This post is part of a series called “Courageous Jane Homeschools from A-Z.”
For more about this series, click here.
Today we’re talking about the letter “G.”
G is for … go! Despite that lovely word, home, as in “homeschooling,” during certain seasons we’re rarely there. Like during spring, summer, fall, and winter. We’re always on the go! We go to choir ensemble, art class, piano lessons, voice lessons, sewing lessons, play dates, sleepovers (on school nights! Gasp!), youth groups, and other club activities. We go swimming, sledding, biking & hiking, and playing at the park. We go to Grandma’s, and shopping, and on field trips … except if you know me in real life, you know I am constantly slamming on the virtual brakes, demanding that we stay home, stop running, do the opposite of go. I seriously agonize over decisions of “Do we stay or do we go?” Unfortunately for me, the choice is usually “go.”
So come on! Let’s go and see what other G words we can find!
Uh oh. I’ve jotted a pretty long list of “G” words on this paper beside me and I want to write about all of them! Thank goodness for you though, I know you’ll be outta here like a galloping gazelle if I make this post too long, so I’m challenging myself to entertain and educate you as concisely as possible.
G is for … the good news. Please see my other blog for a post about THE Good News. Today is about some homeschooling good news. Lowercase g. The good news is: you can relax. You’re probably not gonna ruin your kids. Without getting too wordy: many successful people have gone from the gutter to graduation; from gut-wrenching illnesses to productive lives. Don’t be afraid to take a day off, or a half day, or switch up your curriculum, or go for a month with no curriculum at all, or take a week to breathe, catch up on housework, bills, sleep, tv shows, whatever … don’t be afraid to do what you need to do … you’re not gonna ruin your kids that easily!
G is for … gonna. I love this non-word. It’s how I talk. I know it’s a lazy word, but it rolls off the tongue and doesn’t sound all stuffy like “going to.” Like it or not, I’m gonna keep using it and you’re gonna keep loving me. End of story.
G is for … goofy giggles. We’ve been using the Life of Fred Math series this year. (“As serious as it needs to be!”) Although my kids are a little old for the elementary set, we’ve plugged away at it anyway because we want all of the background for these stories before we move on to their appropriate levels. Life of Fred is a book series that uses stories about a boy named Fred to introduce math concepts (and a multitude of other concepts in science, grammar, art, etc.) in a friendly, memorable way. The stories are silly … downright goofy sometimes. Some people won’t appreciate them at all. We do because we do goofy in our house! And we do stories. We laugh at the ridiculousness of the stories this book series. They’re not plausible, but they are memorable. We giggle and gaggle and learn … all at the same time. You should try it. You might like it.
G is for … gray-, gorgeous-, and grumpy-days. Here in our part of Ohio, brick-and-mortar schools close for snow, ice, and even fog sometimes. And they close for the summer. At our house, we take gray days. When the weather is gray and dreary and yucky and no one is motivated to do anything, we just take the day off. At our house, if the teacher is too grumpy, we might take the day off because kids learn better when the teacher isn’t being mean. On the other hand, if the weather is gorgeous, everyone better get their stuff done early so we can get out and enjoy it! As for summer, we take some time off, but not the whole summer. For one, I don’t want my kids to think that learning can only happen from August to May. For another, we get bored and grouchy when we have too many days in a row of no responsibilities. And finally, by continuing our studies through the summer, it allows us the freedom to take those gray, grumpy, and gorgeous days to rest, relax, and rejuvenate.
G is for … gum and Google. Did you know that chewing gum stimulates the brain? I’ll let you Google it yourself, but it’s the truth. So here’s one advantage homeschooled kids can have over their brick-and-mortar peers. Remember that rule about spitting your gum out in the classroom? Ha! I’m handing it out at my house! Don’t worry, Dr. Dentist. We always get the sugarless kind. Speaking of Google, I have to admit that I love it! We Google everything. We do tons of non-book learning through Google. They have a question, we Google it! They need a visual image of something we’re learning about? We “Google images” it! I even love the fact that the word “Google” is being used as a verb. I love Google. There, I said it.
Want some more G words that I can tie into homeschooling? How about …
G is for … goals. Here’s your friendly reminder that when you start to feel burned out on homeschooling, you can think about your goals again. Written or just mental, think on your short-term goals (if she can just learn to spell giraffe and memorize 8 x 7 this week, I’ll be happy) or your long-term goals (I want her to finish this workbook by the end of May … or maybe: She’ll be able to get a college-level score on her SAT test by the time she turns 18). Remembering where you’re headed has the power to lift you up and out of a slump and push you forward again.
G is for … gym. Truth: I don’t go to the gym. Truth: my kids don’t either. Having a gymnasium on site is one thing I envy about schools.
G is for … goats. I know some homeschoolers who raise goats. We don’t. I’m hoping my children aren’t missing out on some kind of majorly valuable life experience if we never raise goats because I don’t really have any plans to start now.
G is for … guts. It takes guts to choose homeschooling. I’m a stronger person because I finally got the guts to state “This is what is right for my family and we’re determined to do it.” That’s right, folks! We’re gonna do it! (We might even do it all the way through high school! Gasp!)
All right. Let’s wrap this up with the big one …
G is for … God. (You thought I was gonna say graduation, didn’t you?) Sure, G is for graduation, but for most of us, that’s not the goal. For most of us, the goal is for our children to learn how to learn … how to teach themselves. Then they can use that ability to learn anything they need to in order to fulfill whatever God’s Will is for their lives. God made it possible for me to stay home, to learn how to homeschool, and to start. I will do my best to help them through this journey and in the end, my ultimate goal is for it all to bring glory to God.
May your day be blessed with giggles and goofiness, and gorgeous weather, and God-filled moments of homeschooling joy.
~ Courageous Mama Jane