"..we have come to realize that for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school" - Ivan Illich
Of all the personal objections to home education we hear, the biggest has to be that the parent(s) don't think they could do it. They don't think they're smart enough, they don't have the time, they don't want to....
One older mom recently looked at me, with large eyes, and shook her head in amazement. "How in the world will you EVER do it this year? You have five kids now!"
I quickly replied that I have it easy, with just five kids since teachers now have classrooms with thirty kids to teach!
Her mouth formed a little "o".
Teaching our kids at home these early years has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. It is so simple too, taking only a few hours a day.
Here's what our lessons look like.
Our day begins with breakfast and chores. Circle time begins at 9 0'clock, which gives everyone plenty of time for out door chores, tidying bedrooms and eating breakfast.
We have circle time for about an half hour to an hour and then the kids pull their first activities from their workboxes. They sit around the dining room table and I keep close by, helping them as they go and keeping an eye on Chase as he toddles around, grabs random unripe cherry tomatoes and leaves a trail of them with bite marks for me.
Somewhere in there I plan out what needs to be done for dinner and try to get all the prep work for that completed. I also run about doing laundry and entertaining Chase, while tidying up our home so he can untidy it again. Such is life with a toddler.
After the kids work through their workboxes (they each have six), they can get up and work on chores or play quietly.
Usually by this time its time for a walk or playing outside. Then lunch.
We do history and science as a group and science falls as the last activity since it is usually a project. Today its poking constellation holes in a piece of black paper, taping it to the open side of a box and shining a flashlight through it in a dark room to make our own constellations.
Our afternoons are filled with play (phys. ed), trips to the library, chasing down educational rabbit trails and more laid back, child led learning. The younger two take naps, I work on what I need to as I can and before I know it, Sean is home and dinner is on the table.
Somewhere in the middle of this routine over the years, we've gotten to be very close with our kids, which is invaluable to me, they've begun to absorb a Christ centered world view, which is required of Sean and I as parents.
Of course there are hard days, tiring days but those are not the norm. They come and you pick yourself off and brush your emotions off and remember where your strength comes from and go on.
It's a pretty cool life.