Hello again, readers!
After the overwhelming success of Rachel’s article last week, I feel it is appropriate to run one more of her articles this week. Who knows, this may be the start of something big. The Jagged Word, or 1517 the Legacy Project for that matter, are always looking for new writers. Rachel is incredibly talented, and her insights into the world of motherhood are honest, gritty, and centered on the Gospel of Christ. Please enjoy one more article from Mrs. Rachel Francisco.
I homeschool my children. The fact that I homeschool them lends itself to complete strangers telling me how much they worry about my children and their socialization. One of my favorite magnets hanging on our fridge shows a distressed mother holding her head in her hands, and exclaiming, “I forgot to socialize the kids!”
If socializing only means “to mix socially with others,” tell me how my children are not doing that on a daily basis? From the time they wake up until they go to sleep, they are dealing with other people and their varying personalities. They are listening to how adults dialogue, seeing the God-given vocations of father and mother, learning how to treat younger children, compete with and help siblings, and share in the joys and disappointments of others.
They know how to fold their own laundry, empty the dishwasher, clean a bathroom, mop a floor, scrub floorboards, dust the furniture, make their own food, and be somewhat self-sufficient. These are life skills that have been taught while they are homeschooled.
They know how to handle babies, be respectful to adults, carry on a conversation, ask questions, learn new skills, be independent, do what is asked of them, gain a better understanding of their expectations in the family, and pitch in when needed. Again, skills learned while being at home full-time.
For us, homeschooling doesn’t mean we’re secluded or that we shelter our kids. It means they are learning subjects, necessary for life and the real world, at home. The neighbor children make their daily appearances; we take trips to parks and playgrounds, and the kiddos are involved with outside activities like Art, sports, co-op, and field trips.
Now, I’m going to let you in a little secret. Homeschooling is not for everyone, and we haven’t always done it. I’ve taught in private and public schools. My favorite teacher, who also happens to be my mom, is a public school teacher. I have nothing against non-homeschoolers, and, here’s why: I don’t have enough time during the day to judge you for not homeschooling. I honestly couldn’t care less. You have to do what works for you and your family.
A quick history as to why this works for us. Six years ago, our little family moved to California. Our oldest, who struggles with change, was adjusting to a new little sister, new home, a new live-in house guest, and a new schedule.
Sending him to a new school full-time would have crushed his little spirit. The mama bear and slight control freak in me did what had to be done – no matter the cost. We chose to homeschool and reassess after a year. Thankfully, we were in a position to do so. Every year of reassessing has brought us back to homeschooling — despite the chaos, interruptions, and frustration of years past.
I have to be honest. This homeschooling thing is as much for me as it is for them. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and the Lord has given me many opportunities to work on my many flaws and mold me into a better mother. You know those shortcomings that won’t get fixed until you’re in a situation that demands it? Yeah, I receive a daily dose of my failures. But, I also gain daily reminders of important aspects of life. Further, in Christ, He forgives me for my continuing failures. I am, after all, a sinner, and sinners always need God’s forgiveness given only on account of Christ.
Reminders that these messy, sometimes obnoxious, beings have been placed in my care by someone bigger than me. The gifts and talents God has given me can be used to serve and pass on to my children. Even though my munchkins haven’t perfected walking quietly in a straight line, they are learning. They are learning what it means to be a family, imperfections and all. I call that being pretty darn socialized.