Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why I Homeschool Post #1

Smart Like Daddy

I've always wanted to write a "Why I Choose to Homeschool" post, but my reasons for homeschooling are so numerous, I was afraid I would have a book by the time I was done. If that happened, then I’d have to go through that whole lengthy publishing process, find an agent, go on tour, etc. I was reluctant to embark on the whole “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” adventure. Who wants to do that when they could be teaching grammar instead?!?

However, today I was hit by a revelation … two, actually!

The first I’ll write about in a moment. The second revelation was that I could share my thoughts over the course of several posts instead of all in one! Genius!

Revelation #1

As I sat reading Renee Tougas’ article about 4 Simple Ways to Teach Elementary Science, I was hit by a revelation! I could finally put my finger on an elusive thought that’s been flitting about my brain, teasing me. “This is why you want to homeschool, you just don’t know it yet.”

First, I must tell you, I’m married to an incredibly intelligent man.

And he comes from an exceptionally smart family.

That’s not to say that I’m not smart, or that my family isn’t either.

It just suddenly occurred to me … we are “smart” in different ways. I am book smart. I am “public school smart enough.” I am a reader & can teach myself just about anything. I can memorize facts for a test. I know how to spell, write, & speak well. I can do enough math to get me through the grocery store, to find the better deal on soccer cleats, and to calculate approximately how much paint I need for the living room.

But my man? (And his family?) Whew! They KNOW so much! I can’t even begin to list the things they know, but I’ll try to give you a few examples … they know:
·        How to raise honeybees
·        How to replace a belt (or any other part) on a tractor, lawn mower, or car
·        How to do their own wiring, plumbing, & roofing
·                How to locate certain stars in the sky 
·               What the Grand Canyon is like (among other national landmarks) 
·               What household goodies to use to doctor a bee sting (my mother-in-law almost scared me   away when hubby & I were dating when she taped a slice of raw onion to my foot after I stepped on a bee & got stung) *Don’t laugh! It worked.* (AND, I now know why it worked!)
·       How to can the veggies they’ve harvested from the garden they planted
·             What kind of bug that it, what bug it's related to, whether it's dangerous or not, and if we should get rid of it or put it to work in the garden or trees
·             Speaking of trees: what kind of tree that is, if it will make it through the winter AND, oh yeah ... 
·            How to tap maple trees & turn the sap into syrup!!! 

Sure, anyone can learn these things. But here’s what I’ve discovered that makes them different from me: they learned most of these things, hands-on, while growing up.

Almost everything I’ve learned in life has come from a book, in school. And now, as an adult, I feel like I don’t know a whole lot of “useful” information.

My husband also went to school, but what impresses me is the knowledge he gained from living “in the world” … as opposed to living in novels, like I did. I’m jealous.

I want my kids to be “smart like Daddy.” I want them to know how to do things. I don’t want them to just be able to spit answers back for a test, then forget them. When my kiddos went to public school, we simply ran out of time each day for “living.” We rushed around in the morning, spent the day at school (me too, as a substitute teacher), came home to argue, fuss, & fight over meaningless homework, ate, bathed, and went to bed. Oh yeah, I allowed some playtime in there somewhere.

I’m so thankful that God has allowed us to homeschool. My kids are learning so much more now! They might not know … hmmm. I was going to compare them to what their public school peers know, but I couldn’t find anything they are lacking yet. And the things they know that those “other kids” don’t? Now that’s priceless!

I will follow this up later with more reasons why we homeschool, but today’s revelation was a real eye-opener for me. We homeschool because I want my kids to be “smart like Daddy.”

*Please be sure to read Renee's article. She has done a fabulous job of helping my mind grasp what I really am using as an elementary Science curriculum.

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