Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dependently, Unashamedly, Interest-led, Homeschooling

The origins of this post comes from a mom, that was so bent on pleasing others, that I forgot just Who it was that I was supposed to answer to! 

When I started my journey in the homeschool world I thought I had it all figured out! I pictured the beautiful routine mornings with well-behaved children that loved learning and that were leaps ahead of their actual grade level...THEN I actually had children! 

Popper was relatively easy when it was just him. We would spend hours reading and learning together. It was so much fun. I made very few adjustments in my perfect little picture. Next came Brother Bear, (insert sigh)...He was a very sweet cuddly little boy that required lots of Mommy time. Here came the first change in my homeschool world. I was devastated that I couldn't have my perfect routine anymore. I just knew that I was failing Popper. 
I cried out to my Father. He gently guided me to blogs of moms all over that homeschool with multiple children. I began to realize that homeschooling was not simply doing school at home, it was the ability to make learning a part of everyday life. It was cooking together, going to feedings at the zoo, counting as we buttoned, reading together, and on...
I began to make the necessary changes in order to make our world more learning friendly. About the time that I was starting to get into a routine, Sister came along! Let me just tell you that shattered every bit of my perfect little picture of school. With 3 children, each 2 years apart, I did good to survive each day. I became discouraged yet again, and yet again, God was there. This time He reminded me that I was to be dependent on Him. That without Him, I couldn't do any of it, parenting, schooling, none! 
I began to lean on Him and wouldn't you know that Popper started reading! Despite me, despite my failings, he read! This was my reality check that all I need is Him. 

Fast-forward about a year: We are a happy homeschooling family, kinda. I technically describe us as a 'interes-led unschooling family.'  We learn together A LOT! We spend hours reading, discussing why the black bird is black, and what colors make orange. We count everything, sound out signs, and shop by finding which item is less than the others. If Popper or Brother Bear have a question, we look it up. We figure it out together. We have fun. Occasionally, we do worksheets (especially when Popper asks for them), but mostly we are learning based on what the kids are interested in learning. That explains us in a nut shell. 

Here's the thing, lately I have been so defensive about how we learn. I have made excuses and tried to justify everything. I would tell others that when they got older things would get more structured and we would get curriculum for the kids. The problem with that is that is not necessarily the truth. I am not sure what we will be doing in 2 months much less two years! Right now, learning is fun! We enjoy reading, math, science, and geography! I don't want to lose that. Also, I don't want to give in to the peer pressure of a curriculum, scheduled school day. I want to be totally dependent on God to give me direction. I want to unashamedly follow Him and His desires for my family, whatever that may be! 

So, the next time that someone asks, I am going to declare that I am dependently, unashamedly, interest-led unschooling my children! If the conversation continues beyond that, I will be quick to say that God holds the future for my family, not man. Besides, isn't that the reason that I started on this journey to begin with!  

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