I’m awe inspired by those that homeschool. How do they do it?!?! How do they find time? How do they find the balance between “mom” and “teacher”? Is their house even remotely clean? Really – all homeschooling mothers are SUPERMOMS!
That being said – I know I teach my children things every day. We spend countless hours counting blocks we are stacking, finding different colored crayons during an art project, and identifying letters in signs we drive past. Maybe not your definition of homeschooling – but mine.
And more important than that – I know that I’m teaching my children other things that will serve them later in life. Although it still requires constant reminders, my boys say please and thank you regularly. We say hello to people we meet and say goodbye when we leave our friends. My children pick up their toys before going to bed (we should probably work on doing that more often throughout the day) and they clear the table after they finish eating (without being told!). At the ripe age of 2, John could say “Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Amen” – very impressive for a little boy with apraxia. And now at 18 months, Nathan is half way there with “Father, Ho-weeeee Spirit, Amen!”. I’m trying to teach them manner, teach them home management, and teach them about our faith. These are not little things. These are monumental. These things take time. They take reinforcement. They take more consistency that I can muster most days! But I keep plugging away. We’ll get there some day!
Here’s a great example of my attempt to encourage these things:
A few weeks ago as we were departing McDonald’s after an evening of burning energy in the playland, I spotted a uniformed airman. (This is not totally uncommon in our area as we live close to an Air Force base.) As we walked by, I squatted down and encouraged my boys to tell the man “Thank You for serving.” The airman then got down off his stool, knelt down next to the boys and exchanged niceties (although it should probably be noted that I’m not 100% sure either of my boys mustered even so much as a “thanks”). As we meandered off, I mouth “thank you” one last time. Then, to my surprise, as Matt and I were buckling the boys into car seats, the airman came jogging over to the car! He handed each of my boys a real USAF patch from his posting with the DCS. Talk about little boys’ dreams being brought to reality! But the disappointing thing in all this – as he handed the boys the patch he confessed, “No one ever stops to thank me. That meant a lot!”
I’m not a homeschooler. I truly don’t believe I’m meant to be a homeschooler. But I know that I teach my children. That night I taught my children the value of saying thank you. Hopefully that airman went home that night knowing that his service does not go unnoticed and my boys know that it’s important to recognize peoples’ work (added bonus that they got a present for doing so!).