I have embarked on the terrifying, exciting, and liberating journey of being a Homeschool mom. Since I never do things the easy way I have also decided to embark on this journey with my very enjoyable, opinionated, talented, and fiercely stubborn 14yr old daughter. Yay!!! (Insert “what was I thinking” head shakes while jumping up and down excitedly)
One of my first tasks of being a home school mom is to find out my daughter (Kate’s) baseline. I don’t know what she needs to learn until I know what she has already learned. I don’t know whether to be more amazed at what our fantastic public school systems have taught her or her unbelievably creative sense of humor. For example: Did you know that the capitol of Montana was Hannah? Or that the capitol of Ken-tucky was Barbie-tucky? Maryland was Divorceland, Illinois was Healthyinois, Pennsylvania was Markervania, and Idaho was Youdaho?
Needless to say….this is proving to be a very enlightening journey. I am excited though….I have the unique opportunity to teach my daughter the things that are actually important in the world. I get to teach her not what to think, but rather how to think. When we talk about government and laws I get to teach her about ethics (or the lack of) and how it shapes the decisions we make. I get to teach her about the things that really interest her and not just the cookie cutter topics that the educational system decided she should know. And most importantly I get to teach her how to understand her perspectives and be able to back them up so that if she decides to be a Democrat growing up in a conservatively Republican house she can tell me what that really means and why she believes it instead of just jumping on the bandwagon of her culture. Of course in the end I hope as ever parent does that she will grow up with the same values and perspectives I have…..but ultimately I hope that she grows up knowing how to search her own soul and how to fully know, articulate, and defend her perspectives and convictions even if they are different.
But I also know this journey will not be an easy one. It will challenge me to learn as well. I will have to be proactive in her education, constantly looking for materials and tools, writing lesson plans, and finding creative ways to engage her. But I imagine those tasks will seem like a walk in the park next to the daunting task of getting Kate out of bed each day. For what home school kid wants to get up and go to school when they are fully aware that being home schooled means you technically get to set your own schedule. For this I have already come up with the perfect carrot. A delicious vanilla latte topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar presented in a coffee mug with the inscription “Congrats! You made it out of bed!” for the said teenager that arrives at the table by the agreed upon start time.
I am looking forward to this new journey with a mixture of apprehension and excitement. I have no idea what each day will look like or if in the end we will both survive. But, nevertheless the journey has begun!