E is for …

Hi People! If you came to this blog looking for activities for your primary-aged child to learn the letters of the alphabet, you came to the wrong place!
If you came looking for a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek-but-mostly-true view of homeschooling, then read on! Courageous Jane, a.k.a. Courageous Mama, is taking us all on a journey through Homeschooling A-Z. Today’s letter is “E.”

E is for pin

E is for … ecstatic … just one of the myriad emotions we all feel when we decide to homeschool. “This is going to be great!” we think. We can’t wait to tell others (well, the ones we know will support our crazy ideas anyway). Now can I tell you a little secret? That feeling is usually closely followed by “panic” … but we’re nowhere near the letter P yet, so that one will have to wait.

E is for … excellence/excelling/excellent education … the homeschoolers who go into this thinking “I don’t care if my kids learn anything or not” are probably few and far between. Let’s leave them out of this! Most of us want our children to excel in life in whatever way fits our beliefs … for some that’s excelling in business; for others, it means excelling in the mission fields; and for others still, it might mean excelling at a talent or in the arts. We want our children to receive an excellent education, and for some, the only way to get that for their child is through homeschooling. Some children weren’t designed to excel in a typical classroom, and some families weren’t designed to fit into the schedule of a typical school day. And as long as we’re the ones responsible for providing that excellent education, we’re always on the lookout for excellent curriculum, aren’t we? (Remember when you first thought about homeschooling and you didn’t even known what the word “curriculum” meant?!? Yeah, I remember that.) We’re forever asking each other about what curriculum we’re using and scouring the internet for something new or the next best thing or the one that’s going to fit our child perfectly and going to conventions and reading homeschooling blogs … all in an effort to provide our children with an excellent education. Yes … we are trying to excel at providing our children with an excellent education. Not a bad goal, if you ask me.

Eager

E is for … eager … Imagine for a minute: I wake up early, eager to start the school day so we can hurry up and get it over with. My children wake up, eager to learn. … (Anyone else out there laughing at this??) Let me try this again: we eagerly await our children’s graduation? Having already raised two young’uns through public school and sent them on their way into life (a.k.a. college), I’m actually NOT eager to see these last two grow up too quickly and I’m not eager to try my hand at homeschooling high school. I am eager to see what they will become, what they will choose to “be” someday, and to see if my hard work pays off. (If you type the word “eager” many times and keep saying it in your head, it sounds really weird after a while. Just sayin’.)

E=mc2

E is for … energy … if you’re new to this, here’s a new formula to learn: the abundance of energy in your children is in direction proportion to the lack of energy in you. The best idea is to have a “bag of tricks” (even if it’s just imaginary) that you can go to when you need to find a way to expel theirs or increase yours. And remember to give yourself some grace if your energy level is just not up to playing with your kids some days. Yes, the years fly by, but if you count up how many days a homeschooling mom spends with her children in their lifetime, a day off from playing with them (I didn’t say “caring for them”) won’t hurt one bit. Recognize and remember what activities you do with your children that stimulate and energize you. Often, whatever it is that wears your kids out is just the thing that energizes you. Get off your butt (and the computer) and get active! Dance, play, sing … and when all else fails … nap!

These next two go together:

E is for … electronics … I think I’ve mentioned before that we’re a tech-friendly family. Not hugely technically-skilled … no smartphones here (because we’re thrifty and refuse to pay for that plan yet!) … but we use a lot of electronics in our school day. We love to shake things up. We use videos, computer games, and some online curriculum. This is especially handy in our house because I’ve got a health issue that makes it hard to “teach” some days. It’s helpful for us to have alternatives.

E is for … elementary … Wouldn’t it be great if everything we had to teach our kids was elementary? As in … simple? I just want to throw this in here: this is another reason we use electronics. My daughter is now in sixth grade and some subjects are becoming increasingly difficult. Her online Math curriculum has been a godsend! And then there’s my fourth grade son … he’s still in the elementary grades, but has been sitting through a lot of his sister’s lessons over the past almost-4 years, so we need more interesting stuff to shake up his day. I would be hard-pressed to keep him occupied without the blessings from our electronic world!

Now, just for fun, some other “E” words I’ve thought of:

E is for … eggs, and easy … my sixth grade daughter makes the BEST deviled eggs in the whole world! And, sometimes I live on eggs because they’re so easy and you know that some school days require easy food.

E is for … engaged … my oldest daughter is going to be 22-years-old this summer. She is engaged to be married next summer (2014). We went shopping for a wedding dress last weekend … I must admit that it was one of the best motherhood experiences I’ve ever had.

E is for … enjoy … I hope and pray that you enjoy your homeschooling experience as much as I enjoy mine. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thanked God and my husband for this opportunity. Don’t take it for granted. Enjoy it while you can!

Happy homeschooling!

~ Courageous Mama

*If you managed to read this entire blog post without falling asleep, you deserve a reward. Wish I had something to give away (anyone want a used humidifier??). All I’ve got for you is a second take on “E is for …” Please click here if you want to try this one again. And accept my apologies for this junky post!

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