It concerned me when we chose to homeschool. I had so many excuses not to do it.
“I’m not a native speaker.”
“The kids can’t learn from me.”
“How in the world am I going to get everything done?”
The examples above were just a few issues that crossed my mind among many others. However, somehow, my husband and I felt that pull, like a magnet, that drew us to the idea.
After a lot of prayer, we took a step of faith. We registered our first daughter with an umbrella school and started searching for the curriculum that fitted her the best, an overwhelming task. However, since Tennessee was a huge homeschooling state, we found many wonderful ladies willing to help. I also counted with the wisdom of my friend, Julie Miller. Her knowledge in curriculum blew me away. Her first child was still in kindergarten, and she had her son’s path planned all the way through high school. I, on the other hand, was happy to finally have all the books for that year. One year at a time seemed fair me! Don’t judge!
I also started researching on bilingual education. There wasn’t much information at the time, so God and I brainstormed some ways to teach Portuguese to my children. With a lot of trial and error and help from my mom, I was able to teach the phonics foundation of my native language along with English. I learned that many bilingual kids can speak very well, but can’t read and write. My focus then became literacy instead of the spoken language.
I stressed on verb conjugation. Romance languages could throw a curve ball to students in that area. Therefore, I felt that the link to language proficiency was dependent on how correctly they conjugated verb tenses. After we worked on that, I noticed their reading and communication skills skyrocketed.
Homeschool has been a positive experience for our family. There have been no issues in the social arena. My children can carry on a good conversation with adults and adjust to the environment beautifully. As far as academics, I know their strengths and weaknesses. I try to work on their issues the best I can. If I can’t, dad needs to be involved, which is mainly in the realm of math. A big round of applause to Khan Academy – you have saved my life many times!
However, we take one year at time. We reevaluate where we are at the end of the second semester. Up to now, we haven’t felt the pull to change anything. So, another homeschool year will unfold by the grace of God.
Whether you homeschool or not, know that your children’s hearts are the most important variable in this equation called relationships…Sometimes, it’s hard to empathize with a 12-year old girl feeling sad because she doesn’t have pink headphones. After all, you have a whole house to tend to. Pink headphones are just vanity! I know, I feel the same way. But I remind myself that pink headphones are a matter of life and death at that age.
All I am saying is honor your children’s hearts! Capturing their hearts is the most important legacy you can pass on to them.
With Much Love,