Qualities of the Homeschool Family

by Jennifer Urbanic

One of the most common responses of any person who hears you homeschool your children is: “I can’t do that”.  Such a response comes without hesitation, and is predicated on incorrect assessments on the part of the speaker.

The truth is any functioning normal adult can homeschool their child. Let’s break down some of the inherent qualities of all of us as parents, and how they relate to their children’s education.

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Mom– Queen of the Castle

Can you multi-task and plan? You do it every day! Have a good sense of how to lead as well as how to follow. You need to be able to make a list of goals and objectives for your child’s education. Don’t blame other parents for having different goals for that year; the beauty of the system is that you have latitude as to what to teach. It’s expected that not all parents want to teach the same things at the same time. Just focus on those goals and objectives for your children and have the courage to stick to them.

Homeschooling your children takes the same skills that you use now (shopping, cleaning and organizing) then adds educating, and builds well-educated children. The only thing missing today is you!

 

Dad – King of the Castle

You need to be able to set the standard and show the kids how important it is to follow through and show respect for others.  You need to be there when you are needed. You need to help organize and keep focus.

You like to spend time with your family when they are not overly tired. You cringe a little when you come home to bags and bags of school supplies, but if you live in Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana

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and Georgia you can receive a tax credit.

You wish you could read and enjoy more of the topics you liked as a child and share and relive that moment with your kids. You worry having the kids around 24/7 will make your wife insane and stressed and lessen your chances to be alone with her. It’s going to be OK! Home-schooling allows your spouse the flexibility of schedule to

accomplish educational goals when and where they work best, not just because a clock says it must be so.

Children –

What do you need from your children? The same things you need from them now; discipline, integrity, respect and good study habits. They’ll enjoy the schedule, the freedom and room to exercise initiative and partnership in their own education.

The next time you hear someone home-schools, don’t assume they are saying they are better or more patient than you. Don’t say you could never. Homeschooling is about routines and family and friends. You are probably already dabbling in homeschooling by helping and assisting your children in a way the public schools can’t or won’t. Homeschool can be time saving, it cuts down on the travel and waiting times you children experience with public or private schools.

“You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  C.S. Lewis

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The Homeschooled Voice–My Favorite Thing About Co-op Day

Hi! I’m Megan, I am 14 and in 9th grade. We have been homeschooling for 6 years. This is my second time taking classes in a co-op. Right now I am taking 3 classes: Spanish, Theater, and Art.  Art class is my favorite.  It’s my favorite because it is another way to express myself, you know, besides talking which I do a lot. It is a way to talk…without talking. I have learned things like shading, how to blend colors, Zentangles and how to work with water colors. Did you know Zentangle means megan-zentangle-blogpost“peaceful doodling”?

 

 

Here is one of my Zentangles.  (Mrs. Kenna likes the originality in this one.)

 

 

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My favorite piece of art work I have made so far is this one I made for blending class.  (This one took hard work but it was worth it.)

 

 

 

I have always loved art and Mrs. Kenna, the art teacher, has helped to nurture that love. She is a really great teacher because she pushes me to do my best and to be the best I can be. When I don’t get something, she talks me through it. We are allowed to let our creativity flow. Mrs. Kenna likes to tell us ” draw what you see, not what you know”.

So, if you like art, like to learn, and try new things then come try out this class because you will learn tons!

Growing Pains – Our Next Step

Here we sit a mere 3 months into the Fall Semester and we are in awe.  Awe of what has happened from a simple conversation between two homeschool moms with a common goal; cooperative learning close to home.

Our expectations were small in the beginning with only a few families showing interest from Facebook.  Soon we were meeting on post, then at Harmony, and a few more families joined us.  Each week we get another request, just one more family.  We are thrilled and humbled all at the same time.

Thrilled that we indeed were correct that people needed support in this area and you are responding to our efforts.  Humbled that God has allowed us this opportunity to serve one another in a meaningful way.  Grateful that you have trusted us with your children in classes and have become our friends.

Because of this interest and our desire to serve you, the homeschooling family, we are determined to lay a strong foundation.  A foundation that will not crack when someone moves to their next duty station.  A structure to continue on in this endeavor as children grow and needs change.

The next step to achieve this foundation is by forming our own official 501c3 non-profit group.  This is an official designation with the IRS and the State of Missouri allowing us to do things like fundraisers and collect box tops.  We can be tax exempt and accept donations with this designation.  Events and donations allow us to keep costs low which is a high priority for many of us.  It gives us opportunities to reach out to families that may not be able to afford curriculum, pay our portion of the utility bill, and hold workshops supporting other homeschool parents.  Most importantly, it helps us educate our children in ways we cannot do alone at home.

We have all felt the isolation of parenting at different times.  That moment when you have spent the day with no other adults and suddenly Curious George episodes start to make so much sense and you are suddenly worried about your sanity.  When you are hit with the reality that you are responsible for your child’s ability to read and you can’t breathe for a few minutes, that is when you need support.  Support simply in the form of someone saying “you are not crazy, I have also been there”.

The possibilities seem to be endless when we have enough support.  When we stop to put one another ahead of ourselves, practicing the full meaning of “Love your neighbor as yourself”, it truly is endless what we can do together.

I truly look forward to building this co-op with each and every one of you this year, and for years to come.  Although it may be bumpy along the way, truly loving each other in this journey will enrich both our lives and children’s lives for their good and future.