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But You Don’t Homeschool Yet…






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homeschooling preschoolers

Recently, I was sharing my news about becoming a contributing writer for this blog with a very close relative (whom I promised would remain nameless). I had just received my writing themes and was sharing my excitement about this new endeavor. To which he incredulously replied, “But you don’t homeschool yet.”

After I picked my jaw and my ego up off the floor, I sat quietly for a few minutes thinking about this statement. Stewing over it was more like it.

Then….an EPIPHANY!

“Thank you,” I replied. “You just gave me the topic for my first post!”

You see, this remark was made due to the fact that the oldest of my three children was not yet four at the time (the others are two and almost one), so by our government’s, and most of our society’s, definition, I do not homeschool yet.

But those of you in this quirky, eclectic, swim-against-the-stream “family” called Homeschoolers know that’s just not true. We know that our children’s education begins from day one. This is why it baffles me when I hear others say, “I could never teach my child.” To which I say (with all the non-sarcastic tone I can muster), “What have you been doing since they were born?!” But that’s another rant, so I digress.

I have been educating, training, teaching, disciplining, modeling, whatever else you want to call it, since the day my children entered this world…even when I didn’t know it.

That is why I call myself a homeschooler.

Am I using a curriculum? No, not yet.

Do we have a schedule of reading, writing and arithmetic? No, not yet.

Do we do workbooks for 3 three hours a day or practice Latin? No, not yet.

But I call myself a homeschooler.

Why?

Yes, I have every intention of educating my children at home once they reach the required age of attendance, but that’s not all. It’s because I believe that every decision my husband and I make in raising our children, from the time they are born until the time they leave our home (or longer), is a part of their education. Homeschool is not so much about the “school” part as it is about the “home” part, and as most homeschoolers know, this is not an 8am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, 180 days a year thing–it’s a lifestyle. Every day. 24 hours a day. 365 days a year. Education is not just about the curriculum we use. It’s not just about math, science, literature, and history–as wonderful as they can be.  Education is also about  character, manners, giving, serving, responsibility, and most importantly, it’s about discipleship. If I don’t teach my children about Jesus, everything else is meaningless.

Every decision that has been made from the time my children were born has been made in the pursuit of this lifestyle. That is why I told this person, “YES, I do homeschool.”

I went on to explain that I have very intentionally chosen NOT to use a preschool curriculum–not because there aren’t enough of them out there–but that does not mean that I am not homeschooling preschoolers. We’re simply using a different method. I chose to let them learn through play (and it must be working because my three year old knows more than many kindergarteners and could practically teach her Sunday school class). I do make specific choices about the toys available to them, the books I purchase, and the shows/movies they watch. I integrate educational activities into their play that exercise their motor skills, teach reading and writing skills, and other concepts…without them ever knowing that they are doing anything other than playing. I look for opportunities to teach them things about the world, about people, about Jesus.

I have educated my children in a very intentional way…which is why I was insulted by that comment. Of course I homeschool. All parents do. The question is, what are you teaching them?

Guest Post By: Donna at FullyMothering.com.



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About Carlie Kercheval

Carlie Kercheval is a happily married stay-at-home homeschooling mom. She and her college sweetheart have been blessed with 3 precious children to raise while traveling the world as a military family. Carlie is the founder of Today's Frugal Mom™, So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?™ and Managing Your Blessings. Carlie and her husband co-author the Learning to Speak Life™ family Bible studies and together they co-host the Learning to Speak Life™ Radio Show. When she is not busy enjoying her family and the great outdoors, you can typically find her cozied up somewhere under a blanket with a good book. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your personal situation. I could connect with your article because this is exactly what happened to our family years ago. These days there is so much outside pressure to do the “normal thing” that a lot of people do not understand or respect the sacrifice you have, are, and will continue to make until your lovely children leave the nest, whenever that is. I would take solace in knowing you are not alone, your children will most likely be better off, and your family bonds will be stronger than ever. Good luck in your journey and I look forward to hearing more about how your homeschooling journey goes :-)
    Jill recently posted..Review of Reading the Easy Way 2My Profile

  2. Alissa Schroeder says:

    I am conflicted on this one. I know learning and teaching starts from birth but at the same time the term homeschool is usually in reference to the education your children are getting at home versus going to a public school. When I click or read themes on blogs about home school I am assuming they are from people with children or at least some of their children being educated at home but in the grades normally would be at school. I am looking to share or read about how they do things to gleam information or see what curriculum they use to see how they like it or even adventures they embark on for learning. I would say a blog that is done prior to this age is more of a mom with youngsters kind of blog not homeschooling. I get what that person was trying to say but I also understand why you would be offended. Like I said it’s hard to go one way or the other but in this case I would say that it isn’t a homeschool blog as much as a mom blog so writing in homeschool blog groups about themes and education choices may be something you should try later and focus on narrowing it down to what your doing now and how that could help other mothers with kids that age. A blog about how to raise youngsters and getting prepared for school at home in the future may be a better bet and be useful to those who need advice or want to read about this age range. I know personally I clicked on this thinking there was going to be information on when a parent is entering the homeschool realm for the first time. Like when taking your kids out of school and changing to homeschool or around age 6 starting for the first time. I hope that didn’t offend you I was just trying to help and let you know my perception on it. Good luck either way!

    • thank you for your comments and I appreciate your honesty. I will say that most people I know whose children are going to attend public school are already beginning at the age of my oldest child who is 4. We will be “officially” starting very soon and I’ve already bought our curriculum. The only reason we haven’t started at this point is because of the special care that my youngest child requires at this time. However, all of that aside, I would think that most homeschooling parents and families would agree that it is not just an education choice but a lifestyle choice
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  3. Jill, thank you so much for the encouraging words. it always helps know there are others who have been through exactly what you’ve been through and understand how you feel.