From Our House to Yours
Giving Thanks for the Blessings of Homeschooling
This Thanksgiving week, I give thanks for the many blessings of homeschooling! Simply being able to homeschool my children in a Christian way is such a blessing. I sometimes take it for granted. Do you? Every year I homeschool, there are new blessings. I find they change as our stages in life change. I also find it is important to stop and take notice of them, or I might miss them altogether. Heart of Dakota brings out the best in each stage. However, to be mindful of what it going on that is good, I need to press pause and take notice. That is how I can remember to give thanks for the privilege of being able to homeschool!
The Blessings of Homeschooling Little Ones
Little ones bring laughter, joy, and sporadic happiness to the day! I took lots of pictures when homeschooling my littles. Every moment in Heart of Dakota with my little ones seemed picture-worthy! With little ones, some of the blessings of homeschooling are it’s short, it’s fun, and it’s full of wonder! Any and every moment can be a moment to laugh out loud until your sides hurt.
The Blessings of Homeschooling Elementary-Aged Children
Elementary-aged children are like sponges. They soak up so much in so little time! They learn to read, to write, and to add/subtract/multiple/divide. Before long, they are following short step-by-step directions for projects. They even begin to tackle science experiments solo. Oral narrations, written narrations, grammar lessons, dictation, cursive – oh my! It truly is amazing how much children who are in the elementary years of their homeschooling learn! They memorize passages of Scripture, commit multiple hymns to memory, and their Bibles become personal to them. Both reading and being read to are a joy! Books open a whole new world, and it’s exciting! Progress is obvious, easily celebrated, and school days are still quite short. These are some of the blessings I love about homeschooling this age!
The Blessings of Homeschooling Middle School-Aged Children
Middle school-aged children grow up right before our eyes! It is shocking how much they change in outward appearance. My 12 year-old son grew 7 1/2 inches this year. His shoes are bigger than his Dad’s, and he is taller than me. Braces. Glasses. Voice changes. Shaving. What happened to our little boys and girls? They are no longer so little. And not only are they changing on the outside; they are also changing on the inside! They are becoming their own person with their own thoughts and ideas. All of a sudden during a discussion, they say something profound. Shortly after this, they say something profoundly silly. Homeschool days are longer, but independence is greater. Everything just goes deeper. It is a privilege to be a firsthand part of all of this growth and change of mind, body, and soul.
The Blessings of Homeschooling High School Students
High school is the home stretch of homeschooling, and everything gets tougher. School days lengthen; they must if they are to be prepared for their next chapter in life. Responsibilities increase. Everything requires more focus, concentration, and dedication. They analyze, dig deeper, and question things. In the midst of all this, a beautiful thing happens; they become their own person! With their own faith, thoughts, emotions, actions, worldview, and goals. We find they don’t need us quite so much anymore, and yet every once and awhile, they need us more than ever. This is total transformation, and WE as homeschool moms, WE are a real part of that transformation. A total blessing.
The other day I had an insightful conversation with my 11th grade son. After I finished editing his essay, teaching his Algebra II, discussing his devotional and literature, hearing his written narration, and correcting his chemistry, government, and Spanish, I told him somewhat nostalgically that I missed just teaching him his ABC’s. I lamented that high school was hard and just not as light, airy, and fun. He told me I was right – high school was hard, but I was also wrong – high school was still fun. It was just a different kind of ‘fun.’
He went on to say it had to be hard, or he’d never make much of himself or be ready for college. But, it was also ‘fun’ – to make our schedule, to not be schooling all day and doing homework all night, to not be wasting free time driving to and from school, to be schooling in the comfort of our own home, to have snacks when we want, to wear what we want, to use the bathroom when we want – and to use it alone. Also, he really did like most of it, especially the books. And, oh, it was pretty cool for me to be his teacher. Yeah – a pretty good take on high school – hard, but totally fun. So, this Thanksgiving week, I count my blessings of homeschooling through the years. I hope I’ve inspired you to do the same! Happy Thanksgiving!