The Socialization Question - Again

Just the other day, there was another question asked about homeschoolers and socialization.  This is one of the most common concerns that people have about homeschooling.

For the record, I am concerned about socialization.

 There are some days...

 that I just have to say, "no" to more socialization.

We can't get together with friends every.single.day.

Even if that's what my kids want to do.  :)

Socializing with others is a good thing, but family/down time is also a good thing.

Not to mention that we should stay home more so that we actually accomplish the three R's.  ;) 

So, yes.  I have concerns.

However, my concerns are probably not the same as the person (or people) asking.  :)

Hip Homeschool Hop Button


Should We Homeschool? and Books I Recommend

Nate and I were not in agreement about the type of education we wanted for our future children.

At all.

I was 100% for public school.  He was 100% for private school.

We prayed.  A lot.  We prayed that we'd eventually agree, preferably before our first child turned 5.

Thankfully the Lord answered our prayers, but not in the way that either of us thought He would.  (Seems to be a fairly common theme in my life.)  He turned our minds and hearts toward this counter cultural thing called, "homeschooling".  While it didn't seem that crazy to Nate (his good friend/cousin was homeschooled), homeschooling seemed absolutely nutty to me.

Growing up, I had only ever known of one family who homeschooled and I thought they were WeIrDoS.  Not that I ever actually engaged them in conversation...ahem...I just KNEW they were weird.  I mean, come onThey didn't go to school, which obviously means that they were not properly socialized.  And, let me just tell you, one of the boys sat around at church reading a book (for goodness sake) All. The. Time.  They were strange, strange people.

So, I may have been more than a little surprised to find that I actually liked the homeschooling family that lived across from us when we were first married.  They didn't seem odd and their children were super cute and very sociable (who'da thunk??!).

Well, I was in for a big surprise over the next couple of years.  Not only were we going to be persuaded to think (through much reading, thinking, praying, discussing) that homeschooling was a viable option for educating one's children and that homeschoolers were, in fact, not all weirdos (although there are some...probably even us...to some), but we were going to fully, happily embrace the homeschooling lifestyle (except for those jean jumpers...sorry, not happening).     

Here are some of the books that I enjoyed while learning about homeschooling.  However, if you choose to read these, know that I do not agree with everything every author puts on a page.  For example, in the first book, it talks about homeschooling being the "right thing to do" as if it is the only "right thing to do".  While I think that homeschooling is a great way to educate children, I do not think it is the only great way.  

With that said, here is my list:  

Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson - This book shows what homeschooling looked like in the Clarkson family.  It was the very first book I read on homeschooling.  I was randomly (even though I don't believe in randomness) searching for ideas to teach my 2-5 year old class at church when I stumbled upon a homeschooler's blog.  I sent Heather an email asking about homeschooling, and she recommended this book to me.  Pretty cool that the Lord used her (and a number of other people) to guide me toward homeschooling - something that I was pretty much against - more than 5 years ago.  (I own this book if anyone wants to borrow it from me.)

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola - This book is wonderful.  I've read it two or three times.  I still don't own it, but it would be a great resource to have at my fingertips.  Karen walks you through her days while homeschooling her three children in the style of the late 1800's educator, Charlotte Mason.  I'd love to be able to say that my kids have had an education like the one portrayed in this book.  I'd also love to be able to say that I am as patient, sweet tempered, and organized as Karen seems to be.  ;)

Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Homeschooling - This is a huge book with tons of great ideas for getting started.

So You're Thinking About Homeschooling (15 Families Show How You Can Do It) by Lisa Whelchel - Interesting to read about the different ways each family tackles homeschooling.  This is why I like to read homeschooling blogs!

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell - I remember really liking this book.  However, I can't remember any specifics, but I know I liked it!  :)

For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay  - This is one of those books that everyone says you need to read if you're going to homeschool.  Not sure I agree completely, but I did think it was a thought-provoking read.

Home Learning Year By Year:  How to Design a Home School Curriculum by Rebecca Rupp - I just put this one on hold at the library so I can see if I'm missing something in our curriculum!  I can't remember what I liked about this one.  You see, I have this list of all the (many) books I've read with stars by the ones that I learned from and enjoyed.  This one has a star.  That's all I know.

