This is my family.
I questioned whether I was making the right choices 23 years ago when we began this homeschool journey. I had too many days of weariness and too many sleepless nights. I still feel like there are never enough hours in the day. And I wondered if my children would grow up having the right skill sets to make it in the world.
I have five children, 2 daughter-in-laws, 4 granddaughters, have homeschooled for 23 years, helped my husband run a business, have started my own business, taken care of sick parents, volunteered at church, 4-H, and a homeschool group, and have an autistic son.
And guess what? My adult children are making their way in this world. But I will share with you a secret. Homeschooling is harder because we make it that way. We have imposed standards on ourselves and our children that are not natural. If you are like me, you grew up in a traditional school environment. You are accustomed to the traditional school model of textbooks, teacher lectures, and learning through memorization. I was that way in the early years, and then I noticed something that happened in my home over and over again.
They were more productive; they were engaged with each other; they were happy; they were learning; and they were “hard at work” at play.
David hand sewed his Robin Hood costume. He also made a coon skin quiver, took fencing lessons, and researched genetics of chickens to try to breed chickens for certain features.
My daughter Melissa was busy playing with her goats. She loved her goats so much she wanted to study about diseases, how to increase milk production, nutrition, anatomy and more. She was busy playing and having fun.
As a mom, I have witnessed first hand this play phenomenon, and I know it works. It has worked for my older children, and it is working in Jack-Jack’s life.