Thursday, October 27, 2011
Five things homeschooling has taught me
Jen at Forever, For Always shared Five Things that Homeschooling Taught Me at The Homeschool Classroom this morning. I think most homeschooling mothers would agree that in teaching our children, we learn as much as they do. Maybe not about Math (although I have certainly learned my share) and Spelling, but certainly plenty of academics, as well as about parenting and our children's personalities.
I am sharing the five things that I learned (although, admittedly there are about 5 hundred).
1. The Civil War was the scariest time in our nation's history. Each time I teach my children about the Civil War, whether at home or by helping one of my high schoolers take book notes or study for a test, it frightens me to my core. Foreign terrorists have nothing on Americans vs. Americans. More men were killed in the Civil War than in all wars America has been involved in combined. That's American vs American. North vs South. Pick any cause in this country and find it's opposite cause and you could have a new Civil War. Democrats vs Republicans. Christians vs non-Christians. Poor vs middle class. It's a very scary thought and not enough Americans know their history to see how easily it could happen.
2. One can never be taught too much English. I have been around enough high school students (and read enough FB) to know that children today, including homeschooled children, don't learn enough English (no offense to any of my English teacher friends -- you are only one woman!). Grammar among adults in this country is deplorable. I hope that if my children don't get enough of every other subject, they get more than enough English. I know my own English is not perfect -- I have my share of dangling participles and split infinitives -- but, by and large, I pay attention to my grammar.
3. There are not enough pencils, pens, crayons and erasers in the world for one homeschooling family. Where do they go?
4. Each child learns differently. That fact really should not surprise me, but it does. I always thought (and still do, to some degree) that any number of children born of the same two people and raised by the same two people in the same house, would be fairly similar in personality and learning style. I should know, having four children, ages 22 to nine, that they don't, but yet it always surprises me. Yesterday Faith was working from a Seton Reading Book, which I ordered for her because I always enjoyed the variation in exercises it offered. Yesterday's exercise was to find a matching analogy from a word bank. "Hymn is to him as piece is to _________________; Brook is to river as shower is to __________________." My boys -- both of them -- did not get this type of exercise at all. They didn't see the analogies -- it was just not within them. And they both reacted exactly the same way to this exercise. They hated it; it frustrated them. Faith, on the other hand, loved it. She was giggling in delight as she found the answer to each "riddle."
5. Our faith is so deep there is not enough time in one's entire life to learn it all. I don't think anyone on earth, including our beloved pontiff (no disrespect intended) knows it all. I appreciate homeschooling my children if for no other reason than the time it has given me to learn about my faith. Every saint, every sacrament, every scripture verse -- they are all wonderful and deep and, hopefully, will save my soul. Through wonderful Catholic textbooks (if only our Catholic grade schools would use Catholic textbooks!) I have deepened my faith in God and my love for our Church.