I feel like I am busier than ever since I began to homeschool my three kids this fall. There is so much more involved than the original thoughts I had of just teaching them math, reading, science, and history.
I want to make sure all three kids are exposed to the non-core classes so each week I am driving the kids around town so they can attend music classes, art classes, and exercise classes. The thing I didn’t take in to account is that they would not all be interested in the same type of classes. Hence, this is the reason why I am chauffeuring the kids all around town.
My youngest child enjoys a mixed dance and music class and, also, a drawing art class. My older two kids take piano and guitar lessons, pottery class, and yoga class.
Whew! It can be an exhausting schedule for me, but I love that I can give them so many opportunities. Homeschooling allows us to have the time to focus on multiple activities. I don’t think we would have this flexibility if they were enrolled in traditional schools.
Another activity the kids have flexible time for is volunteering. Many opportunities have opened up to the kids now that they are available throughout the day and not just a few hours in the afternoon, like they used to have when they were in traditional school. The kids now volunteer at our church nursery one morning a week. They adore working with the little babies, toddlers, and preschool kids. Taking care of the younger kids has taught my own kids such patience. They learn so much by teaching the younger ones how to do simple tasks like drawing, singing, and even buttoning up winter jackets. It is really rewarding for all of them to volunteer in the nursery.
The kids have also started to volunteer at the local retirement complex. This experience has also taught them quite a lot about patience. In this environment, the kids find their patience is growing as they listen to the elderly folks tell stories about their past histories. The kids come home from this volunteer position and either complain about the hours they sat and listened to someone’s story, or they are enlightened by the history they learned form the residents. It is wonderful to hear them retell some of the historical tales they learned. It is also wonderful to see them appreciate the company of folks at different stages of life other than their own. They may not realize this yet, but they will see what these experiences taught them when they reflect on their own lives.
I know things seem crazy and chaotic right now as we spend our days filled with school lessons, extracurricular activities, and volunteering jobs, but I know it is all worth the effort. I just need to remember that for myself on days when I feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Homeschooling is not without sacrifice and effort.