Well, it has taken several days for me to get back to my Blogging A to Z Challenge, but here is my post for “C”. “C” is for children, choices, curriculum, conventions and chaos. Obviously, since we are a homeschooling family, our children play a major role in our lives. We do not have to send them to school, so they are pretty much around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 365 days out of the year. I must say I like it this way. I do not just love my children because I am their mother, but I genuinely like them. As they are now 14-years-old and up, conversations provide entertainment as well as information. One never knows what might come up in the course of our conversations.
“C” is also for choices. I love having the freedom and flexibility to pick curriculum that interests them and works for their learning style, while taking into account my teaching style. I try to allow my children to make choices for their subjects and sometimes the curriculum we use. However, there are times when I find it necessary to take over and make the decisions for them. This remains true especially when Dad find something he feels our children need to do or learn.
I love the variety of curriculum and instructions types available to our family. But more importantly, I love attending Homeschool Conventions so we can physically see the curriculum in person. Since we turn these conventions into mini-vacations, it makes it fun for the entire family to go. When our children were younger, they attended the Children’s Conventions. As our oldest grew up and matured out of the Children’s Conventions, we allowed him to volunteer at the conventions. Now that they are all teenagers with one twenty-some thrown in the mix, we allow them to chose what they do. Cell phones allow us to monitor where they are and what they are doing. Texting allows us to inform them when they need to meet us somewhere. So it is a win-win for everyone. Of course, our daughter is required to stay with one of her older brothers or one of us for my peace of mind.
Chaos invariably reigns as we try to pack up and leave the conventions. With luggage for seven, pillows, blankets, typically some sleeping bags, a cooler plus all the things we purchased at the conventions loading the van can become interesting. Fortunately, my husband and oldest son are able to handle this beautifully.
So what comes to mind for you when you hear the letter “C”? I would love to hear from you.
So Friday night one journey ended and another journey began. Nine years ago, our family started down the path of homeschooling because of our oldest son. Friday night that journey came to an end as we recognized him as a “Graduate”. It is bittersweet in so many ways. It means his journey of childhood is over and his journey of adulthood is beginning. It is so wonderful to the see the man he is becoming. He has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and plans to follow in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather in the ministry. I can see God working in his life in so many ways. I have been blessed to walk much of this journey with him thanks to homeschooling.
At the same time, I have three more children yet to go. It will be five years before we end our chapter of homeschooling our own children.. So I still have time to enjoy this season. Our daughter is not quite a teenager yet. But our time is growing short for this season. I can’t say I ever expected to begin the homeschooling journey, but I certainly have been blessed beyond measure through the experience.
This past weekend as we attended the CHAP convention in Harrisburg, I was reminded of how special each of my children is. As we walked around the convention speaking to various vendors, it was amazing how we were able to find just the right items for each child.
For example, our third son has wanted to learn to play the harp for years, but we never anticipated finding a harp that we could afford or that we would be able to move easily, but we did. There is even a book available from the company to teach him how to play it. Our daughter wants to learn how to play the flute and through a vendor who was at the convention, we found a site where she can take online lessons for that. We found online lessons for the piano as well. It is amazing how much we can find when take time to walk around and actually look at what is available to homeschoolers.
On Saturday, while my husband and I looked around at the books and curriculum the rest of our family (our four children and my mother) played cards at a table in the cafeteria. When they noticed a young lady sitting alone, they invited her to join them in their game. It is wonderful to see how these children interact with each other. My children are not afraid to talk to people. They are not afraid to speak up and try to make friends. Homeschooling has definitely blessed our family through the years.
There is such a feeling of satisfaction when I meet someone at the convention that I am able to help or provide information to thanks to the experiences we have had. It is wonderful to find exactly the right curriculum choices for each child. It is amazing to watch how God leads, guides and directs our steps.
How have you been blessed lately?