Saturday, May 15, 2010

Why I homeschool...

When I began to home school the kids, I had several reasons for doing it.  Such as...
  • Take them out of situations that were guaranteed to be overwhelming for them,
  • Lessen the amount of stimulation they were getting,
  • Reducing the opportunities they had to do things that would be harmful to their healing,
  • Make up for the nurturing time they lost as younger children,
  • Give them a strong foundation from which to build
Because the school environment was way more than they could handle, although they are smart kids, they struggled a LOT academically.  I didn't know much about homeschooling.  I didn't even know where to start or how to begin, but I followed my gut feeling knowing that it would be the best thing for them.  I figured they weren't learning much at school anyway.   Even if I didn't teach them everything the schools were trying to teach them, they would be getting something much more valuable than a school could offer hurting children.  They'd be learning to accept the love of a mother and a family.  They'd learn what love and safety feel like.  They could learn what so many children who are raised in loving homes learn naturally.  They could learn to feel safe in this world by first feeling safe at home.

Love and closeness was once very threatening to these kids.  They ran from it, became to 'hyper' to be able to avoid it, raged away from it, made themselves smell to keep people away, etc.  So naturally they did not like the idea of being home.  At the beginning I often heard from them that they wanted to go back to school.

Although I try to give them a broad knowledge of many things, my main focus with my children is not arithmatic, geography, or writing.  My main focus it to bring out their spirits; who they are meant to be.  Until recently their true selves have been hidden under their pain, anger, hate, and various traumas.  I think that I am finally seeing my children for who they really are instead of what their traumas brought out in them.

I am so touched by watching them play together, instead of reliving traumatic events together.
I love to see the concern in their eyes for another person's pain.
I feel so grateful each time one of them sees someone's need and helps selflessly.
I love to see the loving relationships that are being built in our home.
I think it is so adorable that Jazmine can comfort Makenzie almost as well as I can.
My spirit smiled when Jada, on her own, opened and closed the door for a person hauling new flooring into our house, then tried to help him carry everything downstairs.

Tears came to my eyes when, as we drove past their former school, my boy said, "I liked going to school, but I like being homeschooled more 'cause then we get to be with our mom all day.  That's pretty awesome."

When I get the question now, what do I say?

Why do I homeschool?

I homeschool my kids because I LOVE to spend every minute of each day with them.  I love watching them become who they are supposed to be.  I would miss them WAY too much if I didn't get to spend all day every day with them.


ShopHotPinkDiaries said...

i love this. what a beautiful mother you are to your beautiful children. so inspiring. xo

Log and Annie Pearce said...

heather you are seriously amazing! i love you

Mishqueen said...

Heather, I'm a mission friend of Brad's and I have to say I am truly inspired by your blog. I love reading it. I'm a homeschooled kid (through 5th grade), and I support what you are doing. I can see how hard you work to get guidance from the Lord on exactly what your kids need. And don't worry about the really do catch up academically when everything is taken care of emotionally and mentally. Family really does come first.

There is a school of thought out there that kids don't even need rigid, heavy academics until they are much older. See The Thomas Jefferson homeschool method:

My mom wasn't aware of this program when I was a kid, but it has a lot of really good points and food for thought.

Laurie said...

I went to a homeschool fireside yesterday titled "A Celestial Education." What you said in your post is exactly what they talked about. The goal of homeschooling younger children is to help them see that they're children of God. Everything else (all the "curriculum") should show them that one goal. I think you're doing a wonderful job!!

darbs said...

Hi Heather, this is super random, and I don't do this often but we have mutual friends (Amanda Porter is married to my cousin Lee) and I've seen your blog link on a few other friends blogrolls. So one day I just clicked over and have been enthralled in your journey with your children. I've considered adoption as well and it's been so interesting to hear your story.

First I have to say you are amazing in your love and patience with your kids. I don't know that I could be so understanding. Second, I was staying up late tonight with my newborn and was watching a documentary on Netflix that I think you would enjoy. It's a PBS documentary called "This Emotional Life" and it's all about child attachment issues.

The main family they follow have two adopted children, one with RAD and one without and through out the show they are talking about all of the things you are talking about! Interesting studies and such. Anyway, I though you might be interested so I wanted to share!

Take care and best of luck with your cute kids! Oh and be happy you are no longer in Arizona, it hit a flipping 100 degrees today!

Darby Elizabeth

Janalie said...

Once again you inspire me. You are amazing. I wish you the best and love reading about all your adventures and endless endeavors.

The Sandry Family said...

I am so glad you have done so much with our Grandchildren. They seem to be acting as the children I knew and not the ones who would act out in order to get what ever attention they feel the need. It amazes me how the have changed but I always knew they don't always act like that and they will bounce back. I know they still have their obsticles which you will come across but they will over come anything put in front of them. Again thank you for being there for them they deserve it. Please tell them we love and miss them. Valerie