what we do

by Amy

people ask me what we do all day.  do we have a curriculum that we use?  people ask me how I can guarantee my kids won’t be socially awkward.  do we wear pajamas all day?  how do I know they are learning anything?  how do I do it all?  they just don’t understand it…and that’s totally ok.

i didn’t either.  in fact, i was totally against it.  i knew homeschoolers and they were weird.  they didn’t laugh very much and were just a bit off.  but i didn’t know very much about it.  and then God did that thing where he kept putting these awesome, “normal” homeschooling moms in my way.  and i liked them.  in my fight to say no to that form of education, He was only convincing me…calling me even.

i am a product of public schools.  i constantly have typing/spelling/grammatical errors.  i have audibly said things like “when she readed” to someone who may or may not read this blog.  i had no idea what i was doing when i decided to make this huge change in our lives and there are still times i feel like a total failure.  and while there are days i want to wave good-bye to that yellow bus and attack my to-do list, the days that outweigh them are many.

but let’s be clear.  i have enough crumbs on my floor to make a meal.

there are days we look adorable and all put together but there are days that pajamas are just fine too.   heck there are even days when one is naked, one has on an afro and another is in a space suit.  (none of those described me…just in case you were about to call CPS)

we do have a set curriculum but if we get interested, we wander off.  i have found there is so much learning in the wandering…

and the social stuff?  it’s everyone’s first concern but i think it is just because people don’t know any better.  shoot…i am socially awkward at times (many, if you ask Mr Ballard) but i rarely keep them locked in the basement so that has to count for something right?  and what about imaginary friends?  [not willing to insert winky face but audience better hear the sarcasm]

i know they learn stuff because i watch them do it.  i hear them scream out things like “PALINDROME!!” when we drive past the KIK sign and i laugh at the dorkiness/awesomeness of it.

and i don’t do it all.  really, i don’t.  there are days when we just can’t get it together and we do what we can.  the baby is needy, the four year old can’t sit still and the big kids end up in tears trying to read.

but isn’t that life?  isn’t there stuff to learn, even in those seemingly ugly times?  don’t we all have bad days and good?

there are other days we are like homeschool rockstars and we fly through TONS of work with TONS of interest and i want to cover them in gold stars.   those kind of days make the bad ones kind of disappear.

it isn’t for everyone, but it is for us.  who knows what will happen as the years pass by but for now, we school and we do life together…all day long.

we make messy experiments in the kitchen or the backyard.  we get frustrated over big words and clap over first words.  we make meals together, we learn to take turns together, we perfect the art of “i’m sorry. do you forgive me?” and we take deep breaths together.  we take fifteen in the heat of the moment but we come back together and work it out.

with finger tips, we read scripture, paint pictures, put on puppet shows and occasionally cause harm.  but it is all learning.  and we do it together.

with hands we tell stories and pass the butter.  we hit or hurt each other and we hug-n-make up.  we pat soil over seeds or we carry the garbage out.  we mold play doh or mix batter.  but we do it all together.

i wouldn’t have it any other way.

it’s messy and tiresome and ugly at times.  but it is glorious and rich and amazing at others.

we homeschool.  and while these pictures may only show the good, there is yucky too.   it is real both in and out of these moments.  but some of you asked…and this is just a bit of what we do.