Thursday, March 24, 2011
What I am going to say causes people's eyes to bug out of their heads. It is something I never considered -- I didn't even know what it was -- until perhaps 2 years ago. It is something that equally thrills me and scares me; something that might actually turn our lives towards simplicity...or maybe it will just cause me to lose my mind. But I am coming clean today: I am a wanna-be-homeschooler.
I think my husband thinks I have watched one too many episodes of 19 kids and Counting. But, really, that is not it. The idea started mostly because I am very very interested in teaching my kids. I was a teacher, and I miss it. I love seeing that little lightbulb go on in kids' minds. I love seeing their enthusiasm as they learn new ideas. I love learning and re-learning along with them. I would think that perhaps that I needed to resume my career as a school teacher, but that is not the lifestyle I want. While I admire and sit in awe of working moms, I know it is not the path I choose. I want less rushing around, less time away from my kids and husband, more time to sit and stew in the eucharisto, the gifts and the gratitude of life.
I started reading about homeschooling as I read some adoption blogs. Blogs have really opened up the world for me; I have learned about other types of family life that were really unheard of before to this Jersey Girl. I never heard of people who had adopted many (and I mean many) children. Also, I had never really spent any time with a bona fide Christian family. My only Christian friend was someone I met in college and who, regretfully, I met with a mixture of curiosity and fear. I was raised Catholic, but that is not the type of Christian to which I am referring. I mean the type who use the word "Jesus" in everyday conversation. The type who capitalize the "h" in "him" and who go on mission trips. The types who really and truly try to create a better world, and, for them, it is all due to Jesus Christ. (Note that I am not saying Catholics do not do this -- just not the Catholics I met. They were all sneaking into the girls' room to smoke cigarettes...wait, did I just make that more offensive?)
Anyway, some of these strange families (some of these did not have 11 adopted children, and some were not avid Christians) I met online also homeschooled. I could not read enough about this. It totally fascinated me. Oh, the curriculum! Oh, the notebooks and worksheets! And, by far the biggest source of my excitement: oh, the literature! I wanted to teach my child to read. I wanted to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with them. I wanted to teach them Shakespeare.
And, as it turned out, I also wanted us to be the type of family, although not necessarily Christian or jumbo-sized, that homeschooling might be most apt to support.
to be continued...