On our way to my mum’s a few months ago, our cab driver asked where our son goes to school. I told him that Kristo is home-schooled. His reaction: “Anong mapapala nyan?!” (What’s he gonna benefit from that?!) Ouch. Really? Wow.
I can’t blame him and many others who still think that families that choose to homeschool are either making a huge mistake or are simply weird. The norm has always been to send kids to traditional schools. Let the teachers do all the teaching during the day and then review and help them with their homework when they get home. That’s was what life was like for me and my husband — and most probably, for you too dear reader. We turned out pretty okay, right? So why choose to do something different? Why not 🙂 If we see it’ll work best for our kids and our family, why not, I say 🙂
Let me tell you a story, which hopefully gives you a good picture of the beauty of homeschool:
Last week while Kristo and I were working on an activity in his Language book, I saw his facial reaction jump from being super happy with what he’s accomplished to scared and defeated in a matter of seconds. I suddenly saw his wall go up. Way up! As his mom and teacher, I knew I couldn’t proceed to the next activity while that wall was up. Lesson stops because the heart needs to be addressed. (That’s something I learned from one of the talks I attended arranged by The Master’s Academy Homeschool where we’re enrolled. Yes, we’re not doing this on our own :)).
Kristo saw that he had to write quite a number of sentences for the next activity. You see, Kristo doesn’t like to write (and that’s an understatement). He doesn’t see the need for it since there are computers anyway (his words, not mine). So we’ve shown him different instances when writing is needed. He’s getting there, slowly but surely! (Did you know that boys’ motor skills develop slower than girls’? So imagine what it’s like in a co-ed class — the girls usually finish writing faster than the boys and some of the boys whose motor skills aren’t fully developed yet get left behind and most of the times, made fun of :(.)
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, Kristo had his wall up as soon as he saw what he had to do. So I told him what was happening. I asked him to close his eyes and visualize that wall he has up on his heart and mind. I had him picture soldiers or warriors bearing information, lessons, stuff that would help him but they can’t get in because his walls are up.
He then said “well, they can always use a tank!” — and what perfect answer because I used that to symbolize me getting irritated and us eventually arguing (yes, that’s pretty normal too, ask any homeschooling family) when he seems to be listening but isn’t really listening at all.
“Do you like that? Do you like how the tank is tearing down the wall?” I asked. He said no. I told him that only he could make that wall go down, that special switch is in his head. All he has to do is make that decision “wall down!”. He then did something I didn’t see coming. He asked if I could give him a few minutes to talk to his heart and his brain and talk to God too. 🙂 A few minutes later he was a happy trooper ready for the challenge and he wrote each sentence like a winner!
In homeschool, we get to study at his own pace. We breeze through some subjects he really finds interesting and easy (he usually asks that we read a lesson from his world history book as a bedtime story!) but we take as much time as we need when it comes to other subjects.
If he doesn’t understand a lesson, he has that freedom to say “I don’t get it” and he gets to ask as many (and I mean MANY) questions as he wants — thank God there’s google! 🙂 When I see he’s not really into the lesson, I try to look for a video on youtube that’s related to the topic — and that instantly picks the mood up too!
I always remind Kristo (and myself) that the goal is to learn, genuinely learn, because learned is cool.
When he’s answering an activity or a test I get to watch how he answers it most of the time. I know when he’s guessing and I know when he’s really thinking. Mid-test I usually stop him and remind him that I’d rather he tell me he doesn’t understand the question (or lesson) rather than guess the answer and be done with it.
I know he’ll learn loads too in school, like we all did, right? I get that. BUT because we home school, we can always go the extra mile (forward or back). That alone is such a huge benefit, don’t you think?
Learning has become a lifestyle for our family. Kristo and I have learned so many new things together and we usually end up super excited to share that information with his papa!
Homeschooling has definitely brought our family even closer AND because we’ve already got a communication line open and active, he tells us what he learns from his friends and asks us if what he learned is true, if it’s good or if it’s bad. He knows he can tell us and ask us anything. 🙂
Now, I’ve had a few friends ask if homeschooling easy. My answer has always been NO, but is it worth it? YES. ABSOLUTELY.
Before Kristo went to bed tonight we looked at different paintings in his art manual. He hugged me and said “I like this and I like spending time with you.” I asked if he liked homeschool. He had a big smile on his face and hugged me again and said “Yes!” 🙂
`nuff said, yeah? 🙂 *happy mommy dance*