February 15, 2010

Reminiscent Homeschooler

Today begins a special week-long homeschool feature. I am so excited to have a couple of guests posting about their homeschool experiences, plus a guest interview with a mother and the current challenges of homeschooling a special needs child.

If you aren't already aware, I was homeschooled grades K through Grade 12. That's me in the picture (older of the two girls.) Being the very proud mother that she is, my mom printed off a banner on our very first computer (with colour ink, no less) and wanted a "school photo." I remember being reluctant at the time... but now I am so glad she took the opportunity to snap this photo. All of my siblings are not pictured here. Little did we know, two more would be born in the following few years!

I have very fond memories of homeschooling, which I hope is an encouragement to my mother in itself! When I reflect on my personal experience of homeschooling, the first word that comes to my mind is "closeness." There is a special closeness that I have with my parents and my younger siblings that I think would be different had we gone to formal school. When you spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your family, you have no choice but to get along. A special community is formed as you work on your lessons beside students who are in other grades than yourself. I would imagine the students in one-room schoolhouses would experience similar feelings.

Our family dynamics played a huge part in our homeschooling success. I am the oldest of six children with a 14 year age spread. As you can imagine, I often battled with my mother for the role of "mother" to the other children, as I would guess most oldest daughters do. Or perhaps, ALL daughters do! I appreciated so much the time we had at home as a family, learning, playing, and working together. I recognize now, as a young mother, the value system I was able to glean from this environment is invaluable as I begin to raise my own children.

Some memories and thoughts I cherish...

I remember, almost as if it were ritual, my closest (in age) brother and me making our tea before we started school work. Tea seemed to be a staple drink for us during our morning.
I also remember thinking that if we had any more school work to do after lunch, it was practically punishment! Who does school work after lunchtime!?
I remember getting together with a couple of other homeschooling families for several "Unit Studies." We learned about Astronomy, the Human Body, Mexico, made a radio, and many other things together.
I remember being glad that if we wanted to take a morning off and go swimming or skating, we had the freedom to do that!
I liked going camping with my family in September when all of the "public school families" had returned to their routines and the campgrounds weren't so busy.
I remember being glad I could use all of my Royal Conservatory piano training towards fine arts credits in high school.
I remember being totally annoyed at a stupid course called Career And Personal Planning! I think I made up most of those career goals, because somehow, I didn't think my goal of "being a wife and mom" would suffice.
I remember these French cassette tapes we were supposed to listen to every day by ourselves. Not very well though, since I would often turn down the volume and read another book or tidy my room. Shhhhh!

Many more memories flood my mind. And I am convinced my years spent homeschooling with my family is why I have such wonderful childhood memories of my family! We actually spent time together. A lot of it.

I hope you enjoy a closer look at homeschooling this week: a few guests, and some fabulous resources.

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Shannon said...

Karina, you have described the riches of what I have experienced homeschooling, except from a different angle, since I am not a homeschooler, but a homeschooling mom!
Looking back on the last 18 years of homeschooling my favorite memories are of kids sitting on my lap and leaning against me while I read out loud GREAT BOOKS (thank you, Sonlight Curriculum)!!!
I don't boast Harvard graduates or kids with academic honors, but all of my children love to read, love God's Word, the Bible, and love my husband and I!
To me, those are the most important things and I'm glad to have been able to have the opportunity to homeschool!!!

Amanda said...

That picture is so cute! I love Ricky's expression, and yours is pretty priceless too!

Melissa-Ann said...

Haha!! about the French tapes!! I HATED those stupid things!!