Saturday, March 29, 2008

Home Education Week

Dana is hosting Home Education Week this week. Of course, I did not come across this lovely idea on my own so a shout-out to Julie for the head's up. More than anything, I was intrigued by the first prompt: what was your life like before home education? Wow...what a concept! These days it helps to think about things other than the morass that I sometimes find myself wallowing in, so this made me think, and smile.

We started teaching Sarah at home the summer after her 1st grade year. She was 7, Rachel was 5, and Abby was a wee tot on my hip. We lived in the Cincinnati suburb of Erlanger, KY, where we had been for about 4 years. Friend Husband was working at the school he still works at and I was at home with the girls. And I was much younger then. :-)

I know that life seemed much easier back then. I think it was much easier back then! I did a lot of quilting and had just finished working for a lovely lady at the Quilt Box for a couple of years. (I had to quit when my pregnant body was too gigantic to lean over the cutting tables.)

That period of time was a lovely one for us, I think. Friend Husband and I had had some dreadful marital issues when we moved to Kentucky. By the time Abigail was born, we had worked them out and our relationship was stronger and more beautiful than ever before. Our church life was nice (read: building me up and not stressing me out), the girls were all well, and I felt reasonably confident and competent in my life. (This is always when things go south for me, when I feel confident and competent...heh.)

One of the questions Dana asked was about things I miss and the things we gained. I think I've written in the past about things we've gained through homeschooling: a stronger sense of family, a lot of fun, and a lot of information. I do miss those quieter days when we could all sit quietly and read. I also miss (and I know this will come back to bite me) the peace that we had before we had the Internet in our house. Don't get me wrong, I certainly do (more than) my share of work and play online, but it is somewhat disruptive. I need to get a grip, I think.

I guess I miss the girls being smaller too, and being younger and more energetic myself. We used to have people over about every weekend for dinner and I used to be a lot more adventuresome with my cooking as well. Now it just seems like way too much work to do, although we do enjoy having people over.

I miss my mother and my mother-in-law. My late, great mil passed when I was still carrying Abby, but my mother was around until 2004. It was fun to see them. It was also nice to have a relationship with my sister, which I don't have now. I miss her too. Of course, I didn't have nearly as close a friendship with my sister-in-love as I do now, so that's a nice bonus.

I guess it sounds pretty boring: we read, I quilted, we had dinners. It was nice though, peaceful and fulfilling. Until the problems that Sarah had in government-run schools became apparent, but even those gave us the impetus to try homeschooling. By and large, I think homeschooling has been a blessing for us and I've enjoyed it, so I didn't so much mind the transition from "before" to "after". As a matter of fact, I remember writing very excited journal articles about what I was hoping to do and I remember writing my unit studies for when we started history that summer. Ah, those were the days!


Dana said...

Peaceful...I like that. I probably have the opposite experience, though. Life was hectic and I enjoyed the stress of most of it. Homeschooling has taught me to be content with what is going on now rather than trying to plan everything out. It has taught me the peace of this moment and striving for no other.

Not something I ever really thought I wanted to know. :)

Anonymous said...

[we read, I quilted, we had dinners]

So now you write, you knit and you cook dinner for family. Okay, the cooking for family thing is a bit of a downer. I hate the day-to-day what is for supper and would rather plan a dinner party for friends any day.

The problem, in my mind, is as an extrovert's extrovert, I always imagine that the dinner party will be more trouble than it is worth... in the end I always enjoy it.

I suppose it is like when I used to run. The hardest part of the whole thing was the first 10 steps from the living room couch to my front door.

Sassy Mama Bear said...

Great post and I think I may just join in...

Sassy Mama Bear said...

Do stop by the Cafe I have joined in.

Skittles said...

Sorry for the spam but I'm letting everyone on the Heads Or Tails blogroll know that HoT has a home of its own! You can find it HERE. :)