Today we have another wonderful entry from Samantha! I love how Samantha shares her heart in this entry and know you will find it so encouraging. In case you're new here and missed Samantha's other entries, here's links to those: Introducing Samantha, and Update from Samantha. Here's Sam:
|Samantha and her family|
I love homeschooling. There are so many reasons I love to homeschool. I think I have always been a closet teacher. I love the teaching aspect. I love the discovering new facts and sharing them. I love a good book and the enchantment of the characters. I love getting to spend my days with my children, (well at least most days). I love getting to meet the individual needs of my kids. I have three boys, and each is so different from each other. But this month, the thing I have loved the most, is the flexibility. With this winter has come the flu. And oh, how it hit our house. Let me add that at the beginning of December, we moved. Moving is challenging. Moving with 3 young children is insane. And it almost drove me there. I felt I had set up good expectations so we would just take all of December off to move and settle in and enjoy Christmas. And we would begin again the second week of January. Emails went out and our group was ready and excited to meet up again that second week. But with the first few days of January came the dreaded stomach bug, which put me in the hospital, and then the flu, which all of my family members were afflicted by. And then to add, a small accident where we thought our three year-old's arm was broken. And although it wasn’t broken, he wasn’t able to use it for over a week. What a couple of months for us! I can’t even imagine if we were plugged into “regular” school and felt the pull of homework assignments and projects. One of my second graders was sick with a high fever for almost 2 weeks! That would have been two weeks out of school! When I was a girl, I had pneumonia a number of times and would be out of school for weeks at a time. The amount of work that I would have to complete upon my return was overwhelming and would contribute to my poor grades and less than loving feelings regarding my education.
This has made me feel so grateful for my homeschooling and our curriculum this year. We all decided to hold off on meeting through the beginning of January and preceded with our history lessons on our own. We spent the month with the pilgrims and Squanto. I say “spent time with” because it feels like that. We aren’t just studying the people and facts and memorizing dates, we are spending time with these people. We felt the seasickness of the pilgrims as they spent nine long weeks below the decks of the Mayflower, waiting with anticipation for a land that would provide them freedom to worship God. We laughed at the telling of little mischievous Francis Billington who single-handedly could have ended
the pilgrim’s journey by almost setting fire to the cabin where the gunpowder was stored. We were mad together at Captain Hunt who evilly captured not only Squanto, but other Indians to sell to the Spaniards. And we were grateful to meet Brother Luis and Brother Diego who rescued Squanto from being a slave and sent him back to England.
Our group met together again today, at least most of our group. One family in our group is still at the tail end of this flu. But it was a wonderful morning together. We started on The Courage of Sarah Noble. And although our group is mostly boys, they still are connected to the story and the characters. Even my three year old lay in my lap listening to me read, popping up to tell us Thomas, the name of the horse in this story, is also the name of a train. We talked about Mistress Robinson and her sons and how it feels to be teased. The children colored beautiful pictures for me and talked about what it would be like to live in a cave.
I love homeschooling. I love the flexibility. I love the freedom. I am a grateful mom.
Thank you Sam! We're happy you have all fully recovered from a hectic two months. I can certainly relate and I know there are lots of families out there who can as well. Homeschooling does provide wonderful flexibility, something that really is essential for young families.
What I loved the most about this entry and Vanessa's entry from earlier this week, is how good history provides not only a historical education but encourages the development of emotions like compassion, empathy, humor, and dismay at injustice. Well-told history encourages emotional maturity and provides students with an awareness of their place in the world, and in the sequence of human events. By being able to empathize with Squanto and be angered by the injustice wrought upon him, these young children are being shaped into compassionate people who "love mercy."
Additionally, fostering a love of history in children and students provides a counterweight to the doomsday attitude that is so prevalent today. While the news is filled with stories that can make even the most hopeful of us want to retreat from society and start a survivalist commune, history shows us that humanity has faced much worse circumstances in the past. While we like to think that we face unique challenges in our technological and modern lives, there really is nothing new under the sun because human nature remains the same as it has been from the beginning. In fact, the time in which we live is one of the most peaceful in the history of the world, one marked by reduced poverty and more equality than ever seen before! Knowing one's history, learning about strong characters like Squanto who overcame incredible hardship without bitterness, places today's problems within their proper context. By teaching your children their history in a way that sparks their curiosity and develops their emotional capabilities you are equipping them to face the challenges of the future with the wisdom of the past and the compassion needed to create life-affirming solutions. How exciting!
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