Sunday, October 14, 2007

Flexibility of Homeschooling

This is a recent article from a wonderful email newsletter we get (Homeschooler's Notebook). I've referenced it so that you can find out more about the author and the newsletter in which she guest authored. That picture is one I've found Googling "Flexibility" -- I think it should be captioned "Superhuman."


The Flexibility of Homeschooling
by Barbara Frank

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I've always appreciated the flexibility of homeschooling, and never
more than during this past summer. At the end of July, after nearly
10 months on the market, we received an offer on our house, with the
buyer requesting possession less than four weeks later.

Of course, we accepted the offer, thrilled at the chance to finally
get on with our lives. But we had no idea just how crazy it would
be to try to move 19 years of stuff accumulated by our family of six,
not to mention two businesses, in such a short period of time. As a
result, we are now the renters of a house with a garage full of boxes,
plus two storage garages in similar condition. I'm having a hard time
finding just about anything.

But we're managing, and I can't help but think how much harder this
whole process would be if our kids were in school. They would have
had to start school just a week after we moved here. They'd need
school supplies, clothes and all the other 'necessities' of modern
school attendance, whatever they are these days (after 20 years of
homeschooling, I don't even know!) I would have had to find time to
register them at their new schools and attend whatever parent meetings
they require.

Instead, all I've had to do is find the two specially marked boxes
filled with their school books and start school. No, we don't have
all of our reference books on the shelves yet, nor have I been able
to find my lesson plan book. But we're just sitting at the kitchen
table, working a day at a time, and things are going fine. In fact,
adding 'school' to our daily routine has made our new house seem very
much like home.

While it's been a big help during our rushed out-of-state move, the
flexibility of homeschooling is also noticeable in the little things
that happen on any given day. Last night, noisy storms swept through
our area. Our 14-year-old, who has Down syndrome, has always been
terrified of storms. At the old house, he'd cry out for my husband
and me and, being in the next room, one of us would hear him and com-
fort him. Now he's in a room upstairs next to his sister's, while
we're downstairs, so we didn't hear his cries last night. But his
sister did, and she comforted him and calmed him down. However, he
was not able to go back to sleep, so he played and drew pictures
quietly in his room until breakfast time.

Soon after breakfast, he fell asleep on the living room sofa. Now,
if he were in school, I'd have had to wake him up and put him, drowsy
and probably cranky, on the bus. Instead, I just left him to sleep,
and spent the morning working with his sister. He awoke shortly
before lunch, rested though still groggy. By the time lunch was over,
he was in much better spirits, and we were able to have a productive
afternoon together working on his lessons.

That's just one small example of the flexibility of homeschooling.
Many homeschooling families have experienced it by being able to take
vacations in the fall, when tourist areas are less crowded because
most families are back in their schools and offices. It can be seen
in the relief of a mom who can stay home with her new baby instead of
dragging the poor little thing around while she takes her kids back
and forth to school and its related activities. It's very appreciated
by the dad who is able to take a child with him on a business trip,
and the grandparents who can bring their grandchildren home with them
for a two-week visit any time of year they wish.

That flexibility must be a big secret to outsiders, though, because
people always seem to think we homeschool moms have such demanding
lives. Shows what they know!

---

Copyright 2007 Barbara Frank/Cardamom Publishers

Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth children
ages 14-23, a freelance writer/editor, and the author of 'Life Prep
for Homeschooled Teenagers', 'The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to
Homeschooling', and 'Homeschooling Your Teenagers'. To visit her
website, 'The Imperfect Homeschooler', go to:
http://www.cardamompublishers.com

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Do you have a special experience to share about the flexibility of
homeschooling? Please write and we can share it with our readers!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net

*Put "homeschooling flexibility" in the subject line please.

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