Monday, July 22, 2013

Homeschool Kids

Recently I've seen a few facebook posts or articles 'in jest' that have portrayed homeschoolers in..... well..... a less than positive light.

I wanted to comment on these posts and articles, but as the Bible instructs, I decided it best to 'hold my tongue'.

As I continued to think about those unflattering comments, I decided I wanted to share a bit of what our homeschool kids are like.

Our oldest - Jacob.

Yes, he prides himself in being a 'nerd or geek' -- I can never remember which one is the 'better term' -- but I'd venture to say he'd be the same way whether he were homeschooled or not.  It's part of his 'identity'; he's chosen it.  He's a highly intelligent young man.  Very outgoing.  Respectful.  He's already taken 7 college classes ON a college campus and done exceedingly well -- not only academically, but socially.  He helps at home; cares for his siblings; and is supportive of his friends.  He had a successful paper route in Ohio in which all of his customers LOVED him and his congenial personality.

Did I mention he's only 16?

Then there's Bethany.

Somewhat naive and quite innocent for a 13 1/2 year old girl, but we find that refreshing in today's age.  She fully enjoys her childhood. She's not encumbered thinking about boyfriends, make-up, and being 'sexy'.  She's living life; enjoying her family and friends; growing into a respectable young lady.  She loves singing, art, cats, and horses.  Recently, she sang a solo for VBS at our church.  She aids me with our younger girls and is capable of running our home if I were ever unable to perform those tasks.  Any adult who meets her, always compliments her gentle nature;  her meek and quiet spirit; her beautiful heart.

Elijah is our tender hearted, sensitive young man.

Just 12, he's maturing into quite the gentleman.  He's taking on more and more responsibilities and readily volunteers to teach and help the younger girls.  Excelling in his studies, he's a full year ahead (2 if we had done what many recommended and held him back a year before starting kindergarten - given his late summer birthday).  His work ethic is increasing; his diligence to a task expanding; his attention span broadening.  He's really becoming quite a big helper; a tremendous young man.  His compassionate manner is ever present.  He's a lover of animals - particularly his dog Apollos; taking great responsibility for his care.  His respectful character gains him much accolades from adults in all arenas.

Our 7 year old daughter, Trinity, is very much the perfectionist.

Almost like a second 'first born', she displays great leadership (could be interpreted bossy) tendencies.  :-) She is all about equality and fairness.  Looking out for her siblings, young and old, is a common practice for her.  She frequently takes responsibility to guide the younger two in play or in comforting them.  Often giving up her own luxuries for their benefit.  {Albeit sometimes AFTER the other two demonstrate their displeasure.}  But hey, she is just 7.  She already loves to read.  Chapter books are her new favorite thing.  She can often be found sitting on the couch reading to her two younger sisters.  Shyness and an unassuming manner are what most people witness upon meeting her.

Charity - often referred to as Tigger.

Although a bit 'discractable' and high energy, Charity's heart is generally made of gold.  Just as her nickname's sake in the story book 'Pooh' - she is full of life and joy.  Her compassion for others is often seen as she expresses concern for their well being when they are hurt or in trouble.  Quite touching to witness.  Although shy in new situations, she displays tendencies (liker her mama) to be a tad hot headed at times; something we are working on with her - and mom.  She began reading this school year and took to it quite readily.  Despite the curriculum we were using focusing on short vowel sounds, she expanded her own knowledge and catapulted herself into reading many long vowel words as well.  Pride exudes from her as she reads and does her math problems.  Self confidence is not something she's lacking.  Secure is a word we often use to describe her.  Sweet and good natured are terms we hear from other adults in her life.

Our little caboose - Selah.  Often referred to as our 'spit fire' and 'mini-Liz', she is brimming with personality.

At age 4 she is doing tremendously well with 'unstructured' academics.  She loves to paint, color, make crafts, work on workbook pages, and help with Science experiments.  Many skills that would be taught in Kindergarten are already within her repertoire:  correspondence counting, colors, starting to identify letters and numbers in print, location words, pre-writing skills - to name a few.  Her attention span is phenomenal.  Her heart for others expanding.  Understanding right and wrong; consequences; fairness -- all growing.  Like her older sister, she too portrays great self esteem in addition to stubbornness in spades.  In classes at church or co-op she cooperates well and follows the rules readily.  "Quiet but a joy," is the typical report we hear in regards to her antics.

All in all, our 'home schooled' children are NOT backwards, awkward, weird. They are quite sociable, polite, kind, respectful and have a good head on their shoulders.  Yet, they aren't impacted by the 'peer pressures' so many children struggle with today.  Wearing the 'right' clothes, acting a certain way, taking part in behaviors of uncertain moral fabric, being like the 'popular crowd'; these are NOT struggles we have with our kiddos.

Angst and anger are not prevalent in our home -- despite having 2 teenagers in it.

Rolled eyes and raised voices do not characterize the interactions we have from our children.

Embarrassment over mom and dad's presence has not been an issue.

In general, our children love us and we love our children.

They are doing well with their peers. They have many friends.  They know the 'appropriate' manner in which to act around others.  They even excel in 'college' settings and other 'mainstream' venues.

Get this......  All.  Despite.  Being.  Home schooled.  Their.  Entire.  Academic. Career!


Yes, we're GREATLY proud of them.  But mostly I just want to show that homeschooling does not equate weird, socially inept, misfits.

If you ever meet our kiddos, I think you might agree!

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