Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Family Address

After spending the day painting yesterday and having my doubts about homeschooling on Monday, we relaxed with pizza
and some Wii games

 After the pizza was done and several games were played, Jason called a family conference.

He talked first about the upcoming State of the Union address and then said that we needed to have a State of the Family address.  He asked how everyone was doing.  "FINE!!!!"

He asked everyone to think about homeschooling and what they thought of it.  Then he asked the girls.  I actually did grab my laptop and type while they were talking so that I would remember what they said.

P said, "I like homeschooling.  I like that I get to be with Mommy.  School is shorter.  I know I am learning but it doesn't feel like it because it is so fun.  I love history because I like to hear the stories of what they did in Egypt and Africa and I think it's cool.  I like creating stuff from back then.  I like watching youtube videos.  I like when we do art.  Math is better.  At school they timed us and I always got nervous.  Now math is on the computer and there is only twenty problems and it is fun!  I like doing experiments in science we never did experiments in school.  I like that we can swim in the winter."

She said she misses her friends, two girls especially.  We will make more of an effort to have playdates with them.

A said, "I didn't like homeschooling at first but I didn't want to say something.  I like it now.  I don't miss school.  I didn't not like it, but I wasn't sure about it, I was confused.  I like that it's fun and I feel comfortable saying stuff that I would not say in school, like if I had a question.  I like Science because we do experiments and we didn't get to do experiments, maybe one once a month and the teacher would do it in the front of the room and I couldn't see.  I like history, too, because it's like a story and I like the stories.  I don't like the writing because now we have to write for a half hour and I can't think of anything.  I don't miss the kids at school they were kind of annoying.  I like that I get more time to read the books I want to read.  I like that I get to play with [our homeschooling neighbors]."

A did say she also missed two girls, and we will make an effort to have them over.  She also said that P was her best friend and she likes just staying home and reading.  She asked if we could schedule a day where we just lay in bed and read all day together (like I had promised--but I am so afraid of getting behind that even though I am tempted, I never let us do this!).

I like that I get to spend time with the girls.  I feel like I get time to do all of the things that I dreamed of doing with them but we never had time for.  I like that I am with the girls when they are happy, not stressed at the end of a day.  I like watching them learn and grow.  I like how relaxed we are.  I think we are all happier.  I go to bed every night excited for the next day.  I wake up every morning excited for the day, for being with my girls, for seeing where the day will take us and what we will learn and what I will see them experience.  Homeschooling feels natural to me.  It's like teaching your kids to walk or talk.  You wouldn't want to miss that or have someone else do it.

Jason said he definitely sees a difference in the girls and I.  We are all happier and more relaxed.  The girls now talk about what they are learning, whereas when they were in school they would shrug or say, "Nothing."  He likes seeing all of their work when he comes home, and doesn't remember seeing so much of it when they were in school.  He thinks we need to make an effort to have their friends over more.  He also wants us to start learning a language, either Latin or Spanish.

Jason asked if any of us had any concerns.  The girls assured us that they were happier being homeschooled than when they were in school and that they do not miss school at all.

We discussed science and came up with a plan.  I wanted to wait until the Homeschool Conference to peruse the science curriculum options.  So, that is what we are going to do.  Next week, I am going to come up with a program using the American Girls Girls Bodies book and our Spa Science Kit.  Then, when we finish that, Jason is going to research some good physics experiments books for kids and dust off his old erector set from when he was a kid.  After that, maybe something about plants or rocks or space.  By the time we are done with all of that, it will be time for the homeschool convention.

We also talked about the fact that choir didn't meet this month and my programs didn't run at the library so the girls didn't have their sewing lessons.  We took time off from coop.  It seemed great to have all of this time...but maybe it was too much free time.  We need to strike a balance between enough time to do our work and relax and also being busy with activities.  No one else was having any doubts about homeschooling, but we all agreed that the lack of activities could be to blame for my feeling disconcerted.