A Question Answered

June 3, 2008

Kelly asked a question.  And I’m going to answer it because it actually WASN’T sarcastic and all, aren’t I funny because I said “Juan?”  Also, because she just bought one of my books and I give preference to people who support my Goodwill habit. 

So.  Her question was…….

“What is your favorite homeschooling tip?”

Oh my.  How much time you got?  Because I could talk about THIS for….um….10 years, 7 months, and 4 days. 

My initial reaction is to tell you to run to Walmart and buy yourself a basement, because these things come in really handy when the little ones are under foot when you’re trying to explain how to multiply very large and unwieldy fractions.  You tell them to go down there and find something to do in the room that possesses every Lego piece ever created, 48 dolls, including 2 with a weird eye each, 279 items of doll clothing and acoutrements, and all the games with missing pieces that you could ever want.

But then I figured that Kelly wanted a serious answer.  And since she bought my book, she gets one.  Even if it hurts.  See, I’m willing to feel pain for people who buy my book.  Because people who buy my book?  I LOVE them!  You know….with a people-who-buy-my-book kind of love.

Okay.  Now I’ve gotta focus really hard.  And you make sure you’re sitting down.  Because I’m about to get serious.  And we don’t see that much here on the blog with the mother who has 9 children.  So get ready.

Here goes.

Make sure that you are not shoving “school” down the throats of your children, while life is happening outside the window and passing them by.  I have seen and heard about so many parents who made their kids sit at a desk and “learn”, while there was so much real life education to be had in a much more profitable arena.  I really believe that my children learn just as much, if not more, on days when we take a break from “school”.  I have written a number of posts about what my children do on these “off” days.  No, they don’t sit in front of the TV or play video games or talk on the phone.  They catch frogs and watch them dig into the dirt.  And then they come and ask me why frogs do that.  They rig up pulley systems for fun, and figure out why different sizes and weights of items behave differently while swinging wildly through the air, nearly missing the heads of small siblings.  They skin dead animals and learn that certain inside parts give off scents that can be useful to hunters and trappers.  And nauseating to moms.  They build forts and campfires and treehouses.  They tromp through cornfields, flushing pheasant and deer.  They hitch up a wagon to the backs of their bikes so they can pull around a toddler sibling who will then belly laugh continuously for the next 30 minutes while being bounced across the hills and valleys of the yard and driveway.  They will play a game of kickball, letting the little ones make it to each base safely. 

They will make memories.  They will form lifelong relationships.   

And they will learn.

Yes, children need to study.  Sometimes they need to memorize dry facts.  They need to know how to read and write and measure and count.  They need to know what color orange is….the $.99 tag of the week at Goodwill.  They need to know who Magellan was and what he did. 

These are important things.

But don’t forget real life.  Don’t forget the instruction that the Bible tells us should happen when we awaken and when we walk and when we sit and when we lie down.  That’s life!  That’s education that happens throughout each day as we change diapers and cook meals and tend to attitude problems and exclaim over Lego creations.  THAT is education!  THAT is life!

And THAT’S my homeschooling tip. 

Kinda sorry you asked now, huh?


5 Responses to “A Question Answered”

  1. Lori said

    Amen! and Amen! Great tip!

  2. Happy Geek said

    Sorry about the juan comment.
    Not funny.
    (well sorta funny but maybe not terribly appropriate.)

    Anyway, I am curious as to when you leave? How long will it take to get to your destination? Have you found a house there yet?

    Stuff like that.

    Please forgive the sarcasm, I am freakishly short and used to teach public high school. It was my only weapon. I pretty much only speak sarcastic now.

    I’d buy your book, but I am also freakishly cheap and do not purchase anything that is not 95% off.

    But maybe I’ll ask for it for Christmas!

    Oh and comments are closed in your most recent post.

  3. oliveplants said

    Well, Happy Geek, if I came off like I was offended by your comment, please forgive me! I LOVE women who have the same type of humor that I have……sarcastic! Don’t apologize….unless you were being sarcastic. =) And no one has to buy my book. I was just joking because that’s what I do. Because if I didn’t, I would cry. A lot.

    Okay, here are some answers for you, even though you haven’t bought my book. Yet.

    Basically, whenever we sell our house, we will leave. We will take 4 days to get there, although it would be physically possible to do it in less time. Only, everyone would not arrive alive. So we’re spreading it out and we WILL enjoy it! Grrrrr.
    We look for houses online, but really can’t do anything regarding houses until we sell this one, and arrive there. Also, we are waiting to find out about base housing too. Hopefully, we’ll know something very soon.
    You asked what my favorite music is. I have varied tastes. I love the nature music like “Forest Piano”, etc. I also love worship music, particularly Michael W. Smith. I am a big fan of the pianist, Jim Brickman. I think I have every one of his CDs. And when I’m in a car by myself (you know, once every 2 or 3 years), I’ve been known to put in a Nichole Nordeman, Kim Hill, or Steven Curtis Chapman CD and turn it up. Loud. But my husband likes calmer music around the children, so I obey. =)
    So there you go. Too much info, huh?
    Also, did you know that I’m tall and have very large feet?
    Okay. Just checking.

  4. Kristin said

    Thanks for the great advice. It was just what I needed today! See, I’m a MOMY who’s pg with #6 and experiencing the horribly misnamed “morning” sickness. And some days (like yesterday) even the thought of having to explain a SIMPLE math fact makes me feel like I just might be sick-er.

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