What I hear A Lot: Wouldn’t it Just be Easier…

How many of you have heard a sentence started this way, “wouldn’t it just be easier if…..”

It can be referring to cleaning your house

It can be in conversation about your health

It can be a lead into a discussion on your future plans in life

What I am going to talk about today though is when people say this about homeschooling your kiddo. To me, this comment is right up there with the “what about socialization” question. It is maddening. There are times when I seriously wonder if people think things through anymore before they speak.

Besides, when has “easier” every been better?

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If we really think about it, a good job change is not easier, you have to work through new tasks, learn how best to shift your time around, and manage more people typically. That is not easier but we enjoy it better. If we move into a new house we need to sort through our belongings, pack them all up, deal with the process of moving to a new location, and then unpack. It is really not easy, but we are happier. If we get a puppy or kitten we need to clean up after it often, we need to pay close attention to be sure it doesn’t get into things, we need to walk it or play with it A Lot, but we would be happy about it. All of these take work, just like homeschooling.

It would be easier not to do them, but we wouldn’t be happy would we?

For the sake of discussion, let’s look at the “easier” as applied to homeschooling. In my situation, if I am honest, my girl would fair well in public school academically. She is quick, adapts well, and is driven. Socially it would be very difficult for her. Her cousin has to be in public school and the stories she tells are just mind-blowing. During the lower middle school years she was exposed to so many vulgar comments and situations, and she was bullied horribly. My daughter and her talk about these things often and it is terrifying what her cousin has had to deal with at such a young age. While her cousin was in the public middle school, her behavior and attitude really started to change. She became angry, defiant, and mean to her brothers. Thankfully, her father was able to transfer her to a smaller Christian private school and within 3 months her sweet nature was starting to come back and she wasn’t angry anymore. She still deals with some rough things socially but not as bad as before. My daughter would have reacted the same way. She has a huge heart, does not deal well with mean or vengeful people and would pick up bad social habits.

My boys, would not deal well with public school either. My younger boy would be the class clown. He lives for attention and loves to tell a great story. He is my most energetic as well, flitting about from activity to activity and so would constantly forget to do his work. My older boy would struggle socially as well as academically. He is an engineering-minded young man and very analytical at times. Most kids do not get him and become frustrated with how he processes things. The way other students would react to him would only feed into his frustrations with his shortcomings. His visual impairment would make things doubly difficult and he would need an IEP which is time-consuming and would also frustrate him. All of these things would lead to him giving up. I know this.

Then, there are the extras that come with regular school.

So, say my kids were in school, they are struggling, trying to process things that frustrate and sometimes hurt them, not focusing on their lessons in school, and then they have to come home and do homework. I have very active kids and if they just sat in a school for six hours, they will not come home and sit still more for homework. My daughter might but she would be so emotionally exhausted I wonder if she could focus on her assignments. My boys would throw down their bags in the house and run out the door to play with friends and build forts. Homework would be a huge struggle.

Then, because my boys would be struggling academically, they would both have tutoring or special services through the school and will either need to stay after school or I would have to drive them. This is another challenge. How am I supposed to help them with their homework if I have to drive them somewhere else for services? How are they supposed to focus on their classwork AND their tutoring/services AND their homework without getting burned out?

I see a return of meltdowns.

The final component of this “easier” comment I get is that the person tells me I could go back to work. I could bring in a paycheck, contribute to the household, and feel like I am accomplishing something. I’m sorry, but the only thing I don’t do out of that list is get a paycheck but, again, for the sake of the discussion, let’s look at this. So, my kids are in school and I am working. I probably would enjoy where I work and who I am working with. The scheduling would cause issues though. With my kids in school, when am I to help them do their homework? Even if I am able to get off of work close to when they get home from school, I would need to take them to their services right after school so that would be a rush home and then a rush to the meeting. I would probably either need to be involved in the meeting or I would be trying to help my other kids with their homework, trying not to argue in the waiting room. After the meeting, there potentially could be another one for another kid to run to. Plus there is dinner. When would we have time to cook or sit down together to eat? I would more than likely grab something unhealthy but fast on the way home because, at that point, all I want to do is get out of my work clothes. My patience would be gone and that is not how I want to be around my kids.

How exactly is putting my kids in school supposed to be easier?

Really, if people would actually think about it, not homeschooling is not the easier road to take. Yes, I have to do all the work to research and choose the curriculum myself. Yes, I have to take the time to teach and grade the school work myself. Yes, I need to create extensions for units that my kids need extra work on and find resources to help “tutor” them when they struggle. Yes, I need to do all the paperwork and administrative duties that come with homeschooling. It is not necessarily easy to homeschool but it is not easier to put them in school.

Now, this has been my personal look at how my kids would do, my personal look at what does and does not work with and for my family. Every family is different. Every family homeschools for different reasons. Every family has different activities and even services to take kids to outside of homeschool work. Everyone has different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. What works wonders for me would be a no go for someone else. That being said, when we really look at what does and does not work for our families, we have all chosen to homeschool. It is what is right for our family and our situations, no matter the reasons. Putting our kids in school isn’t easier for us, and for someone to try say so just doesn’t make sense.

