My son now clearly tells me NO! when I tell him no. Awesome, right? It is a little funny to watch those lips perfectly (and purposefully) form a word. Sure, he can say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. Occasionally we even hear ‘eeeee-yaaaa’ and ‘ehh-eee’ which we think mean Olivia & Emily.
but No! means he is growing up. And that makes me so happy & sad & content & blue all at the same time. Of course every parent wants their child(ren) to grow big & strong. Parenting is the only job we have whose entire purpose is to work ourselves out of a job. And the more they do on their own, the closer we are to being empty-nesters. Don’t want to think about that, so for now I’ll just be thankful that he still refuses to walk, still uses a bottle, and still needs mama or daddy to pick him up after he gets an ouchy.
Onto other things…. Controversial things.
We have come to a decision to homeschool the oldest girls next year. It is something that I have done before, when Olivia was in kindergarten and first grade. It didn’t work so well, in part because of my indecisiveness on what type of homeschool to run (There is a veritable smorgasbord on choices). I ended up sending her & Emily to public school the year Emily started kindergarten, and aside from the year we spent in an amazing school in Portland, I have hated every minute of it. We are homeschooling for numerous reasons:
The freedom from schedules
The ability to use Christian resources in our curriculum
Not having to follow outdated guideline on what kids learn, when
Being able to take a subject slower for the child who doesn’t catch on
Being able to skip lessons that our fast learner already knows
Character training is a lot easier without the negative influence from kids whose parent’s dont believe in family values
And those are just the big reasons. Another big reason is, I actually LIKE my kids. It is so completely sad to me when other parents tell me, “I can’t believe you’re homeschooling. I could NEVER spend that much time with my kids.” How completely sad. The other (most common) question/response is. “What about socialization? How will the function in the real world?” That answer is two-fold: I don’t want my children socialized with children who have parents that allow them to speak disrespectfully, hate God, and imbibe with substances. And no, I don’t consider that over sheltering them. I consider it fulfilling my Christian parenting responsibility to lay a foundation of rock for them before they are tossed in the ocean of sand.
As far as the real world… Oh boy. Where should I start? Ok, here’s an example. Look around your workplace, your family, your circle of friends. How many of them are from your neighborhood? How many were born within 12 months of your birthday? Will you work/live/socialize with them exclusively for the next 12 years? Yeah, I didn’t think so. What a ridiculous argument, that 300 children should somehow teach each other something better than their parents can. Another question: In your career, do you change bosses every September? Do you have one boss you report to, or do you have different managers for every aspect of your job? Last question: Is your schedule pretty much the same every day? Or do you have to remember what “kind of day” it is? Our local elementary uses a ridiculously complex system of days where they have five different sets of classes that rotate. I can’t keep it straight; I don’t know how the kids have either.
And don’t even get me started on standardized testing. Seriously.
Those are basically the reasons we have decided to return to homeschooling. This time around, however, we have dually enrolled with a HomeSchool Assistance Program (HSAP) in the next town over. They provide as much or as little support as we want. There are two state certified teachers (who homeschool, mind you) to count as your state requirement option for a supervising teacher. They provide a library of various curriculum choices that you are free to borrow (or not). The school district also provides a stipend for each child per year to provide consumable curriculum. And they do art classes, field trips, groups, etc etc etc.
I’m a little too excited to start in September. I keep checking the aisle for school supply sales, but no luck yet. And I’ve been stocking up on books galore– I should take some pics of our homeschool “classroom” and post them soon. I even refinished a couple of old school desks for the girls.
Ok, last but DEFINITELY not least. Our wedding!! It’s coming up in T-67 days. I won’t say too much (to avoid ruining the surprise elements of it for guests) but things are falling into place nicely. 🙂
Th-th-th-thatsss all fer now, fowks!