The Missing Element in Homeschooling
When we first started officially doing homeschool. Annie and Tina were kindergarten and preschool age. We had our own little schoolroom, that was originally supposed to be a breakfast nook. I lined top edge of the small room with a chart of the alphabet, hung a chalkboard on one wall and a bulletin board on the other.
There were four desks. Two connected as one and two separate desks with lifting tops and attached chairs. We were snug in our beautiful little schoolhouse, with it’s two large windows on the exterior walls, not to mention an occasional load of wash running in the closet. Most of the time I waited until after school for that. That first year, school only took about thirty-five to forty-five minutes to complete. The girls would have happily done more work but I made them wait until the next day. Anticipation is golden. We wrote to Smokey the Bear and got all kinds of fun stuff and signed up for a newsletter that had activities for each category in school. We all looked forward to school each day. In the next couple years, Hue joined us and school now took about an hour and half, especially when you added reading into the mix. I began to notice a little discontentment from Annie. She kept asking me when they were going to go to real school. I kept telling her, “This is real school.” She had made friends with a family of sisters living not far from us and they rode the bus to school each day. I guess Annie felt like maybe she was missing out and that riding a bus made school real. This family would take my older kids to church with them on Wednesday nights to a children’s program. Jer and I stayed home with the littlest of our kids. One week the church planned a snow day and to Annie’s great pleasure, it meant riding in a bus. Tina also joined in the fun. It only took that one ride on the bus and I never heard her complain about not being in ‘real school’ again. In fact, it only heighten her desire to tell all her friends how great homeschooling was, who would then seek out their parents sitting next to us and ask if they would homeschool them too.