I have been asked why I homeschool many times over the years.  You would think by now that I would have formulated a succinct, well reasoned, memorized response to that question.  I haven’t.  There are many reasons why I choose to homeschool and the longer we learn this way it seems the more reasons I add to my list.

One of the reasons that I homeschool is the pleasure I get from “seeing the lights go on” in my boys.  I had the pleasure of seeing that again today.  D-11 was starting something new in math.  I have been encouraging him to read the “information page” that explains new words and concepts and generally shows how to work through the new problems step by step.  I want him to learn how to learn rather than be dependent on a teacher for learning.  Since we live in a world of ever-changing technology, it is a valuable skill to be a self-learner.  D-11 took one look at the “information page” and decided that the new stuff he was to work on looked long, hard and impossible to figure out.  It didn’t help that P-9 is on an easy graphing unit in his math curriculum and has been finishing up his assigned work fairly quickly over the last couple of days.  D-11 was quick to cry “It’s not fair!  How come my work is always harder than his?” He then went on to lament how he would never get this particular page done.

My first job as his coach was to get him to calm down.  I needed to remind him that his job was not to compare what he was assigned to do with what his brother had been given to do.  (There’s a good life lesson if ever there was one!)  My next job as coach was to help him work through the examples step by step.  I had him write while I explained and dictated the numbers to go down on the page along with the brackets and the appropriate signs.  After about four expamples,  D-11 stopped me and asked to try one on his own.  He managed with only a little prompting and correction.  The lights went on.  He understood these problems which moments before seemed impossible to decipher.  I sat mutely by his side as he worked through the rest of the problems on the page with ease and confidence.  It is such a wonderful feeling to take a child from hopelessness to confidently succeeding. 

D-11 was so pleased with his new-found knowledge that he made sure that he showed P-9 how hard his math work was and how smart he was for knowing how to do it.  It would have been nice if he had given even scant mention to his amazing learning coach who helped him gain his math expertise.  That is not D-11’s style.  It’s his way of saying, “Mom, I want you to live to blog another day.”  He knows that I would keel over from shock if he did something so out of character as to praise his mother.  I trust that one day I will write something along the lines of Proverbs 31:28 which says, “Her children arise and call her blessed…”  For today, I will have to content myself with having had the awesome opportunity to be there when the lights went on.

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