When I first started homeschooling, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was I wanted Miss 14 to be able to learn at her own pace in a relaxed and caring environment.
When Miss 12 started homeschooling at the beginning of the year, I was plunging into the unknown. Again.
Their personalities as so different.
Miss 14 is shy, easily upset and anxious.
Miss 12, on the other hand, is loud, outgoing and doesn’t take crap from anyone. When she is out with me she gets annoyed when people ask her why she isn’t in school. She is polite and answers them nicely but afterward, asks me why they can’t mind their own business!
Homeschooling two girls with such different personalities is not without its challenges.
But here I’m talking about the advantages of homeschooling…
1. The Girls Can Sleep In
They go to bed when they’re tired and get up when they’re ready to.
Gone are Miss 12’s demands that I wake her at 6.30am so she can say ‘goodbye’ to her brother and father. They hug and kiss her goodbye while she’s still in bed, and sometimes she doesn’t remember.
No more grumpy Miss 12 wanting to know where her uniform is (where she left it!) or what’s in her lunchbox.
Instead, I have a happy, relaxed, 12-year-old daughter who gives lots of hugs, kisses and even helps around the house – most times without being asked!
2. Their Growing Independence
The girls developed their own morning routine.
Once breakfast is over one of them heads to the bathroom for teeth brushing, hair fixing and face washing.
It MUST be one at a time.
World War 3 would have less fallout than those two in the bathroom at the same time – and heaven help us all if their brother is home and tries to enter.
After their bathroom routine, they make their beds and begin lessons. Usually, math first (to get it out of the way).
Occasionally there will be some drama and one of them (usually Miss 14) will leave their bedroom for the safety of where ever I am.
Miss 12 is actually blossoming with homeschool. Her independence and maturity shine through at times and it’s a pleasure to see.
Other times I stay away and let them work out their differences themselves (I don’t hide, I swear).
Miss 14’s confidence is increasing slowly.
She needs more life skills education, so we’re focussing on the basics – everyday math, money, etc. No more maths online for her. Back to worksheets, games, and excursions.
3. No Set Schedule
Although the girls worked out their own morning schedule, they are happy to forgo the lessons part for homeschool group meetups (as long as I don’t give Miss 14 any warning – there’s no time for her to get anxious if I tell her at breakfast).
If Miss 14 has a bad morning and no lessons get done, it doesn’t matter. We just try again the next morning.
4. More Family Time
On the days Mr 16 doesn’t have school and/or hubby has a shorter day, we get to spend more time together.
With the girls spending so much time together (and with me), they appreciate it more when their brother and father are around.
Even with their dramas, the girls are becoming closer. A bad morning and a bit of sisterly drama do not ruin the whole day. Miss 12 will usually try to get Miss 14 to do something with her or all three of us. She has been known to keep suggesting things to do (card games, board games, PS4 games) until Miss 14 agrees to something.
When they finish their lessons for the day they often play card games on the floor in their bedroom.
Lately, they have been getting all of us involved. Weekends and afternoons now include a card game session. Once winter sets in there will be more long board game sessions too.
Note to Self: Get More Games
5. Soon I Won’t Have to Cook (As Often)
That’s the plan anyway.
With Mr 16 having taken over Saturday night dinner – even after his soccer games – all I need now is to get the girls to cook twice a week and I’ll be set!
They made donuts by themselves this morning.
Miss 12 loves cooking and she ropes Miss 14 in too.
I just need to come up with some ideas for simple meals they can make to start. And it has to be something they’ll actually eat after making it! (Miss 12 is fussy).
Once they’ve mastered a few meals I can start them on cleaning, laundry, gardening…..
I love having the girls home and watching their confidence and independence grow each week.
By the time they graduate from homeschool high school I want them to be able to cope out in the big wide world by themselves.
I want them to have a firm grasp of money and budgeting, finance and loans. I want them to be confident applying for jobs and calm during the interview process. I want them to know there is nothing they can not do if they set their minds to it.
Confidence is something I lacked at their ages and when I finished high school.
I want them to see life as an adventure, not something to fear.
I want them to believe they can change the world – because that is the only way they will.
What do you want for your children?
Whatever it is, remember…
Enjoy the Journey,
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Author: Lara Galea
Lara is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and homeschooler. When not helping others with their journey, she is either reading, binge-watching Netflix or creating havoc in the kitchen.