Saturday, February 3, 2018

Things I believe before I started homeschooling...

I was reading a blog post at Mom.Wife.Homeschool Life about 8 Things she believed about homeschooling.  It got me thinking that most of us have an idea in our mind about what homeschooling is or how our days WILL go. The reality is we really have no clue until we get into it. My aunt and uncle homeschooled my cousin and that put that little thought way back in the back of my brain when our first child was born. I always did learning activities with him and games as he was little, but it wasn't until he was almost 5 that I realized I already planned to homeschool him, but really had never talked to my husband about it (LOL) We talked, he was for it and life went on. When I think back I realize I still struggle with some of these thoughts I had and they often still creep back.

I thought by homeschooling that my kids would just pick up learning activities on their own or seek out activities that they might not get to do in public school. I imagined my children writing poetry or long stories, building things for hours, wanting to take things apart and LEARN how they work by putting them back together.  Our oldest did spend a few years where he built several things out of wood, but other than that when school time was up the kids were ready to be done with any type of learning.

I thought all our children would LOVE reading for their entire lives and never have any struggles due to all the times I read to them.  Child number one struggled for a few years and to this day hates to read. I've worried and stressed over it for years. Wondering what else I could have done, will he suffer in life, etc. I had to realize one day that my husband isn't a reader. He's always said he reads the Bible and blueprints. Our oldest is VERY much like my husband and I just had to accept that he doesn't enjoy reading. Child number two seemed to learn to read almost on her own and has read more books than I can count. She's funny though because I realized early on that I couldn't pick out things for her to read because she had her own interests. She didn't LOVE the Little House Books like i had hoped, but even at 16 she still loves to read and for that I'm thankful. Child number three comes along and seems to be learning to read well and then things went downhill. It took us YEARS to get him to the point of not struggling to read. Guess what? He hates reading and tries to get out of it every chance he can. Yep, I think I have another child like the hubby :)

I thought all of my kids would enjoy some type of musical instrument.  We tried the recorder at a young age because I remember having such fond memories. The kids liked it ok, but not really enough to want to learn lots of songs. Our oldest did guitar for a little bit and he enjoyed it. I think what he liked most about the teacher was he tried to teach him songs he had heard or knew and that made it interesting. When we moved out of state my son wasn't really interested in trying to find a new teacher. Our daughter wanted to do violin and I was so excited. Someone I've always thought the really smart kids play violin (LOL) She was actually very good at it, but decided she didn't want to do it anymore and eventually we stopped. Child number three hasn't done any instruments at all yet and I'm not sure he will.

I thought my kids would love spending time with each other and not really want to reach out to others so much. I imagined them playing together nicely all the time, doing activities and projects, etc.  The two oldest children are almost three years apart. They got along well until they reached about the ages of 7 and 10.  Then the oldest didn't seem to want to be playing with his sister anymore. The youngest is 6 years younger than the middle and it's always seemed to much. There is too much of a gap between him and the other two for them to really have enjoyed playing too much together. They all go through spurts of how they want to be around each other, but there is a TON more fighting than I ever imagined :)

I thought the house would always be clean because everyone would do their chores without being told, arguing about not wanting to do them, etc. I'm not sure that has happened a day in any of their lives (LOL) Someone is always trying to get out of a chore, put it off on another child, etc.

I thought my husband and I would have these wonderful talks every night about how the day had been. He'd be super involved in finding out what the kids did and were wanting to do. Nope, my husband has worked long hours our entire marriage. I'm not sure why I thought that would change as children came along. My husband is also not much of a talker, so those conversations I saw happening daily happen every once in a while. Long discussions about curriculum don't happen. He says I'm the teacher and should choose what I like. 

I thought any curriculum I liked the kids would like. Not sure why I thought that when my children don't like everything I like (LOL) Many things that worked with the oldest didn't work with the others. I've found that the boys did well with certain programs and maybe it didn't fit my daughter. Not saying that's how it always happens, but that's what I tended to notice.

When I learned that here in NC your children can attend community college in 11th grade and the tuition would be waived I was super excited. There are CLEP tests that can be taken for college credit and I just thought that was amazing. The oldest child had NOT a care in the world about any of that. He wanted to get through his daily work as quickly as possible and work. I finally convinced him his senior year to take a few classes. I was super worried because this is the kid that hates to read, but he figured it all out. He realized it was on him and knew what he needed to do to be successful.  Our middle child really has no interest either, but I'm holding out that she'll change her mind :) Our youngest is only 10, but according to him he's going in the 11th grade and already has everything mapped out to complete his future plans.

I thought with homeschooling that my kids would want to jump in and help me with everything I did. That they'd want to constantly do things together. That happened when they were younger, but as they got older they spent more time in their room, with friends, etc. Apparently I thought they'd magically always want me around :)

I'm sure there are plenty more things I thought and aren't reality, but this is just a few that came to mind :)

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  1. This sounds exactly like my house... Jack is still struggling to read/write/spell, but otherwise my children are pretty good students. I am still surprised that they just want to get things done and go back to things like tv. It really is amazing how the reality of homeschooling is compared to our visions.

  2. I think I had just assumed they'd be like these families you hear about that have all prodigy children (LOL)


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