I have a homeschool website for Charlotte, NC area homeschoolers. http://charlottehomeschooling.ning.com/
I have been posting a Question of the Week to drum up discussion in the Forums. I recently posted this question.
What is most important to you (or foremost in your mind) with homeschooling your children?
When I began homeschooling, or decided that was the path I was taking (in 2002 when my oldest was just turning 5), my goals was to continue to foster my son’s love of learning. I saw how much he enjoyed exploring the world and loved learning new things and I wanted to continue to foster that love of learning. I recalled my own experience after I graduated college that the last thing I wanted to do was read anything! It took me some time before I enjoyed reading again. I wanted him to continue enjoying learning, like all young children do throughout his life.
I also wanted to teach my child how to find information. In school I hated memorizing. I felt that if he knew how to find the information he wanted, then he could learn anything.
I took him to the library often and taught him early how to find books in the library, gave him a general understanding of the Dewey Decimal System, and continued reading to him and following his interests.
I also wanted to be with my children. I returned to work full-time when my oldest was just 3 months old and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do at that point. My husband was growing his business and my income was our sole income. As he grew his business, I yearned for the day when I could work less and eventually be home full-time.
I now with three children, age 13, 8 and 2, see how quickly they grow and how short the time is that they are in my care. I enjoy being with them. (Sure, I need time to myself and have days where I am ready to send them all off to school if only for a week.) I enjoy learning and growing along with them. This is in part why I describe my method of homeschooling as learning through living.
My oldest is 13 now and he still loves learning new things. He pursues his interests and understand their are other things he needs to learn to help him achieve his goals (he wants to study computer science in college). He helps me locate nonfiction books in the children’s section for my younger two kids (because he knows how to find some categories of books better than I do).
I too need to stop and remind myself of my intention with homeschooling and even my beliefs about education to refocus myself. No matter what your education and homeschooling beliefs are, you can lose site of your intentions as you get wrapped up in the homeschooling world and connect with others who have different focus.
For me, I tend to doubt myself when I am around others who approach things different. I have many homeschool friends who have a variety of different beliefs about homeschooling and education and I am grateful for all of them. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the variety. Yet, I personally, need to remember to stop, go within, refocus and tune in to my intentions and remember why I began homeschooling in the first place. I also need to connect with others of like mind.For me, attending my favorite homeschool conference; getting together with others of similar beliefs, both on line and in person; and writing and reflecting on my beliefs helps me to stay connected to my true intentions.