The Grass Is Greenest in My Own Back Yard
I planned to homeschool my kids before I even got married. I told my fiancé, he agreed. Why did I know it was what I wanted to do? I am not entirely sure, but I love freedom and in a way I think freedom was a calling to me. I also wanted an excellent academic education for my children and didn’t see that coming out of the public schools. I can also see, looking back, that I wanted to nourish them as complete persons. I wanted to feed not only their bodies and minds, but also their souls.
I did not realize then that I was choosing a way of life. A counter-cultural shift. I didn’t think about people thinking I was weird or crazy or courageous. It was just something I felt compelled to do and so I did it.
Well, my oldest is now 15, so I have been homeschooling a good 10 years. Sometimes I come across a blog post where a mom is yearning to put her kids on the bus and have a quiet day. But what I notice is how chaotic the days are for the moms I know who do put their kids on the bus.
What do I get out of homeschooling my kids?
I get to decide what time we get up in the morning. I get to decide which books are worth reading. I get to not make sack lunches. I get to teach my kids how to cook and clean during the day, in the midst of life. I get to spend extra time on any subject for any reason. It could be a weak area. It could be a subject we love. It could be a shifting with the seasons, like spending extra time on the Biblical period of history in the weeks leading up to Easter.
I get freedom. I get to bond deeply with my children. I get to explore the world with them. I get to see so much more than their first steps. I get to see their face light up when they finally understand the math equation. I get to see their forehead wrinkle up when we read about some strange event in history.
I get to watch them make connections between subjects, life, and modern culture. I get to see them embrace logic. I get to see them being kind to each other and helping their brothers and sisters, even when mom did not ask them.
I get so much out of homeschooling my kids. I can’t imagine the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. It is so beautiful right here in my own back yard, why would I long for the bus?
I embarked on this journey because I thought it would be a good journey to go on, but it is better than good, it is amazing, and I am blessed to be on it.
Marla Szwast lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband and six children. She has written articles for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She is the author of Stepping Through History: Starting With You!, and a semester long fifth grade science course. Both courses are published online at Schoolhouse Teachers membership website. She writes about home schooling, child development, neuroscience, and the history of education on her blog at: www.jumpintogenius.com, you can also follow her on Facebook @jumpintogenius, or Twitter @MarlaSzwast, or Medium.