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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

3 Hidden Blessings of Homeschooling

3 Hidden Blessings of Homeschooling

Written by Krista Smith.

I was reminded very vividly a few weeks ago of three amazing blessings made possible by homeschooling, and I found myself all the more adamant about making sure I make room for them whenever the opportunity presents itself to our family.

I was public schooled from start to finish, and while I had a better-than-most experience, the thought of “learning” in the summertime literally never crossed my mind. Ever.

In fact, I was of the opinion that learning was inextricably tied to school between the hours of 7:30am and 3:30pm. On free evenings or weekends, I didn’t read for fun. I didn’t experiment. I didn’t ask to go to the library to look up some curiosity or another.


If I’m being honest, I'd have admit that there weren’t any curiosities to be had. I learned because I had to. I begrudgingly read because at the end of each book there was a book report that had to be written. Like everyone else I knew, I simply crammed as much information into my brain as was necessary for the upcoming test, and then promptly forgot it all a week later.

I thank God that through homeschooling my kids have a chance to learn differently -- to learn in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with “school” and everything to do with life. Learning doesn’t stop for them between the months of June and September, it simply changes pace; it becomes slower and less intentional. Because learning, to them, is inextricably tied to curiosities and the pulling of threads to find where each leads, they have had a chance to experience some things I never could have conceived of doing when I was a kid.

Here's just a sample...

School never gets in the way of learning

A few weeks ago, our next door neighbor, Mr. Loren, called and asked if our oldest two kiddos might be interested in helping him raise some Monarch butterflies. Of course my kids jumped at the chance!


He showed them everything they needed to know about raising these amazing creatures from larva to butterfly. My kids walked out of his house, grinning from ear-to-ear, ready to be Monarch mommies and daddies.

As the caterpillars grew, so did the questions and curiosities of the kids. Why does he eat like that? Is he sleeping? Do caterpillars sleep? Luckily, Mr. Loren gave us a handy printout with pictures, diagrams and all kinds of information about our new pets. Though reading a handout might not sound super fun, my kids and I truly enjoyed learning new and interesting facts about these special creatures.


If someone would have asked me to raise butterflies when I was a kid, I probably would have been super excited to do it. Wouldn't everyone? But I can tell you with absolute certainty that I would never have read an “informational handout” about them because that would be school work and not something I would have ever wanted to do outside of a school setting.

Socialization is never segregated

As a child, I never would have been comfortable visiting with someone in my grandparents' generation (besides, perhaps, my own grandparents). The very thought of it was scary to me because I had NO practice at it. I had never really learned about a generation other than my own and could not see the advantage of building relationships with those half a century older than myself.

But that afternoon in Mr. Loren’s dining room, my kids hung on his every word. They asked questions. They were grateful for the attention and honor he’d showed them when he handed them each their very own jar of creepy crawlies. It made me so thankful to be able to homeschool. Because I teach them at home, I can introduce my kids to people of all ages, and backgrounds and stories, as often as I'd like. I get to help them see people in a completely different light than the segregated way I saw society growing up. Grown-ups with grown-ups. Kids with kids. Teens with teens...the end.

Jesus is always welcome

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, and certainly didn’t attend a Christian school. Thus, everything I knew about earth science came from a textbook or the nightly news. My homeschooled kids, on the other hand, get to learn everything from a Biblical perspective and a Godly worldview, including creation.

When caring for our butterflies, we were able to talk about Jesus’ plan and creativity in designing insects to morph the way they do. We talked about how Monarchs are endangered because the trees they cling to after migrating to Mexico are being cut unsustainably. We talked about what it means to “subdue” and cultivate the earth as God says we should in Genesis without exploiting it unsustainably. And I saw the spark in my kids’ eyes when we talked about how giving your heart to Jesus is kind of like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We are one thing before Jesus, and we become something totally different after surrendering our lives into His care. That, in particular, was a lesson I pray will stay with them always.


I am overcome by the many blessings of homeschooling; of learning holistically, un-segregated by age, and free to worship Christ at all times. There are so many more blessings that homeschooling provides, but these three, in particular, make me want to say yes much more often to my kids' questions and curiosities -- to let them tug on a thread and see where it leads. These three make me more intentional about helping my kids know the joy of learning, in Christ, from others no matter their age!


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Krista Smith is the adoring wife to an amazing man and together they have three beautiful children (two biological, one adopted from Japan). Krista is privileged to homeschool them using an eclectic variety of methods.   She has a deep and abiding love for Coke, tan-colored coffee, Star Wars and all things Lord of the Rings (the family minivan’s license plate may even be in elvish. Nerd.  Just sayin’).   But above all of these things, Krista is, first and foremost, a lover and follower of Jesus Christ!  So, may the Lord and His Gospel get every ounce of honor and glory and credit for anything she writes, says or does.  


Teach Them Diligently 2018

3 comments:

  1. Lovely! Truly lovely!

    Thank you for this bit of delight and encouragement this morning. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are great reminders for the hard days, aren't they?

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