A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison - Another one of those Charlotte Mason books.  Wishing I could be a little more gentle and organized with this homeschooling thing.  ;) 

Home Sweet Home-School by Sue Makestaad - I think I laughed and shook my head (yes) a lot with this one...I think...I really should have taken better notes.  I know that when I finished reading this, I emailed the author to let her know I appreciated this encouraging book.  She wrote back a nice "thank you" note with some more encouragement in it just for me.  I thought that was very kind.  She must be a nice lady.  :)

The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson - WOW.  You've gotta read it.  I really, really liked it.  It's for all mothers, not just homeschool moms.  This is the same lady who wrote the very first book on my list. 

Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson - Can you tell that I like Sally?  :)  This book/Bible study is geared toward the homeschooling mom.  (This one can be borrowed from me as well.)

I'm currently working (very slowly) through, The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  I'm having a hard time getting into this one, which is strange since I've liked all of her other books.  I've heard that some like this book even better than The Ministry of Motherhood, so I'll have to keep reading.

So, there you have it:  How we began this homeschooling thing, and a list of all my favorite homeschool-type books.  :)




After a busy Sunday...

Before breakfast, school, and activity...

Jammies still on, snuggled under blankets, watching a cartoon...


This is a good way to start a Monday.

~ Heidi


When Sarah Came

A thoughtful friend from church told me she "missed seeing Matthew" at church.  She had previously been his teacher and wasn't anymore.  So, she told me the only way she could rectify the situation was to come over and babysit for the kids while Nate and I went on a date.  (!!!!!!!!)

Okay.  Twist my arm.

The kids had a BLAST with Sarah.  Here are some pics of their time together.

This is like, "Where's Waldo", but instead it's, "Where's Sarah?"

She even brought pizza and cake for dinner so I didn't have to cook before going out for dinner.  What a treat!

Thank you again Sarah!  You are a blessing to our family.  :) 


April Beach Day? Sure!

Sunday afternoon we went to the beach. 

The older kids thought that since we were going to the beach, they needed to wear their bathing suits.  Who cares if it's only going to feel like 55 degrees?!

I needed a hat!

It was FRIGID, but the boys didn't seem to mind...crazy kids!

I told Nate to remind me next time - in April - to wear something a little more substantial.   :)

Despite the blustery weather, we had fun!


The Day My Children really wanted to Attend School

One morning last year, I was feeling extremely passionate about being a homeschooling mom. The dishes were done, school was fully in process, the sun was shining, and I'm pretty sure birds were sweetly singing on the windowsill. We were sitting at the table when Emilia shattered our homeschool utopia.

"I really want to go to school."

Two of my boys, Jonny and Matthew, chimed in that they really wanted to go to school as well. Immediately a cloud covered the sun and the birds ceased their melody. Completely deflated, I wanted to know why they desired to attend school. Emilia wanted "Show and Tell" (thank you Fancy Nancy), Jonny wanted recess, and Matthew...well, he just wanted to do what his siblings were doing.

I tried to explain that school is much more than show and tell and recess, but to no avail. They still “really!” wanted to go to school. My homeschool passion fizzled, and I was consumed with nagging concerns.

Are we doing the right thing?
Will the kids resent us later because we homeschool?
Maybe they should go to school...(ringing hands)
Every kid gets to have recess and show and tell...(starting to panic)...We're not letting them be NORMAL!!!

By the time my husband got home, my energy was completely sapped. Sluggishly, I put together a dinner of buttered noodles, cheese, and leftover raspberry jello (I never said I was a gourmet cook, but this meal was bad). In despondent tones, I told him what had transpired earlier. He just smiled and looked at each child as he said, "Your mom and I think that homeschooling is the best way to educate you right now. Let's eat!" And that was that. The kids perked up and didn't mention it again. I perked up and wished I had cooked a better meal.

After dinner we had "Show and Tell". Then Nate set the timer for 15 minutes of "indoor recess". The kids played, and we were able to have an uninterrupted conversation. It ended up being a great night.

In one short sentence, my husband reminded me that we made a thoughtful, prayerful decision long ago, and it wasn't going to be put asunder by the wishes and whims of our children on that particular day.

It's good, every once in awhile, for us to re-evaluate (and always good to pray about) our decision to homeschool, but it's also good to rest in the decision we made as challenges within and without come up. And come up they will. So, we try to stay focused and keep plugging away.

Oh yeah, and I also try to make a tasty dinner, no matter how sluggish or doubtful I feel.  I'm always glad I did.  :)

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