From four homeschooled children, we are down to one. Let me show you our timeline:
- 2002: Homeschoooling a toddler with an infant
- 2003: Homeschooling a preschooler and toddler, with a newborn
- 2004: Homeschooling 2 preschoolers, with a toddler
- 2005: Homeschooling 2 preschoolers, with a toddler and newborn
- 2006-2012: Homeschooling 4 children.
- 2012: Released eldest, homeschooling 3
- 2014: Released 2nd, homeschooling 2
- 2016: Released 3rd, homeschooling our youngest Gino, level 5:)
***during the early years, The Bridge School, assisted me in allowing a 3 day program for the younger kids as I got our act together. So thankful to Bridge for taking care of our babies in batches as I shifted to full time homeschooling. I also learned a whole lot about preschool teaching from this amazing school!
I just want to enjoy this post as I recall MY favorite moments. And maybe one day, I can ask my students and share with you what their favorite memories are and we can compare notes. But for now, hoping not to tear, let me share mine:
1. Bedtime stories and Read-A-Loud time: I just love bonding with the kids with great books in hand. Whether it be the all time, read again and again, Berenstain Bear’s collection or other favorite bed time stories, or chapter books like Dr. Doolittle, Popper’s Penguins or recently, Hudson Taylor’s biography, or chapters from our Mystery of History series, those are my most precious moments ever! When a shared book/story experience is so rich and wonderful, the memory is like a glue of happiness and warmth!
2. Pretend/ Dramatic Play: Have you ever found yourself laughing out loud (LOL!) with your children? This, for sure, will create those opportunities. Create stories, assign roles, re-enact Bible stories! Oh, how I wished I took a video of all of them! These tools can also be golden opportunities to teach a lesson. Once, I thought of helping the children develop compassion (putting selves in the shoes of others) and we all pretended to have various disabilities. We drew lots and acted the part we got. All five of us during bedtime had to play the part for 30 minutes. You can imagine how that turned out. But you have to try it yourself. However, something that seemed fun turned serious when I challenged them to really think of those who have these conditions for the rest of their lives.
3. Our Art Classes / Science Experiments – All my students know I do not draw well. So when we need to draw, I am one with my students, learning again. It’s quite amusing to see each others’ drawings! Oh my, we did do so many ART projects together and boy, did we have so much fun. One time, we were in the garage, painting of all things, a colorful giant GARAGE SALE sign and guess what my students did? Oh poor little creatures, they decided to use some left over paint to paint some millipedes!
Exciting Science experiments are always winners. Yes, and the mishaps too. Once, in an activity for Digestion and the Gastrointestinal System, I did not secure the seal of the blender pitcher, oh were we all covered with samples of “digested food”! Ewww. Or during a lesson on the Skin /Integumentary system, we actually pretended to be surgeons, sewing lacerated pig’s skin!
4. Magic Moments – these are the moments when you have front seats to witness something really special going on. It could be as simple as an older child assisting a younger sibling, a child asking , “Is God old? ” or children eventually embracing a spiritual truth about who God is and what is He like. Magic Moments are also the times when you see good character in action and experience fruits of your homeschooling labor. I also consider moments when a “emotional” or “character” concern of a student is addressed really special. I also love it so much when they come and open up about their thoughts and feelings.
5. Scenes Etched in Your Heart – There are many scenes in my mind when I think of the past 13 years of homeschooling. I have a few favorites though. My son Marco started piano classes at 5 years old and I remember bringing him to piano with him on the back seat. The way to the teachers house required us to pass through a hilly road that allows him to feel like he is in a roller coaster. He would always open the windows and I could see from the side mirror, my Marco, full of glee and enjoying the wind splashing on his chubby face ! I loved seeing him like that and always looked forward to the time when he would ALWAYS open the window to see this EVERY single time we went home from piano lessons.
I am so thankful though that I kept taking photos of our experiences together. I look with fondness and yes with some ache in my heart, as I remember and try to re-live those days. But more than being able to take photos, my gratitude flows in being given a chance to take this ride with our children. They were days that seemed slow and long, but honestly, time does fly… I guess, especially when one is truly having fun ( and yes there were more fun days than slow and bad days!)
Proverbs 15:13 A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.