As for me and my house, we homeschool and we are joyful

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Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 9 years now. I am also a military spouse, so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it.  As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs, or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.

Reviewing Safety: Important at Any Age

While quarantine, for the most part, has us in our homes for the majority of the day, there are more families going for walks and bike rides together. The number of families in my neighborhood I see walking every day now has more than tripled since quarantine started and while this is fabulous, there have been a few issues.

Kids are so bored they are forgetting safety rules

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Now when I say kids, I do not mean those who are 8 years old

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What I hear a lot: I can’t get them off electronics!

This has to be the most common problem I hear parents talk about. No matter their intention, no matter what they try and do, their kids end up on electronics and do not want to get off of them. This is a giant concern as many studies have shown that extended periods of time on electronics have numerous negative side effects. One of the most easily seen side effects, and the one that causes the most problems, is the emotional instability that comes with too much screen time.

How do we get them off electronics and keep them off?

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Do you remember when your kids were around 18 months or two years old and while exploring you had to tell them “no” a lot because of dangers? The hot oven. The electric

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A Look at Language Arts: Book Reports

There are some subjects we just love. Anything and everything about it excites us.

There are some subjects we cannot stand so we find simple ways to teach it.

But sometimes there are subjects we don’t mind, we might even like, but there are a few concepts that we are really not confident or comfortable teaching our kids.

In the Focus On articles, I would like to spend some time, maybe every other week or so to write on these daunting concepts. These will be in no specific order and will jump from subject to subject.

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In Language Arts, there are many concepts

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When Your Kiddo can Read a Book in One Sitting

There is a time, in a child’s developmental path when they go from struggling to read short picture books to flying through them. There is also a time when your kid goes from taking a few days to read a simple chapter book to reading it in one sitting. Those library trips that used to last you a week or two now only last you a day or two. It is at this time, the difficulty and or length of the book should be bumped up a notch.

But how, when your kiddo doesn’t want to?

I have gone through this with both my boys, and am about to go through it again with my younger son. Transitioning your kiddo from the books they know, are comfortable with, and feel confident with to ones that look GINORMOUS and impossible to read to them can be quite a challenge.

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My older boy was a difficult one to transition up. He had struggled for so long to just read a

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A Look at Science: The Microscope

There are some subjects we just love. We love every little detail, every little hidden gem, and even every little chore that comes with that subject. With these subjects we are excited to teach our kids, we know what we are looking for in a curriculum and we don’t need any extra help.

There are some subjects we cannot stand.

We can’t focus on the subject, cannot follow what it is about, and cannot gather the motivation to start with that subject. With these subjects we often try to find a curriculum that is easy to follow, is video taught, or is as hands-off for you, the teacher, as possible.

Then, there are the times when we don’t mind the subject, might even like it, but there is just a concept or two that we are really not confident or comfortable teaching our kids. These concepts are often avoided or skipped over. Usually, this is not a bad thing, our kiddos still learn a lot of wonderful things but sometimes it is a concept our kiddos really want to learn about.

I would like to spend some time, maybe every other week or so to write on these daunting concepts. These will be in no specific order and will jump from subject to subject.

The first concept we will dive into is the Microscope

Science is one of those subjects that I have heard many parents say challenges them. I personally am one of those people that loves science and

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When the Doubts Creep In

No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, and no matter your achievements in life, everyone hits a point where they start doubting themselves.

In their job

In their homes

In their life choices

In their relationships

In their parenting

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Everyone at one point or another question themselves. Wonder

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What To do During Social Distancing

While for the most part, our homeschool routine has not been greatly affected by the precautions we as a society are taking, such as no meetings and social distancing. Socially, we are struggling.

My children are extraverts like their father.

They LOVE being around people, making them laugh, telling stories, and playing games.

I am an introvert.

I need time away from the constant “mom/ honey can I have/where is the..” chatter.

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Our reality right now though, is that my social kiddos are not going ….

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Steps to an Unplanned Trial Run

Have you ever noticed how sometimes a bad situation can suddenly turn into a good one? An inability to find work locally leads to an enlistment where you meet people you will be friends with for the rest of your life. A forced move allows you to learn about a new area that you end up loving and never wanting to leave. A falling out with a babysitter has you taking an extended vacation from work that turns into loving being a stay at home mom and dedicating all your time to your kids.

These are all things that happened to my family and me and through them, we have learned to look for the positive in tough or unplanned situations. The current situation in our country has parents in an intimidating unplanned situation but thankfully, most of them are making school closings a positive for them and their children.

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I have been talking to a number of parents in my area that suddenly

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Wisdom in Times of Concern

All the neighborhood kids are home all day now, wanting to play.

Currently, my husband is a work-from-home husband. For how long? I have no idea.

Our neighbors who work 3rd shift are scrambling to find ways to still get their sleep, take care of their kids, and follow through with new precautionary procedures at their work.

A lot has changed quickly and many are concerned.

No, doubt there is a reason to be concerned. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, what perspective you have on the current state of our country with this sickness, you are concerned about something.

Notice, I say concerned and not worried.

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I purposefully choose these words. I am choosing to be

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