am glad I didn't write it yet because I am still hammering it out! I spent this last Saturday at an awesome used-curriculum sale and I have changed a couple of the biggies (science & math). I look forward to sharing my steals with you all and I am still holding out some hope for more links on my curriculum post.

Don't make me call you out by name :)


Leslie said...

Restoring years eaten by locusts, maybe? I am so happy for you, my friend.

Wendy said...

Looks like it has been a great year for you and your family! What a blessing for your kids to be so involved w/Benjamin. I'm sure they are a big help to you.

Christina said...

So sweet! We have loved all being home watching Emily grow up too.