One thing I want my children to say about me when they are grown is that homeschooling never came before family. I want them to say I let them know their grandparents, their cousins, their uncles and aunts and all those friends who loved them dearly. What I want them to say is that I didn’t forget my parents. That I visited them and honored them.
I want them to say I was available to them as a mom, that I wasn't so caught up in getting some "me time." I want them to say I stopped what I was doing and looked at every dandelion, bug, branch, sunset and exciting video game that thrilled them.
I want them to say I was there when I was supposed to be.
I would like it if they did know how important homeschooling was to our family and how sometimes we made the life lessons more important that the book lessons.
One particular time my mother was in the hospital for an extended stay we showed up uninvited and unannounced and surprised her better than I had in well over 30 years. We ditched books and school videos, math and penmanship just to sit in the van three hours each way to spend less than 24 hours in a hospital/hotel so she knew how much we loved her.
And in a way, that was homeschooling for us.
What did that have to do with school?
Well…I didn’t come up with this idea; I learned it from other homeschool moms. Life is school and school is life and when you stop and care for your family you are teaching your children. You are teaching them that life and family are valuable and that one day they may need to do the same for you. You are teaching them compassion that hopefully they will someday imitate without thinking.
School is life when you discuss the medicines that Grandma had to take and what it did to her body—Science. Life is school when you fought with your cousin in the backseat of a van and you learned that even if you were right about the argument you were more right if you give her a hug and tell her you love her before she does—Life skills. School is life when you see Mommy make a horrendous mistake driving that could have been fatal and you learn why she says to “Look both ways crossing the street.” –again with the Life skills.
Life is school when you learn that driving down the freeway your mother needs to read the road signs to get you to the correct destination or you take a 45 minute not-so-scenic detour. Reading is crucial. Reading & Geography were both taught with that one.
Geography and reading were also when you taught your brother to read some road signs. And showed him how to count down the mile markers—Math. History was hearing Grandpa give an account all the horrible things your mother did as a child. PE was bouncing on the bed for the 20th time even after you’ve been told not to. Okay—maybe that is a stretch.
For a family who often focus on Fine Arts the finest art was ignoring that we were skipping practice and being where we should be.
What I hope my children say about me is that I may have made a lot of mistakes, but I admitted them and tried to teach them as best I could. I hope my children say that somehow, someway they learned a little about God from me.