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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Homeschool hurdles

This may not be a post for everyone.  Not everyone takes on the challenge of homeschool three boys in grades 9,8 and 6.    You might ask why we would do this.  I don't have a really good answer for you.  The school in our district has some academic issues, but that's not why.  I suppose fear may be the answer, but maybe the real answer I'm coming to is, we don't have peace yet about sending them to public school.

Anyway, with our decision comes struggles and hurdles that we wouldn't have to deal with were they in school.

One of the big ones is that I have to help them work on their attitudes about school and life - ALL DAY!  I don't like that.  In fact, I get frustrated with them instead of compassionate.  God is working on me in this area. 

Another is that I have to help them learn how to study.  I don't think I knew how to study very well, so I don't think I'm that good of a teacher about that aspect.  I can show you how to do your algebra, but how to prepare so when you're taking the test you'll know what to do, ummm not sure how to do that.

I'm always trying to help them stay on track.  Our boys love to read and do puzzle books.  So inevitably I'm catching them reading a book or sidetracked with something.   One just whittles the day away and doesn't get anything done even though he is pretty smart.  Talk about frustrating!!!!!!!

I learn differently than my boys, not all of them, but some of them and how to accept they way they learn is hard, especially when I don't see it working.  It's usually not working because they aren't focused.  How do you focus when there is chaos all around with little ones and other brothers.

I was told forever ago that a mom teaching boys jr. high and high school doesn't work because there are too many hurdles.  Boys at that age don't want to submit to a woman.  Not sure I remember all the reasoning.  It just didn't really work for me.  I wanted to believe it - life would be easier for me. 

But I kept wondering "Do we give up just because "they" say it doesn't work?".  I'm not saying I need to force it to work.  I'm not saying that it's the ideal for each boy and mom.  I think that it even works much better with some boys in my house and not as well with others.

My question though is, "How can I help that boy learn in the setting he's placed in?".  My smart boy really doesn't like to do things my way.  And with the proper respect and attitude we'll consider his way.  But he needs to realize that for the rest of his life, someone will be telling him what to do.  He will have authority and he needs to learn how to be respectful and submit to the authority over him. 

The world likes to come up with their ideas and slap all those ideas on every single person.  But we are humans and each one so different from the other.  How can you fit everyone into your mold?  And is it good, in the long run, to allow our boys to say "We don't like you teaching us." and cave to that?  Are we parenting for the long haul? Are we thinking about what kind of a man he'll be when he gets older?

Now, let me clarify all those statements above.  We are considering public school for our boys.  We have reasons for that.  Carpenter and I, both, feel that putting them in public school is not a wrong choice.  It's scary to me, especially for the one who struggles to make friends and is super shy (real or percieved - he doesn't seem at all shy at home).  But just because I think homeschooling is right for me and my boys right now, doesn't mean that I think you need to do it too or that we'll still be doing it next year.

Making the most of today,
Steph

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