This was an emotional post for me to write! I guess I’m just weird. I hear people who graduate their last child and are so relieved and happy- wanting to throw a party for themselves. I’m happy, but I’m sad too! I am just wrapping up my 37th (and last) year of homeschooling. Kasey will finish up probably this month. (She took a little “intermission” to take an intensive class in order to attain her private pilot’s license). It’s not that I won’t know what to do with my time, not that at all. I’ll actually miss what has become a life-style for me- getting up in the morning and “doing school”.
Can’t believe it’s been 37 years, and I can’t believe I won’t be doing that this September! I’m going to do another blog post sometime sharing some of the things I’ve learned over the last 37 years and how I became a better teacher as I learned about learning in general. I’ll share what I’d change if I could and what I’m glad I did the way I did it, but for this post, I just want to encourage you that if you’re overwhelmed by homeschooling and feel like it’s dominating your life, that’s totally normal and the day will come sooner than you might wish that you’ll be wrapping up your journey in homeschooling too.
I just want to list for you what I LOVE about homeschooling and what I’m bawling about as I write about how I’m going to miss it.
We were careful through the years not to buy trendy toys for our kids. We wanted toys that would allow them to simulate real life situations. We often made suggested lists for relatives to buy from so that they wouldn’t get things we really weren’t wild about them having. Our goal for our kids is to prepare them for real life, to be responsible people who serve God and care for others- so generally that was our guideline in choosing purchases for Christmas or birthday giving.
Below are some of our recommended toys. (I’ll recommend some of our favorite books real soon.)
LEGOS– My kids spent many happy hours playing Legos. It encourages their creativity and dexterity. This is one activity I let my older kids participate in during “naptime” hours for little ones. The older kids would stay in their rooms for an hour and half each day. They would do their Bible reading and then quiet play. During this time, we played audio books in their rooms, and much learning was done. (although it was so fun listening, that they sometimes would stay after the required “quiet time” was over!)
Here are some of the Lego sets I recommend. We tried to get things that encouraged “real” kind of play and creativity rather than fantasy.
“Ifs” is a game we often played with our children to help them learn how to make wise decisions before they were even placed in a position of temptation. Our grown kids have testified this helped them many times to choose the right thing.