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Homeschooling Mom Gone Wild!!!

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Homeschooling Mom Gone Wild!!!

By Linda Dobson


Success lasted 24 hours.

Advertisers’ back-to-school hype begins in the middle of summer and continues relentlessly until a community’s first school bell rings. Those who choose homeschooling  aren’t necessarily immune to the hoopla, as Lynn Foster if Indiana, mom to four-year-old Nicholas and five-month-old Adrian, recently discovered.

“During the summer before our first ‘official’ day of school (homeschooling), I began plotting out a schedule and gathering supplies,” says Lynn. “I went school shopping and bought all of the essentials. Copies were made, pencils sharpened, lessons waited in our makeshift schoolroom, the kitchen. I was ready.”

The first day began with a bang. “We went against our natural tendencies to sleep and arose early,” Lynn says. “We were like soldiers, racing into battle: ‘Grab those play clothes! Brush your teeth! Faster, faster! We’ve got to start school by eight o’clock. Eat your cereal. Don’t get off track!”

Lynn calls herself the captain of a little army in her home, one who cracked the whip and barked out commands. She deemed that first day, which included poring over workbooks for hours, a success.

Homeschooling Mom Gone Wild Not So Good

Success lasted exactly twenty-four hours. “I was in the last trimester of pregnancy and not sleeping well. Before long I was a walking zombie in the early morning, and my son was the same way,” says Lynn. “I decided we could sleep a bit longer and start school a bit later than most people, and this worked well.” She adds, “Only trouble is it left me riddled with guilt.”

No sooner had Lynn and Nicholas adjusted to the new homeschooling schedule than Lynn gave birth to Adrian. She had decided to take off six weeks to recuperate, then jump back into “school.” After all, she reasoned, how could Nicholas stay up to par without her daily drills and all those workbooks?

“God must have been trying to teach me to slow down when He gave us Adrian!” Lynn continues. He slept little and abhorred sitting still. So much for more than five minutes of worksheets!”

Adrian now at five months, the family’s homeschooling looks much different. “Nicholas now learns more through actual life experiences,” explains Lynn. “He learned how to count while helping me microwave dinner on hectic evenings. He learned how to recognize letters by searching for them on billboards during car trips. We read on the couch while I’m nursing the baby. To those who don’t know us well, it may not seem as though we could possibly be homeschooling. It was hard for me to get used to, also! New homeschooling parents should realize that learning takes place in many ways, in different locations, and may not clearly follow a daily schedule. You’ll know if your child is learning or not, so don’t feel guilty if your lifestyle doesn’t fit the mold.”

Speaking of Homeschooling with Infants and Toddlers…

Families that start homeschooling at the very beginning often include members who are future homeschoolers – infants and toddlers. Infants and toddlers have needs that are immediate, and they have a way of spoiling even the best-laid plans.

Homeschooling: The Early Years and Homeschooling: The Middle Years include tips from experienced homeschooling parents on “inclusion and diversion tactics” for the littlest ones. You’re sure to find ideas you can implement with your own even as you learn to bend homeschooling to make sure the needs of all of your children are met.

With two children four years apart, Susan had a younger child who was easily held, nursed, or asleep when they began their homeschooling journey. As the baby grew into a toddler, “he was restless and curious rather than the sort who would sit quietyly and play while I worked with his big sister,” Susan explains.

To keep everyone happy, Susan developed a temporary “field-trip curriculum.”

“Three or more times each week, we went on a trip somewhere to learn,” says Susan. “It served us well that year, since it entertained my restless curious young one while introducing my older child to lots of new and interesting things. As the baby grew and eventually was able to occupy himself quietly for periods of time, we modified our approach to include more at-home, quiet time together for homeschooling.”

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