In light of my recent mood I think I need to do a post about all the things homeschooling makes me thankful for. That way I can remind myself why it is the right decision for our family.
1. I am thankful that I get to spend as much time as I want with each of my kids. I watch them grow every day, and I know that at some point they will need to go out on their own to discover who they are as people. I think the time we spend together now will stick with them when they are on their own, and they will remember they can always come home.
2. I am thankful that my kids get to spend lots of time together. Their time together sometimes seems to be a roller coaster. They swing from love to loathing every few minutes, but I know they are learning so much about love from their relationship. I truly believe that when they are adults they will be each others' cheering section whenever needed.
3. I am thankful that my kids aren't being conditioned to blindly follow. School, by design, creates sheep. The teachers want all the kids to do the same things at the same time because it is much easier to control them that way. Their peer group does not respect individuality. It breeds an us vs. them mentality. Either you are like us or you are an outcast. I am so glad that my kids are able to see how boring it would be if we were all just alike. I am glad that they are still able to bravely stck to their own ideas, beliefs, style choices, etc.
4. I am thankful that my kid can follow their passions though after school activities without being burnt out. Both of my kids like to join activities, but if they were rushing to get off the school bus, choke down some diner, and then get carted off to their activities I am not sure I would allow it. Our schedule is flexible so fitting in their activities and enough free time is much easier.
5. I am thankful that we can go to museums, shows, parks, etc. when there is no one there. I hate crowds, and Bear is even worse than me. So the fact that we can go to the zoo and only share it with a handful of other people is wonderful.
6. I am thankful that my kids have a wide social circle. I find it funny that opponents of homeschooling complain about a lack of socialization. My kids have friends from all their activities as well as our homeschool group. In addition they don't see adults as inaccessible to them. They feel as comfortable having a conversation with an 8 year old as they do a 50 year old.
7. I am thankful that my kids take responsibility for their own education. Most kids are told what to learn. The adults in their life control all aspects of their learning. We make joint decisions in that regard. Their educational plan is a combination of their wants and my wants. In fact there are very few instances where I insist they learn something when I say.
8. I am thankful my kids are becoming self sufficient. I watch them every day becoming more able to meet their own needs, and this is a direct result of the freedom that homeschooling allows.
9. I am thankful that when the weather is bad we can choose to just stay home. This winter was pretty bad, and some days we just said forget it and hid under a blanket.
10. I am thankful that my kids have the most dedicated teacher possible. This is not a bash on teachers. I used to be a teacher, but no matter how much a teacher cares for her students, it is divided between 20+ students. I have 2 students, and their development is the most important thing in the world to me. So even though I am not perfect I know for a fact that I will do everything in my power to help them grow into the best people they can be. Public school is designed to create good citizens. The aim of our homeschool is self-actualization. These are very different goals!