Monday, January 9, 2012

When homeschool doesn't sparkle

I had a good friend visit our homeschool today.  She is contemplating homeschooling her son who will be in in Kindergarten next year.  We've been planning this visit for a while, but with busy schedules and the craziness of the holidays we have been pushing it aside.  This had given me a lot of time to think about the visit.  What could we do to make her fall in love with homeschooling?  Should I have my house sparkling clean with classical music in the background as the children sing their Bible verses (don't laugh...I didn't say this was possible!)  Would my kids decide they did not want any part of the lesson?  Would the baby be clingy and take so much of my attention that Sofia would be left alone to figure out her phonics workbook?

Just a little pressure.

Then I got thinking to when I was in her shoes last year.  I was a reluctant homeschooler (just ask the Catholic school that had our deposit already paid for Sofia's Kindergarten!)  Slowly, I began reading homeschool blog after blog after blog.  I was mesmerized by their nature-loving, self-learning, super-crafty kids.  I loved how creative the parents were in their lessons.  Reading these blogs it would seem like homeschooling rocks every single day.

But it doesn't.

Today wasn't a bad day at our homeschool...but it certainly wasn't exciting!  Thanks to a wonderfully busy weekend, I did very little lesson planning.  There was no craft to compliment our history lesson, I stumbled over teaching her math lesson and my daughters seemed more interested in each others lessons then their own.  It was a day that was not blog-worthy...nothing like you usually see on the homeschool blogs!  When my friend left, I worried whether "real-life" homeschooling would drive her in the direction of public school!

Then I got to thinking that maybe seeing a typical day like we had today is a blessing.  While it is great to have days where we learn outside of the box, we also have many days where we just "do school."  On good days...the girls will usually take an interest in something we're learning and ask lots of questions about it.  They may even surprise me with a craft they come up with on their own on the topic.  But that didn't happen today (of course).

My friend had to leave before our lessons came to an end.  What I wished she could have seen was that after we finished school...the girls got bundled up and spent hours outside together building their outdoor fort and "gathering wheat" (which are really weeds).  During lunch we invented a story about a village in Maya's belly who needed noodles to encourage her to finish her chicken noodle soup! 

Sometimes homeschooling isn't about the sparkle of the lessons or the size of the crafts.  Sometimes the beauty of being home is just being together...and if that came across in our visit today, then we did a pretty good job of showing a successful homeschool day.


  1. Oh Nicole! The day was great, right down to the cracker crumbs on the floor! I'd rather see real-life school instead of a day that is flawless in a sparkling home. Give me real, you know that about me! I am sorry that you felt pressured, I hadn't realized that you might feel that way but I can totally see why.

    I LOVED being with you guys and wish I had started this year with K like we talked about last year. No worries, though. I'm sure Jak will catch up in no time. :)

    Thank you for letting us see a glimpse of your learning!

  2. This for me is also one of the main reasons we homeschool. Many of our school days are not all that glamorous! We do language arts, than math, We read some books for science and history and literature. Somedays we accomplish all this others we don't. Some weeks we get to art lessons and others not. But I love, love, love that my kids have all this time to be kids and explore personal interests. I love that our family life is their major influence.

  3. Nancy I totally agree! It is such a blessing to be able to WATCH our kids grow up together and enjoy life!

  4. The girls absolutely loved you being there! They asked where you were the next day (they tried to use it as a stall tactic to starting their lessons!)