I am a good homeschooling mom and I’m going to muse on why I am good. What do I do that makes me certain, confident, comfortable, and
effective as a mother homeschooling the two more important people on
earth? I have honestly never adequately put this into words. I’ve
tried, but I have never been satisfied with it. I’ll try again now.

I’m not perfect and I have made many mistakes. I’m not always patient.
I’m not always encouraging. I’m not always tuned in to their needs.
I’m not always open and ready for the next teachable moment. I could
freely list my iniquities…but I think you get the idea!

But I love them enough to allow them to make their own mistakes. I love
them enough to tailor each and every lesson to each of my children. I
love them enough to include character-building into each and every
lesson. I love them enough to allow each of my children to struggle
in the ways that strengthen them. I love them enough to let them know
when they have not done their best and to encourage them to do it for
the sake of having done it. I love them enough to not sweat the
small stuff. I love them enough to let them “disappoint me”. I love
them enough to know when they need time away, time back to lessons,
time to follow their own bliss. I love them enough to let them know
that their abilities and strengths are not diminished by those things
that are difficult for them.

I truly enjoy being with them. I enjoy seeing their comradeship with one another. I enjoy
seeing them handle their own conflicts with respect. I enjoy seeing
them support and encourage each other through difficult times,
performances, moody days, boredom, busy days, day in, and day out. I
enjoy seeing them take the leap to understand things that are “above
their level”. I enjoy seeing them as they struggle with those things
that are “below their level” and still know that they are trying their
hardest. I enjoy seeing them instigate a field of study for the day
through their own interests and zeal for learning. I enjoy being
there when one of them says or does something so very wonderful that
even /they/ are aware of the significance of that moment.

A child’s thirst for knowledge is so very unique to that child. As a
homeschooling mother, I am uniquely aware of those interests and I
enjoy showing them just how very ‘NOW’ and ‘today’ and RELEVANT
learning is and can be for them.

I know when internal pressure, frustration, energy, and other factors have just gotten in
the way of their learning. I can see it immediately and I can and do
point it out and help my kids to find their way back to focus on the
work.

And, you know, as I’ve been writing, it has occurred to me that the single best thing that I bring to the table is
my own enthusiasm for learning. I have many varied interests and experiences that make me an admirable teacher! I enjoy learning and I have taken the time to follow my own bliss. I think that THIS is what
makes me a wonderful teacher to my own children!

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Comment by Karen Loethen on September 19, 2010 at 11:07pm
Have your kids ever asked to go to public school and how did you handle that? - are their any points I should know to either lead my fiance to homeschooling (and, btw, I would help her write the lesson plan and one of the learning days would be either saturday or sunday so that I could teach on sciences, maths, and philosophy) and any caveats I should be aware of?

The choice to attend public or private school is always available to the kids. They have never wanted to go and, in fact, FREAK if I even suggest or mention anything about it. And I do mention it so that we are all sure that we are on the same page about it.
Hmmm. There are LOTS of things to know. My suggestion would be to read, read, read and research as much as possible. Go to a homeschooling family's home and see what's up with them. Although, you can visit ten homeschooling family homes and each one would be different and their process of homeschooling would be different.
My honest belief is that if you as the parent are a learning enthusiast, you can't help but impart that to your kids. My own enthusiasm is very catchy for my kids.

I always had the impression that homeschool is what nutty Christian mom's do...

In the beginning, I had that impression too. And, believe me, those moms do exist. But there are also rational and educated parents out here raising our kids to be rational thinkers...that ALONE should be enough to encourage you!

Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on September 16, 2010 at 7:49pm
I use Time4learning. No lesson plans. No textbooks. No record keeping. The site provides everything. You just make your kid use it everyday.
Comment by Jeffrey P. Murphy on September 16, 2010 at 7:26pm
So, I always had the impression that homeschool is what nutty Christian mom's do. But hearing all your stories and hearing 'DasAmericanAtheist' (youtube) story (and he *IS* from a christian background), I'm considering it even more than I was before.

My fiance is nearly convinced by herself that homeschooling is best, but I almost feel as if I need to coax her over the edge. I remember my negative experiences in school for being the 'smart kid' - and I should hope my kids are even smarter, opening them up to even worse ridicule. In addition, my work ethic is crap because school was always just too flipping easy for me, so now I'm mildly lazy.

I think the entire learning environment being open and free - and everything being a learning experience - is the way to go, and more true to real-life than sitting in a classroom with other people 'below your level', and I'd imagine it can even be more damaging if they're all 'above your level'.

Besides the question: Have your kids ever asked to go to public school and how did you handle that? - are their any points I should know to either lead my fiance to homeschooling (and, btw, I would help her write the lesson plan and one of the learning days would be either saturday or sunday so that I could teach on sciences, maths, and philosophy) and any caveats I should be aware of?
Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on September 16, 2010 at 11:48am
I am also a homeschooling mom. Both my girls have mild autism. I get so very tired of being called "overprotective" because I want my girls to have more positive experiences than negative. I know if they went to the public school, they would often be picked on and the subject of jokes. I watched a documentary yesterday called Lord Save Us From Your Followers. In it there was a man who described hazing, bullying and downright torture of a gay male student. The young man later hanged himself.

This guy, a Christian, was very remorseful he took part in some of the bad treatment and had not been the gay guy's friend. Which is a little late, but admirable. What i think is sad is that the gay kids parents didn't console him. They didn't read the school the riot act. And ultimately, left him in a place where he was so unhappy and mistreated, he felt the only way out was suicide.

I'm not blaming them for their actions. It was a long time ago and who know how they felt about their son's being gay all these years later. The bottom line is, we owe it to our kids to nurture and protect them. So many people do not protect their kids from bullying and ridicule. It's really sad. :o(

Your kids sound happy and well adjusted. They are lucky to have a mom who loves them so much and such a good teacher.

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