I'm not sure why I'm writing this on a Saturday night. You'll get it on a Sunday and probably won't read it. And I never write a blog post on Saturday night, except that I had an epiphany today and I just need to write it down now or I'll lose it somewhere between the MOB Society relaunching next week, and prepping to announce something pretty majorly big next week too (no, I'm not pregnant). When you get an epiphany of this magnitude, it should be written down. So that's why I'm sitting in my green writing chair on a Saturday night, when I should be doing the dishes, or the laundry, or something useful, and it's why you're getting this post on Sunday afternoon.
Here it is. Take a deep breath. Ready?
I don't think we'll ever be a normal Christian homeschooling family.
Now one could argue that even just using the words "normal," and "homeschooling" in the same sentence would prove my madness, but truly, I've always had this picture of what that normal homeschooling family looked like in my head. And normal, we are not.
You might be wondering what started this line of thinking, and I'm happy to tell you, because it proves my point, that the thought leapt into my head on our way to a soccer game last night as we were all jamming to The Day the Music Died, by Don McLean. And I won't lie and say my kids have never heard mama rock out to Bon Jovi's Livin on a Prayer either.
So that's when the epiphany started. Soon after, I found myself wondering what the other homeschooling families were listening to on their way to the game, and felt sure it was some rendition of Amazing Grace, or maybe even some Veggie Tales Silly Songs.
We also did the wave at the game. My husband and me. And our two close friends (one of whom did the wave under duress). And if you'd been there you might've heard my husband call my youngest a "goober head, " or maybe even a "big, goober head" depending on his mood.
One could say that we're just trying to expose our boys to the greater culture, (and make sure they know what good music is!), but the truth of the matter is that we might just be weird.
- I don't take the boys to the library every week.
- We don't recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before starting school.
- I've never owned a denim jumper, and I love make-up.
- We just started, at the beginning of our fourth year of homeschooling (good grief!) to have a consistent "Bible time" each morning. I put "Bible time" in quotes because really, I just read them a verse and we talk about it. Or sometimes I talk to them about a missionary and we pray for them. That's it. I've tried every child's devotional Bible out there and they hated them all. (I feel like I need to interject that we listen to our local Christian radio station pretty much all day long, and my boys can sing a lot of the songs, and do, throughout the day. Just felt like maybe you needed to know that. You know, lest you think they go around singing the Beastie Boys or something...ahem...)
- My husband works shift-work, so sometimes, when he's here during the day, I make him do Science. I hate Science.
- I'm a true believer that sometimes skipping rocks is more important than learning to multiply (but don't worry, we do that too).
- I use our iPads (plural) for school. I tell people that I taught my youngest how to read, but I'm pretty sure the iPad played a pretty big role in that accomplishment too.
- Sometimes, I use the boys' iPads as entertainment (shock! gasp!) so I can get some work done. Or have an adult conversation.
- My husband does the laundry. And our home is never spotless.
- My oldest hates to read. He can do it, but he hates it. He also hates to write.
- I'm a full-time blogger and writer, and a sometimes speaker. That, and my husband's crazy schedule, sometimes leaves me divided between homeschooling and putting out fires online.
- When we studied Arkansas last year, we spent about half a day watching Johnny Cash songs on YouTube.
- I've been known to stop school in the middle of a subject and make my boys run 20 laps around our cul-de-sac. If it's raining, or too cold, I'll make them do a rotation of 50 jumping jacks, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 20 more jumping jacks. This is usually enough to make the sillies go away.
- When we took the boys to their first Hokies game last weekend they walked away knowing how to spell H-O-K-I-E-S. I felt like we'd had school. I'll probably count it as a school day.
And on, and on...
I admit, there've been times that I've felt really guilty about how abnormal we really are. Sometimes, I'm even tempted to correct my boys in public for things I would never correct them about at home, just because what I tolerate from them is different than what other homeschoolers tolerate.
But I realized today, that being abnormal works pretty well for us. I read an article the other day that reminded me of this truth: I'm intentionally raising my boys to be different. Trying to. On purpose. And so if we look a little different from the world around us, it's because we want it that way. We get to do other abnormal things because we homeschool, like let our little guy finish Kindergarten last March and move on to First grade. Or take one whole day a week to pursue a music education for our boys with one of the best fiddlers in this part of the country.
Yeah...those things are pretty cool.
So rock on, Bon Jovi. Don't stop thinkin about tomorrow, Fleetwood Mac. You can't touch this, MC Hammer. And for heaven's sake, STOP! Collaborate and Listen, Vanilla Ice. We're just going to embrace who we are, in all our abnormal goodness, love Jesus, and remember to be grateful for the fact that we live in a country where we have the right to do life like this.
THAT'S a piece of history I'll make sure my boys understand.
(Note: I really do have a super big announcement coming next week. It would honor me so much if you'd look for it and head on over to the blog for a celebration that day?)
(Another note: If you public school, or private school your children, I bet you sometimes feel pretty abnormal too, right? We're all in this together!)
(Yet another note: Homeschooling works for us. Our children are smart, and learning everything they need to know at the right pace for them. They're also socialized, and able to hold intelligent conversations with adults and children alike. It may seem from this post like I take a lackadaisical approach to our schooling, but in truth, I'm very serious and scheduled about it).