Friday, March 28, 2014

what do they do while you're at work?

The question comes up a lot.

"You homeschool, right?  Well, what do your kids do while you're at work?"

It's a perfectly valid question.  How does one homeschool their children but also have a job outside the home? 

Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out the answer.

I don't mind the question, really.  I don't mind any questions folks have about homeschooling.

Here's the deal.

I work outside the home four days per week, averaging 20 hours.  In the mornings I am available to assist in any subject that needs a little extra instruction (usually Math).  Most mornings will find me at the table with my students for about an hour.  I scurry to get to work, sometimes throwing my hair in a quick ponytail as I'm running out the door.

While I am at work my students work independently through their subjects.  They write verses, they do research online, they compose essays and reports.  They usually have a list of chores that need to be done when schoolwork is complete.  The rest of their time is theirs.  They'll roughhouse, they'll fight, they'll read, they'll text me, they'll play our limited offering of video games, they'll fight some more.

When I get home, I try to sneak in a little down time.  Then I plunge headfirst into correcting the work they did.  If help is needed, help is given.  I like to leave them notes in their schoolbooks, either hints, tips, and instruction, or just a quick "I love you" that they'll find the next day.  I look ahead each week at what they are to do and make adjustments as I see fit.  At the end of each week they have a day of  quizzes.  I record their grades and we move on into the next week.  Each afternoon my time expense for homeschooling is between one and two hours (longer for the day I record grades).

Eldest son is involved with the high school as I've mentioned before.  He shoots with the Rifle (Markmanship) Team, practicing in the very early morning before school.  He spends first period there in NJROTC Naval Science.  Then he comes home to complete the rest of his schooling.

Youngest son is involved with the city's youth wrestling club.  Next year he'll be part of the middle school football and wrestling teams.  When he gets to high school we'll see if there is something else he'd like to try.  Maybe not JROTC as that is not something he's drawn to.  But the option is there.

This is how WE homeschool.  It is different for every family, for every student within a family.  It is a custom fit education, tailored for the individual.  The possibilities are endless, the opportunities are endless, the benefits are endless.  The drawbacks do exist.  Homeschooling is not for everyone.  And it is hard.  There is a lot of responsibility that rests upon my shoulders.  And I feel the weight.

Of course I have the assurance that God called us to this task and therefore He will give us the tools and strength to see it through IF we'll lean on Him and not our own power which is where I fall guilty.

And that is all I wanted to say.


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