Last Friday evening we had the honour of attending the Homeschool Graduation of these gorgeous, talented & amazing girls. Shae, Tanisha and Ellen who were all my Young Women at one time and are most dear to me. What a delight to come together to celebrate their achievements and also to hear of their dreams for the future. As a homeschooling parent myself it was a beautiful experience to see so many in our community and church family gather to celebrate these remarkable girls. I just adore them and had so much fun snapping pics of the evening for them.
Last night around 7pm I looked out the kitchen window to see dark smoke rising up from behind some houses on our bay. I yelled to Nathan to come and look and we ran outside. The black plume was growing bigger and bigger by the second, so we grabbed the phone and called 911. As we talked with the emergency operator you could see bright orange flames growing higher, it looked to be in the farmers field about 1 km from our house.
We jumped in the car and drove to take a closer look at what had happened. Apparently a storage building at Vantreight Farms caught on fire. Thankfully nobody was injured or hurt in this fire. I read in the paper that it took over 30 firemen to get the fire contained. Thank goodness for firefighters!! I sent in a few pictures this morning to the Times Colonist newspaper and they emailed to thank me. They have included a few of the pictures in their reader submission section (they even credited me on my pics).
Today for homeschool, I talked with the boys about what we saw last night and how they felt about it. They each drew detailed pictures of the fire, and wrote their own news story about the blaze. It was a really great exercise for them, I think it cemented fire safety, as well as a appreciation for Firefighters and what they do.
After a full year of contemplation, prayer and research, we’ve decided to homeschool our three boys this year (Joshua, Brigs and Noah – plus I have my toddler Lola at home with us too). Wow it’s almost overwhelming to type that, our life is full and busy. So much thought went into this decision, and I’ve had alot of questions from family and friends as to why and how we decided to jump in and do this. “Why Daria? Why?” I don’t profess in anyway to be an expert on homeschooling, I’m a newbie to this world and it’s vast and slightly intimidating to me.
The first part for me was moving out to BC and discovering that the public school system wasn’t working well out here. Teacher’s were on “work to rule” the entire year, on the brink of striking (they did in fact strike for a short time), and the kids felt it for sure. The class sizes were huge, Joshua was in a class of approx. 32 kids last year and he’s the kind of kid that needs more personal attention. I am not bashing public education, I went to public school and LOVED so many of my teachers and experiences that I had there. I’m not against public school and my kids may go back in the future. But the opportunity to homeschool with mentors of my own was too sweet to pass up!
When we moved to the island I discovered this vast community of homeschoolers, many of whom have become my dearest friends out here. I watched their families, and loved what I saw. They have children who LOVE and I mean LOVE to learn. They are by no means socially awkward or unsocialized as seems to be the main concern for society with homeschooling kids. In fact, these families are centred on God and family, they are social, they are active and actively learning, they serve others regularily. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m lucky to see my friends teaching and mentoring their children over a wide span of ages and abilities, kids that are excelling and graduating early, and some are already heading off to University.
In the past, I was always the Mom who would be crying on the first day of school, I love being with my children and it was so hard to let them go. What a treat this year to be able to have them home with me and be able to witness each interest and thing that they discover. We’re learning together. Noah struggled so often last year with just wanting to be home with me, he’s very much a homebody and craves being nurtured right now. He’s a big part of the equation, I knew that he just needs me for longer and that’s ok. I also saw my oldest son Dylan totally burnt out on learning in his last few years of school, for him it became more about getting finished than about wanting to learn more. He’s on my list too this year, he may be 18 but he’s still at home and therefore is a big part of what we will be doing. I just want my children to know that learning is a wonderful thing we do our entire lives, we never stop.
I knew that my kids needed something different at this point of time, and felt right when I found out more about this. Thomas Jefferson Education, it’s based on mentoring your children in leadership education. It’s AWESOME and definitely a book worth the read!
I’m excited to see how this year progresses, and how my thoughts evolve as we actively pursue this. Bottom line I just felt like my kids needed something different at this time of their lives, and through discussions with friends, research, reading and prayer I felt that this was the way to go. Good luck to any of you who are considering this method of education. I wouldn’t be doing this personally without a supportive spouse, and an active and awesome community of homeschool families around me. Luckily I do right now, so full steam ahead! – Daria
Oh look what I found! 55 reasons to Homeschool how fun! I agree with some more than others on this list, but still interesting.