Hi Homeschoolers on the www,
Today Goa Can Homeschool completes 6 months of homeschooling. I must admit beginning this adventure was a challenge and the journey quite frightening at times. But we are convinced that it will work for the best of our children.
Homeschool has taught me to ‘Think out of the Box’. I look out every time for teaching moments and discover that I am learning more in the process. As a mother, I thrill when my kids yell ‘Eureka’ and as a teacher, I feel fulfilled when that happens.
We have more time for God and each other now. The Principal is relaxed; he works at home and from home. Daniel is a distraction; I have to tend to him and this takes me away from the table at times. But I find that the boys do their work with a bit of discipline, and the presence of the Principal in the room has a profound effect on them.
The day begins with Mass for Glenn and the boys. Aaron serves at Mass now. I prepared a record card for him so he can proudly show it whenever anyone asks him what he does early morning. Then we do a chapter from Proverbs after breakfast. Each chooses a verse to memorise. Aaron is a sponge so he says them like a parrot each morning when they are taken up. Even the teacher and the Principal have to do their homework. And, of course, Aaron takes it up!
By 9.30 am, we sit for the academic stuff; Maths and English everyday, EVS alternates with Hindi. I have a tough time getting the boys to the study table and that frustrates me. But once they get there, with a bit of the ‘boddi’, they get down to business. Aaron is a sponge as a learner so my work is half done; Nathan is a doer and so he plods along with his 3Rs. But give him an opportunity to act or do art with his fingers and he is in his element. Charis is showing exceptional talent in being self-taught; she has her own special little blackboard, painted for her by Aaron and me. We finish by 12 noon and then Aaron plays games on the computer while the other two watch or they help me or Glenn with housework. Sometimes they play together or read books.
Chores are allotted to the three according to age: Aaron gets to keep the vessels back after they are dry, Nathan does the dusting in the hall, Charis waters the plants. They all get together to put the clothes to dry on the dryer and each has to fold his own clothes and keep them in their respective sections in the cupboard. Besides this, Aaron is usually called upon to help at odd times as he is the oldest and most obedient and prompt in his work. Charis too likes to help but she cannot handle many tasks so we give her the easier jobs which she does with happiness. Nathan plods along as usual!
We get the kids to rest in the afternoons and by 5 pm, they are off like the wind to play wit their friends. At 7pm, its bath-time, dinner, then Gospel reading followed by the Rosary. We bless each other at the end and potter around until its time for bed (11 pm). Sometimes, on demand, I read them a bedtime story. The kids say their goodnight prayers and after a bit of talking and giggling, they are all off to Sleepyland.
We do field trips once in a while. I scan the activities in the newspapers and choose where we should go. We went for a book launch, then to a book reading, and soon we will go to see a star-n-crib competition at Old Goa. I also plan a trip next year to the Goa Chitra Musuem to see their section on wheels.
We look forward to our bimonthly homeschool meetings with the support group we have joined. They are our extended family so it’s heartwarming to hug and ‘hifi’ with all the members. Recently, we had a Children’s day party and soon we are planning a New Year’s Day with them. All have large families so we feel at home.
Our relatives and friends have started questioning the wisdom of this decision.It’s tough to explain it as they don’t want to hear us out, only to ask us to stop and get the kids back to school. When I shared my hurt feelings with one of the homeschool members, this is what he smsed, “We pay for our faithfulness to d gospel. Jesus pays for d rest. Stand up for ur convictions lady.”
Please keep us in your prayers, for each day brings new challenges and we don’t want to despair when persecution comes. Glenn and I want the best for our children, not as the world sees it but as God, our Provider and Protector, does.