Friday, February 3, 2012

HERALD TO HOMESCHOOL

It was July 2009. I felt stirred up reading all the negative hype in the Herald about the state’s garbage problems and decided, on a lark, to pen a letter to the editor. Imagine my surprise and delight, when it was published and was chosen as the star letter. This motivated me to write middles for the paper and thus began my career as a freelance writer.
When I met with the editor after a few months, he encouraged me to start writing features and I penned my first article on the environment which was published in Herald’s Goa’s Heartbeat section. Writing has always been a talent that I never kept on a lamp stand, always under a bushel. Teaching has been my vocation right from the start. But now, here I was, a stay-at-home mother and I realized that I could still teach – through my writing!
Around that time, I had heard that a family was homeschooling their five children and I decided that I would do a feature on them. When I contacted them, I discovered, to my disappointment, that they had already been interviewed a few years back. Then they called us for a ME weekend and that was the beginning of a short and sweet journey till we began homeschooling ourselves. Glenn was gifted with the option to work from home and we grabbed it with both hands grasped in thanks to God for endorsing our venture.
It’s been 8 months since started homeschooling and its been a bumpy rollercoaster ride. But I wouldn’t give it up for anything because I feel fulfilled to see my children grounded in the truth and getting there in terms of manners and morality. I have learnt to rectify my own shortcomings and catch myself when I do not practice what I preach. We have been to umpteen field trips, each better than the first. The children have socialized like never before.
I must admit though that it is difficult to get them to the study table. They want to play all the time. So I try to think out of the box and supplement the boring stuff with practical work. We use the internet to update and Aaron, my oldest boy does small projects which he posts on his own blog “My Log my Blog” at blogspot.com
This year, we made an eco-friendly Christmas crib from plastic bottles to create awareness about the menace of plastic. We participated in a plastic-free drive. I reported these events in Herald. I also did a radio talk about the menace of plastic for All India Radio, which was aired in Dec 2011. We also participated in the Pro-life Rally organized by the Diocesan Family Service Centre. We made new friends in our homeschool and pro-life groups. We also attend the Charismatic prayer meetings regularly as a family.
My husband supports the homeschool venture although he doesn’t teach the children. He’s our Principal! And the wind beneath my wings.
We have had a lot of people ask us what we are doing and most of them seem to accept and understand our decision. But there are some who snigger behind our backs or take potshots from time to time. Persecution comes with any new idea so I do not fear the brickbats. We hope our lifestyle will eventually inspire others to follow in our footsteps.
From a spiritual standpoint, homeschool has given us daily Mass, and a chance for Glenn & the boys to serve at Mass. Besides, we disconnected cable TV once we began and the children watch movies which are screened for abusive language, explicit adult scenes. Mostly, they view spiritual cartoons. And enact them for our viewing pleasure!
An example of how much interesting it can get: I did a lesson on Anaemia with the boys recently. After we discussed the points in the text, I showed them Daniel, my 8-month-old’s medicines and asked them to identify the one that contained iron. Then I took my tablets and Nathan identified the iron tablet strip correctly. This is why I love homeschool so much.
I REST MY CASE.

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