Monday, February 24, 2014

The Real Homeschool

One of the challenges no one really talks about with homeschooling has nothing to do with your kids, or lack of money, or the all powerful social scene.  It has to do with the teacher.  No, not the teacher's qualifications or college education, but the health of that teacher. 

I've discovered over the last several months that my health plays a key role in my ability to homeschool.  You can't really teach fractions with your head in the toilet.  You can't do science experiments while you are blinded by a migraine.  You certainly can't go over a history lesson passed out in bed. 

I never thought about that aspect of homeschooling before.  I'm a healthy person, not inclined to illness or weakness, so it's been quite the eye opener lately to find myself restricted to only being able to fit in a few hours, if any, of teaching my children. 

My children have handled this remarkably well.  I can't tell you how many times I've been told to go lie down, or drink some water, eat some lunch, or quit working so hard.  Now, granted I'm a suspicious kind of person, so I'm pretty sure there were ulterior motives behind this niceness.  After all, if I was in bed I wasn't making them write book reports or reduce fractions or look up misspelled words in the dictionary.  I can't really say I blame them but it preyed on my mind constantly that my health was going to make my children fail in life.  Yup, I went LIFE.  Not just this grade or even in school, but in all of life itself.  Sigh.

My health still isn't what it will be in 17 days and a wake up, after I have surgery.  Every day is still a challenge, and honestly, it's an unknown factor until I actually put my feet on the floor every morning.  My kids still ask if we are having school every morning.  My response is still yes...for now. 

I've also discovered that homeschooling is remarkably flexible.  Children adapt and somehow still absorb what ever knowledge you put in front of them.  Watching You Tube videos of the Liberty Kids isn't an epic fail.  Playing spelling word Twister is an acceptable form of education.  Watching National Geographic brings up some really interesting questions that can take hours to discuss.  Reading books out loud can not only fill the time; it can bring peace to the house.

We will catch up on our fractions, and letters, and handwriting.  After all, they don't have to "move on" to the next grade until they are ready.  And they certainly don't have to fill in every problem in their workbook in order to be considered ready to move on. 

All that being said, today we had our first "full" day of schooling in about two weeks.  There were some tears, there were some things we will do tomorrow instead of today, and there was fun.  We learned today and worked today.  We will try to do the same tomorrow...and if we can't, then we'll watch some more Nat Geo, and that's ok too. 

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