November 20, 2009

Reason We Homeschool # 1 & # 2


I can't tell you how many times I think the words "...and that's another reason we homeschool". When we first started this journey our list for homeschooling was small. OK ...... not small but WAY smaller than it is now.As the years have gone by, the list (if I had one) for reasons that we homeschool would be huge. I'm visualizing a long unrolled scroll trailing far behind me....
So today as the very words I mentioned above went through my mind AGAIN, I thought I should blog about these reasons. They will be in no particular order of importance but just as the thought comes to me again and again.
So... Today's reason for homeschooling is this:
Being able to learn life skills that actually apply to real life!
My children are no strangers to chores. It is considered a part of their daily routine. It goes side by side with school work. Teaching my children to clean up after themselves and take care of their space will be a blessing to them and their families long after they leave our home. Their spouses will be grateful and happier. Experience tells me so :)
We've recently started a NEW project that has been an eye-opener for me. This idea came to me at 2am one morning when I was up unable to sleep. It was inspired by a stamp I purchased at Hobby Lobby.
I was up.... my mind would not shut down long enough for me to fall asleep... so there I was sitting in the living room with a small light on doing nothing. I saw my new stamp, so I got out a stamp pad and some index cards and started stamping of course. Now, this is a FUN stamp! If you are a list maker, this will appeal to you for sure!
Next I decided I would use this for the kid's chores. I began filling in the lists for each of them and then for me. Typically Michael (my oldest) does more difficult or time consuming chores than the younger two. This makes sense right?
Here is what I had for each one:
Michael
Mattie
Mason
Bedroom 15 minutes
Bedroom 15 minutes
Bedroom 15 minutes
Wipe off boxes of books
Clean Bathroom
Clean Living Room
Switch Laundry
Clean Dining Room Table
Vacuum Front Room
Put DVDs in Organizer
Clean Out Fridge
Dust Cubbies
Now this is an interesting thing. Mason complained about vacuuming the front room. I mean - seriously - the quickest and easiest thing. He was not going to do it. Michael on the other hand, had cleaned about 30 book covers so far and was tired of that. So the boys decided to trade. Michael was finished in 5 to 10 minutes and Mason happily worked on the remaining 40 books for 45 minutes or so. I pointed out that I gave him the quicker job. He said he didn't want to walk around vacuuming, he wanted to sit and work. So that evening I wrote jobs that needed done the next day on our chalkboard and had the children choose one at a time.
Here is what they chose:
Michael (17)
Mattie(11)
Mason(9)
Bedroom 15 minutes
Bedroom 15 minutes
Bedroom 15 minutes
Clean Bathroom
Paper Shredder
Clean Living Room
Vacuum Hallway
Switch Laundry
Get cans for food drive
Trash & Recycle
Put Dishes Away
Sweep Floor
Seriously, Michael ended up with the quickest easiest jobs. Mom's don't always know everything now do they?
Then another thought came into my mind. This happens all the time. I was thinking about our family service project this year for Christmas time. Typically we like to help out a family who could use a little extra assistance. We try to keep this donation anonymous. Sometimes we know who we want to help right away, other times we don't have a clue until the last minute. As I was thinking of what we would do this year, the thought occurred to me to make a SPECIAL PROJECTS jar (this could be used for various things) and then when the children complete their checklists, I would give then each a dollar. They would then place their checklist along with their dollar in the Special Projects jar. By the time Christmas arrives there will be around $150 in the jar. We will donate either the money to someone or purchase items with it for someone.
We have been working on this for a few days now, and there are things I really like about it. First, Instead of Dad giving the money he earned working, the children are working for what they are giving. This gives more meaning to the donation for them since they are having to give of themselves. Second, they see how much work they have contributed by the cards in the jar. Their contribution is really their work, as Dad still provides the money. My house is cleaner! OK I'm doing the happy dance now!!!! My children always do chores, but somehow this is just more efficient and more is getting done! YEA!!! And, yes I have a checklist too, but I have extra lines on mine, definitely more than 4.
Ok, so my post was supposed to be about life skills which is where the chore things came into it, but as you have seen, I now have to change my title to include another reason we homeschool.
Being able to work on service projects of our choosing as part of our school day and prayerfully choose the recipient!

1 comment:

  1. I have just discovered your blog. I love your ideas! I am new at being an homeschooling mother, and blogs like your inspire me. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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