The first thing I taught my boys was the sound of my voice. They couldn’t see me and they had such a teeny little living space with nothing but time. So, I talked and sang to them while they wiggled and rolled and danced on my bladder.
Then in December, for both boys, I taught them to nurse and together we worked on learning to orchestrate times to eat, times to sleep and times to interact.
At about 6 months I taught them to eat mashed carrots and corn. The first boy would eat anything I placed in front of him, the second wouldn’t eat baby food and I experienced a “teacher upgrade” as I had to learn to make “homemade baby food” in order to further his learning experience.
My husband and I taught them to stand, to crawl, to walk. We enjoyed most moments with them as their little personalities emerged. One boy’s personality is steady and jovial, the other more spontaneous and emotional.
We taught them to use rudimentary sign language and then to speak. Every day a new adventure, every moment a thousand new synapses exploded and information downloaded itself into a spongy little cortex.
By the time they were three we had taught them when and where to go potty, to pick up toys and to recognize colors and shapes. They relied on us and trusted us to be available to answer the never-ending “why”, to wipe their snotty little noses and stop everything sometimes and wrestle on the floor or snuggle on the couch.
We have taught and are teaching them to read and to write. We open to them the wonders of the world one little piece at a time. We share with them the mysteries of G-d as we know them. Together we discuss life and hope for wisdom and insight.
This is homeschool.
As they’ve grown and changed their needs have also grown and changed. Life goes on and education never ceases. I want to be there for them. I don’t want to miss a moment. These are my children. This is my life. This is my future.
When I was a child I had 5 older siblings who taught me all the time. Mike taught me to be responsible. Julie taught me to be gracious. Roxi taught me to laugh. Joel taught me to be gentle and Billy taught me to play Army and how to be the hostage. I taught myself how to escape! Not every lesson took at the time, but seeds were planted. My boys teach each other. I may have to wait a while to find out exactly which lessons they learned.
My children will grow up. Someday they will be men. My 9 year old is only a few inches shorter than I am and every day we must compare to determine the larger hand. It won’t be long before I lose. I don’t have tomorrow to instill in them the character and the knowledge I believe they will need to be prepared for life. I only have today.
As they get older we will teach them about intimacy and love. We will teach them about relationships and romance. We will teach them about the weight of a man’s word and their duty to serve and protect whomever G-d has given them. Until then we will do our best to model to them what we believe that is to look like in the home of those who follow Yeshua.
We will be available to teach them when they become husbands and fathers. We look forward to the day G-d gives us daughters.
All along the way we weave threads of science, math, reading, writing and history. All along the way we weave life’s lessons. All of us teaching the others. From the very beginning, they have taught me to love, to savor the day, to laugh without concern for who’s watching. They’ve taught me to always ask “why” and to allow for an occasional melt-down. One of them taught me just the other day that I should always offer to pray for my friends when words fail.
So, I suppose it’s safe to say that in this classroom we teach each other.
That, my friends, is homeschool. So, despite what your belief system may be, tell me who doesn’t “homeschool”? The only difference between us is I also choose to be responsible for the academic education of my children and I refuse to share the blessed weight of their needs with anyone who does not share our faith, our conviction and our desire for their future.
I have taught them from the moment I first knew of their existence. My prayer is I will continue to teach them until the last moments of mine.