The end of the “school” year is upon us . . . and I’m feeling my usual guilt that we didn’t “do” enough. I’m not feeling it as much with Rosie Girl because she works independently, but I definitely feel it with Wild Man. What if he hasn’t learned enough? What if he becomes a bum? Worse, what if he can’t ever get a job and wants to live at home the rest of his life??? What if???
And then I’m reminded that most of our educational goals for our kids are not academic. What do we want our kids to get from being homeschooled?
1. A strong grounding in the Christian faith and (hopefully) making their faith their own.
2. An appropriate self-image – confident enough to take risks and handle failure, but not overly confident and unable to handle the tough situations in life.
3. Good work ethic – they need to be willing to work, yet not get their self-worth from work.
4. Ability to communicate well and work with others – they need to respect others and be able to manage conflict by addressing it and not hiding from it.
5. Initiative to do what needs to be done.
6. Money management
Of all of those goals, only money management is particularly academic. We do plan that our kids will have a high school education that will be academically strong enough to make them attractive to colleges. But, whether they choose college or some other vocational track is between them and God. (I’m sure we’ll give an opinion!)
I was reminded today of how much my kids learn even when we aren’t doing the academics the way that I’d like. Wild Man did his laundry today without being asked. Several years ago, I taught the kids to do their own laundry so that I could not worry about it when I had long migraines. Rosie Girl has been good about doing hers without any prompting, but, until today, Wild Man often needed reminders. The kids are splitting the lawn mowing tasks here at home and next door at Grandma’s (who is only going to have that house until early fall, but is paying the kids to mow the lawn this summer). Rosie Girl also has a lawn mowing job with a neighbor and, it appears, will be teaching some piano lessons.
My kids aren’t perfect. But, I’m pleased with their growth and development. It’s really not of crucial importance that they can name the halogens or noble gases if they’re not going to be chemists. It is crucial that they are willing to work, can be persistent with a project, can take the initiative (like Wild Man’s doing his own laundry), and can manage their money.
So, I’m not feeling so bad about my kids’ educations. I just have to remind myself that learning to do laundry and cook dinner (which Wild Man did last night with PWM’s help and is doing tomorrow with my help) are at least as important as being able to name all the countries in Africa.
Sometime in the next few months I need to plan curriculum for next year. I’m not sure when I’m going to get around to that because all my energy right now is focused on the yarn shop. I figure that Wild Man and Rosie Girl will end up with some kind of “Entrepreneurship” credit on their transcripts – because they’re definitely going to be helping out with this venture!
P.S. The pictures don’t actually have anything to do with the post. I figured since I like seeing pictures of the kids, then you would too!!