We Arent’ Who You Think We Are
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We Arent’ Who You Think We Are

 

From time to time I get less than complimentary comments or messages about what we are doing. Usually from someone’s irate grandparent who feel my kids need to learn for more than 5 hours a week. I’m reprimanded with a “your doing a huge disservice to your kids” and a long list of why they know more than me. Most are even sweet enough to qualify with their teaching credentials or that they have been raising kids much longer than my measly 11 years. 

I cant lie, I sometimes read these comments and question myself, question our lifestyle. I dont have teaching credentials, for goodness sakes I dont even have a college degree! Could they be right? Am I failing my children??  As I become more confident in our education choices,  I no longer take these attacks personal. In fact I just chalk it up to a huge misunderstanding. 

Because  my kids aren’t “Learning” for only 5 hours a week, my kids are “learning” 365 days a year, during ALL the hours they are awake. Our learning may not happen in a class or according to a schedule, the curriculum is very different but hopefully so are the results! 

 So while we may only study math or practice our grammar for 5 Hours a week, we replace that lost desk time  with something much more important. For every kid and parent it will be different, but the common theme is VALUE! We are focusing on skills, habits, mindsets, and passions that contribute tangible value to our current and future selves. 

Recently we had a small “tiff’ in the house. We have been homeschooling now for nearly 3 years and no one is actively pursuing math the way I would like. And if I’m honest my need to see them complete more math is not even reasonable, instead tied up in fear from a traditional school background .  Sure Charlotte is doing great with her multiplication tables but getting Maddie to continue in Algebra (age appropriate to her grade) has become a nightmare. I’d like her to spend at least  1 of her 5 hours on math and she’d like to spend zero. Of course she will do it when pressured, but always very begrudgingly. Even worse I’m positive she is retaining zero of what she works on. 

In our discussion about this topic she continually tells me this will add zero value to her life,  arguing  “I wont ever use this, and if I need to, I will learn it then!”

So I’ve conceded. No longer am I forcing her to do an hour of algebra a week. Instead she needed to replace that with an hour of something that would definitely add immediate value and value for the future. We agreed typing is a skill she would like to be more proficient in, and  has added a mandatory 20 minute a day typing lesson. In fact all the girls agreed learning to type would help them tremendously, and have added this to their curriculum. 

Here is the most remarkable thing about teaching and learning anything of value. Kids know the difference! They know if the time they are spending is actually of worth or just a filler. When my kids know they will benefit from the lessons and time spent on something, they will fully engage, give their complete focus and even spend more than the allotted time I set for them. However if I give them busy work, they will whine, complain and drag their feet. Sure I can make them do it, but typically they will retain very little of it and may be resentful to revisit this topic later, when it could be of more use. 

Because guess what? Time is important. Our time is important and so is theirs! Listen we only have so much, and nobody feels good when they are wasting it! We all want to enjoy life, focus on passions and find our inherent talents while  working hard on the things that will offer true success. 

We need to shift our thinking and stop believing that everyone must know the exact same things at the exact same time. More importantly we need to stop wasting time! Our time and our kids’ time! Instead we need to intentionally and passionately learn any and everything that adds value to OUR OWN life. We need to intentionally live our purpose! Working hard to master what we are created for . We need to listen to our kids and follow their lead when it comes to how they learn and what interests them. 

They are not us, they are not the neighbor kid or even their sibling. I have 4 completely different humans that are growing and learning in our home. It blows my mind how different they each process information, what they find interesting and the natural abilities they were  born with.  My #1 job is to support, encourage, facilitate and allow them to learn in the way that works best for them.

I shake my head at how terribly cliche` it sounds, but this life is honestly so fleeting. We either can choose to live a life of value, creating the life we’ve always dreamed by learning, pursuing and creating; OR we can be everyone else, sitting at a desk and jumping through the hoops. 

 

Do we focus on traditional academics 5 hours a week? Yes absolutely; but we are LEARNING and adding important knowledge at a rate that is simply immeasurable. How do I know it works? Well I know that my kids are happy, creative, passionate learners. I know they actively search for solutions independently, understand how important emotional intelligence is and have time to become masters in the things that interest them most.  I also know they may not know everything that is taught in textbooks the way other kids may. If I’m honest I am still learning to be OK with that, old beliefs die hard. Ultimately I know they will learn all they need, all they want and all that will  ultimately add authentic value to who they are today and who they are becoming! 

Remember it’s OK if your normal looks different than everyone else’s! In fact I applaud you if it does! 

