I would do it all over again. Last year that is. Sure maybe some curve balls where thrown at me but if the question comes up this year, "so...are you still homeschooling?" The answer is an enthusiastic, resounding, YES! Do you ever feel like when non-homeschoolers ask you how your year went, it seems as though they are fishing for a sense of struggle, discomfort or sigh of discontentment? Like they are hoping to see the fire dwindling so they can say, "see, I knew homeschooling was hard, which is why I could never do it!"
I guess we will always be observed under a magnifying glass, and I just need to get over it. Like when the kids are asked by concerned adults, "what are you learning in school?" My children stare at them blankly responding with the ever so dreadful, "I don't know." I cringe. Then I remember my public school days, when asked the same question I'm pretty sure I gave a similar response.
I have to remind myself that my children are learning, even if they aren't quick to say something smart when under pressure! And, I certainly don't want to be the stressed out mom, who before company comes, coaches my kids saying, "Ok, when Miss Suzie asks what you are learning in school, you respond with X,Y,and Z. Oh, and don't forget to recite every Bible verse you know and be sure to read several books to them clearly ABOVE your reading level. But, don't mention that your sister doesn't know her ABC's..." Of course none of us ever do that, right? (hanging head in shame).
This past June I was greatly refreshed at the HEAV homeschool convention in Richmond, Virginia. Filled with new ideas and encouragement I came home excited to implement new methods and material in our school. We school throughout the year with several breaks and wouldn't have it any other way.
After being home only a few days, the strangest occurrence happened. In the middle of the school day, I got a concussion which changed the course of our homeschooling for the next six months. For days I couldn't talk straight and for months I was unable to drive and stuttered at times. I knew it was only a matter of time that things would go back to normal but I never thought it would take a whole six months!
"For we know all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose," (Romans 8:28).
Even though there were limitations put on me and I wasn't able to do over half the things that I wanted to do with the kids, God was drawing us closer as a family. I was forced to be at home, with my children and my hardworking husband, when on his down time, had to drive me around when I needed to get out. But, really, is that such a bad thing? In a society that values independence more than family, I see the hand of God all throughout these events. What could have caused much stress and chaos in our family instead brought us closer together!
Another highlight of 2013 was that it was my first year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew! In light of the odd events of the year, having new materials delivered right to my door and several online programs to use was a tremendous blessing! Some of the online programs were a life saver when days got tough and my speech was not quite up to par.
Through the Crew, I was introduced to a whole new world of homeschooling materials. There was such a diverse treasury of goodies that my children enjoyed that I simply can't just pick one as a favorite. But I will say that for science, I'm glad we were able to review Apologia. Both Creationist and Charolotte Mason based, it is a perfect fit for not only my children's learning styles but also my teaching style.
Looking forward to another year on the Crew, of homeschooling and seeing what God has in store for our family!