If you aren’t familiar with the Homeschooling A-Z series, you can start here: What is she talking about?
And the letter of the day is … L! This might be my favorite letter so far! (Even better than C is for courageous?)
Remember, I’m all about truth here, and if we’re gonna talk about truth, let’s start with … L, in relation to homeschooling, is for l-o-n-g.
Not only can homeschooling days be long, but the entire journey is long, just like the parenting journey. In fact, since I’ve done it both ways, with two already graduated from public school, I can say with certainty that the homeschooling journey is longer. Face it, we are together all day, every day. When my olders were in public school, the weeks flew by. I was busy with my day doing my own thing, and they were off doing theirs. We had a few hours together in the evening, if they didn’t have an activity or practice they had to attend.
Nowadays, Thursday rolls around and some weeks all I can think is “Are you kidding me? I have to do this for two. more. days?!?” … “… for how many more years?!?” (Which reminds me of when my oldest started her last year of high school and I realized my youngest was only starting kindergarten … I couldn’t believe how much longer my life got that year.)
At the same time as it feels so long, I also can’t believe we’ve already put in almost 5 full years of this adventure! When we started, people would ask how “long” we were going to homeschool. I didn’t have an answer back then, but I’m pretty sure now we would answer “forever.”
A better truth is that L is for laughter! Our best school days are the ones where we laugh together. When things start to turn sour and I can tell our day is going downhill, that’s when I know it’s time to pull out some fun, get a little crazy, and stir up the laughs. Of course, sometimes I’m the only one laughing.
Last week, Andrew had the word “locomotion” in his vocabulary book. I tried giving him hints, but he didn’t get it. He was getting frustrated because I wouldn’t just tell him the answer. To ease the frustration, I pulled up YouTube and found the song, “Locomotion.” I got up and started dancing (and impressed myself with the fact that I still knew every word by heart). He really tried not to have fun with this (being a fifth grade boy and all), but I loved the high I got from laughing about it.
Now for the best truth of all … L is for Love. You knew it, right?
We give our “reasons for homeschooling” all kinds of different names, but what it all boils down to is love. We might not love every minute of every day of homeschooling, but we do it because of our love for our children. (No, not love of control or power, silly! Where did you get that idea?!?) No teacher, however much she loves teaching or loves her students, can ever love our children more than we do. We love our children enough to say, “This is the better choice for us.” We love them enough to say, “I am willing to give up a career in order to give you more of what you need.” We love them enough to say, “I would rather be with you than without you each day.”
At our house, we love homeschooling. We love the freedom to come and go as we please, without signing in and out “at the office.” We love the fact that our kids are home at lunchtime with Dad since he doesn’t get home from work until we’re all in bed. We love the fact that we’re rarely sick because we’re getting enough sleep and pacing ourselves through the day. We love that we don’t have to stress over packing or buying lunches, unpaid school fees, lost school library books, and … no stress over grades! We don’t do grades at our house. We learn to learn, not to pass a test or get a good-enough grade.
What else is L for?
L is for Legos … I’ve done the whole Google search for Homeschooling with Legos and Learning with Legos and Math with Legos and Language Arts with Legos … the list goes on (L is for lists! Lots and lots of lists!). If you want to know how to incorporate your child’s love of Legos into your homeschool, skip Google and head straight for Pinterest. The ideas are there … for free! You can follow my Learning with Legos board on Pinterest by clicking here.
L is for lousy … as in, “No school today because we all feel lousy.” Or, “You need to erase that and do it again. It looks lousy.” … Not … “You need to come get your child. The whole class is lousy.” (infected with lice)
L is for laps … as in, homeschooling children get to sit in their parents’ laps during school, as they learn in a loving environment … Not … “Your parent didn’t sign your notebook, so you’ll have to walk laps during recess.”
L is for listen … as in, my children love to learn by listening to: stories, books on cd, the tv, music, and each other, but not my voice when I say, “Turn that off so we can do math.” But they do it anyway, because the alternative is not an option. The alternative is to go back to public school where their needs are not met so readily. The alternative is to get up each morning, rush to get ready, and ride a bus to the building where they can’t sit on a couch to learn history or go swimming before lunch for phys ed. The alternative is homework before bed, being hungry before lunch, and going outside for recess even if your socks got wet on the way to school.
L is for long days full of laughter, love, and life done together. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Happy homeschooling, friends!
P.S. I think I just heard a certain friend say “L is for looney!” As in, “The woman who writes this blog is definitely looney.” Yeah, well, I hear ya, sister, and you are looney, too!!!