16 Comments

16 thoughts on “We Arent’ Who You Think We Are”

  1. Rebecca Dailey says:

    I always hated math and I didn’t understand it when we had to learn Algebra and Geometry, none of it,never. The only way made it through that math is because I had a friend who was great at math and helped me a lot with it. And have I ever had a need use anything but basic math ( adding,subtracting,division and multiplication) that would be NO! My love of reading and writing and knowing how to type has helped more through my career than anything. Being able to read anything and dissect it and understand has always helped me through with life

  2. Grace Hayek says:

    This is fantastic!!! I too question homeschooling. But this makes so much sense. Thank you

  3. Lisa Hedemark says:

    Bravo! Well said. I often struggle with trying to cover all of the subjects that public school covers while still knowing they are not necessary. It leaves less time for focusing on the things that I really want them to learn.

  4. Amanda says:

    I just said to my husband not 10 minutes ago… “I struggle to let some things lie just because of the length of time we were in the school system…” old habits/beliefs do die hard and it’s the COMPARISON that kills the magic we are trying to create. Thank you for sharing your struggles with math. We are going through this now too as we have a child prepping for high school work next year (and if college is in her future math is required) and hearing you and other parents on this same path go through this similar struggle gives me courage when I need it to let it go and allow their gifts and passions to dictate the course of what is important…

  5. Kristina says:

    Thank you so much for this, every since I started homeschooling my son it had been a challenge & a half. & the feelings that you have went through & felt, I’ve caught myself feeling & thinking the same way. However for what you just said has put me to ease in so many ways, Thank you again so much.

  6. Gina says:

    Relationships come first! We follow a relaxed routine. My oldest followed a similar routine from about 7th grade on and now he is a second year engineering major in college and doing well. Even if kids need an intro class or remedial class to catch up in college, no big deal. Many public schooled kids need those too.

    1. Admin says:

      Yes 100%! Thank you!

  7. Ken Wimberly says:

    Love your post! I especially love that you are looking to each child to seek their individual needs, desires, and passions. I firmly believe that time will prove you RIGHT in your decisions. For all the naysayers………”bless their heart!”

    1. Admin says:

      Thank you!!!

  8. Dody Mitchell says:

    I homeschooled 6 children. Three are now moved out. All of my adult children have well-rounded educations which include more than just book knowledge. We never spent hours a day on school work. It was one lesson of math, one of reading, and one of writing. Usually, we threw an art or science, or social studies in there…but that wasn’t “real school” to the kids.

    An hour a day for formal lessons on weekdays is plenty for an average child. The rest of the time they were watching documentaries, sewing, gardening, participating in 4-H, farming, or doing life chores. Sometimes I would find them nestled up under the blankets reading a book by flashlight and they just never saw me. Of course, I never said anything.

    I will say this much. We were able to keep this schedule for our physically disabled child which helped her attend all of her doctor’s appointments and therapy appointments when other kids were imprisoned in school buildings. Sometimes she was behind other kids and sometimes ahead, but overall it allowed her the freedom to get the medical help she needed while being educated.

    However, my youngest is extremely delayed due to a recently discovered major eyesight issue. He has been going to eye doctors since the age of 4, but at age 9 they just discovered he is a low sight individual. They tell me this is why he has not been able to learn. We will have to spend 2 hours or more a day helping him catch up once we find what works for his disability. Once he is caught up though, we will go back to one hour a day. The good news is he STILL won’t need 8 hours of school work a day to be where his peers are by 18 and he will have so much more experience in other areas of his life.

    Both of my disabled children (out of 6) will have an education on running a business before 18 and will have their life ready for them before they move out.

    Anyone that says you are doing “something wrong” and uses their credentials to say so obviously doesn’t realize how much time lining up, lunch, recess, and all the other nonsense they do all day in school takes. Managing 30 kids at a time takes a lot of time. When you manage 6 at a time, your time managing them is reduced. Also, older children can and do help youngers in my house.

    The rule is to watch one, do one and teach one. Until you have taught someone, you haven’t mastered it. My youngest will be teaching his niece when the time is right.

    1. Admin says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this! It is always so encouraging to hear these amazing stories of success and the beautiful memories made by creating a life that works for your own individual family!! I’m glad to be on this journey with you!

  9. Vicki Williams says:

    I would like to compliment you on all that you are accomplishing and your honesty in doing so. I can tell you, for an absolute certainty, that most of what I have learned in my life, and committed to memory, and observed in other people, good and bad, has come from my single widowed mother’s sense of adventure and all things new and different. This gift you are giving your sweet children means everything!

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  11. Virginia says:

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    1. Admin says:

      WordPress 🙂

  12. Spot on with this write-up, I really assume this website needs much more consideration. I’ll most likely be once more to learn way more, thanks for that info.

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