Monday, October 27, 2008

The Beauty of Homeschooling

I know homeschooling isn't for everyone, and that is ok. There are so many things that I love about homeschooling. It is hard to imagine not homeschooling. Well, there are days I do imagine it, but those mostly come on the grocery days where kids are running down the aisle, crying, begging, or fighting. On those days, it is oh so easy to imagine them being in school, and me shopping with just one child instead of four, and someday shopping all alone. Oh yes, that would be a beautiful thing . . .  Wait a minute this post was supposed to be about the beauty of homeschooling, not my fantasies of peaceful grocery shopping. 

As I was saying, the last few weeks I've really appreciated some of the advantages of homeschooling. This appreciation has not come at the shining success of our educational pursuits. It has been earned through the frustrations and trials of learning addition and subtraction.    

Lydia quickly caught on to the concept of addition and subtraction, and she was great figuring out problems, as long as she could use manipulatives. Her math book quickly moved on to double digit problems and using manipulatives for every one of those quickly became cumbersome. Soon she was frustrated and shut down. She wasn't even able to complete problems she easily figured the day before. I was getting frustrated. We were getting nowhere. 

This is where the individual attention that comes with homeschooling is such a blessing. Instead of her falling behind while the class moved on, we are able to slow it down and work at her pace. She has been playing a lot of math baseball in an effort to sharpen her skills.   We also pulled out a workbook that we didn't use last year. The pages are very simple, and she flies right through them. It all serves to strengthen the foundation and make math a less overwhelming subject to her. 

She still needs manipulatives a lot more than I'd like, but she is getting quicker and gaining confidence. So much confidence in fact, she is teaching addition and subtraction to her four year old brother. For several days now, after her lessons are done, I've found her sitting with Nolan and a beginning addition workbook page. It is simply adorable. 

Our math curriculum is set aside for now. There is no pressure to get through the text or to keep up with the class. Lydia is learning addition and subtraction at her own pace. Right now that pace requires a lot of repetition and patience. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility to provide her with that. 


  1. Great post. And my nine year old uses a ruler for subtraction. I'd like her to move on to a little more automaticity, but you are right that they need to be allowed to progress at their own pace.

  2. That's why my sister-in-law homeschools. My niece needed more one-on-one attention with spelling and when they asked for it, the school system's response was to put her in special ed (this was in Ohio). Idiots.

  3. Your right it isn't for everyone, but bless those you can and do.

  4. That's one of the things that I love the most about homeschooling. So many times in the public school I watched as one of my children to get something before the class moved on. Of course, I was the one who spent the time teaching it over and over at home. It's so nice to move at each child's own pace!!

  5. Yes, I love being able to adjust to the pace of learning that works for each child and for our family. Most likely every child could homeschool, but not every parent is cut out for it, or at least they don't truly believe they are!

  6. We're talking about homeschooling - it's either that or finding a way to cough up the tuition for a nearby private Christian school...

    I'm partly excited to try it and partly terrified that I'll be terrible at it. Guess we've still got a few years to figure it out!

  7. Brianne,
    If you are staying home with a young one now you are already homeschooling. It really is a natural progression from toddler to preschool to kindergarten and beyond. Nothing to be terrified of! :)

  8. You're so right about the beauty of homeschooling! My mom did this with my twin brother... we did our reading lessons together until she realized that he was just copying my answers, not actually learning. She then separated us to do our work, and held him back a bit until he'd learned it. And don't worry--they catch up eventually. :)