Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The School Year Has Begun

We started our school year pretty early this year, and I'm glad. It's wicked hot outside, and we're indoors, around the kitchen table (and lounging on the couch, and making messes in the sink, and cutting, coloring, and pasting - NO! NOT THE DOG!) hammering out how our school year will progress this year. Since we started so early, it will enable us to take a longer Christmas break, or wrap up earlier in the spring, when we want to be outside playing after a cooped-up winter. 

This is the first year I've formally schooled Luke. He loves coloring and using scissors and glue. He's especially proud to display his creations on the fridge. We're working on putting phonetic sounds together and learning Bible stories. He's also sitting in on Adam's science lessons, soaking up some biology. Earlier this week, we listened to wolves howl,  and played a kangaroo game. (I highly recommend the Usborne internet-linked books. What a great resource!)

Adam is moving along at a fast pace, full-steam ahead. It seems like he's got a heavy load when I write it all down on paper (math, science, language arts, history, reading, handwriting, catechism, read-alouds, spelling), but we're getting it done, and he's soaking it up as fast as I can get it to him. I'm so glad he's homeschooled, so he can take things at his own pace. 

And that hits close to the reason we homeschool, but isn't quite on the mark. It's hard to put into context, what it means to our family. We're home (or at least, together), every, every day. I am the primary influence on my children's lives. They get to build a close relationship with one another. Really, Luke and Joey are such close friends. And Adam, he just adores Gracie. Would that work the same way if I sent them away for 8ish hours a day? I would miss so much! They would miss so much! 

I know, I know. There are (*cough* weak) arguments against schooling one's own children. What if we miss something? (Well, goodness, I hope we do! Otherwise, what would be the point of college?) I'm sheltering them from the "real world." (Because school is SO MUCH like the real world. Ask anyone who eats the "real food" in the cafeteria.) And the ever-popular socialization argument that I won't even acknowledge with a response, here. (Not gonna do it.) 

The truth of the matter is: it's the right choice for us. It's not for everyone. (And frankly, I'm glad of that, because I like the library much better during the school year when most children are in school.) Sure, it's hard work sometimes. But it's also a lot of fun, watching Adam's excitement when he sees the result of a science experiment, or being a part of Luke's joy in reading "a real book." My kids are so much fun, and I want to be there for as much of their growing-up as I can. 

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