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Enjoy It While You Have It!

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, August 03, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 61 August 3, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!




Guest Article
-- Enjoy It While You Have It!
Helpful Tips
-- Shaving Cream Math
Winning Website
-- Flash History of the Middle East
Reader Question
-- Social Son Reluctant to Homeschool
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

[Editor's note: This article SO touched my heart... I just could
not wait to share it with you all! Perhaps it is because my old-
est is now 17 and has been away a lot this summer -- or maybe my
hormones are wacky from pregnancy!! LOL -- But I know it will be
a good one especially for you younger moms to read, print out, and
spend time digesting. :-) -- Heather]


Enjoy It While You Have It!
By Barbara Frank


Writing my book 'Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers' four
years ago helped me through a difficult time of my life: letting
go of our two oldest children. Over the course of three weeks,
our daughter moved to the city and our son left for college.
After homeschooling them all of their lives, it was a tough
transition for me. (They held up just fine.) Working on the book
kept my mind busy so that I didn't do anything stupid, like
body-blocking the front door so they couldn't leave home.

Now we've reached another milestone: our son graduated from college
last month and is getting married this weekend. He is already
living in another state, where his bride will join him after they
say their "I do's".

Isn't this silly? I feel like I'm letting go of him all over again,
and yet he's been away at college the past four years. The summers
and brief school holidays that he was home were just enough time
with him that I never quite let go of him completely. But now
he'll be living with his wife six hours away from here. That's
ample reason for Mom to let go, don't you think?

But the thing is, after homeschooling them all of their lives, I
got used to having them around, and I liked it. I never could
understand parents who live for the first day of school each year.
I like being with my kids, and all the time I spent with them as
they grew up only solidified that feeling.

Fortunately, we still have two children at home; our 16-year-old
does not seem to have the independent nature of the older two, so
I'm hoping she'll stick around a while. And our youngest, now 14,
will probably never live on his own because of his disabilities.
God knew what He was doing when he sent that little fellow my way!
He is staving off Empty Nest Syndrome for me.

I do have a few regrets, though, and I want to share them with you
in hopes that you don't make the mistakes I did. For one thing,
I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry for these guys to grow up.
With our eldest, particularly, I found each stage of development
so exciting that I couldn't wait for the next one. Why did I want
to rush things along? Back then I had no idea that even as the
days were long, the years would be short.

I also wish I hadn't tuned out my children at times. When we had
all four at home, sometimes it was so chaotic that I, a person who
needs her quiet time, would stick my nose in a book and get lost in
it for an hour (or more, if it was Maeve Binchy’s newest novel). I
considered it a way to keep my sanity back in those days, but now,
on the rare occasions when all four of our kids are together, I sit
and watch them interact and just enjoy the pure pleasure of it.
But it never lasts long, because someone has to catch a train or
get home so they can get up early for work the next morning. Back
when all six of us lived here together every day, I never realized
how soon that would change. It seemed like it would always be
that way.

Before I go completely regretful on you, I should also share what
I will never regret. I will never regret choosing to keep our kids
home from school. I will never regret the mornings spent doing our
version of school in our jammies. I will never regret the chocolate
chip pancakes for lunch, the untold hours in our van spent singing
along to tapes, or the finger-painting sessions in the basement. I
will never regret the hours I spent in the vendor hall at the home-
school convention each year, picking out just the right books for
each child, nor will I regret the time I put in searching out art
supplies, every color of construction paper known to man, glue
sticks on sale, and cool pens that made them want to write. I
especially will not regret the money I spent on all these things;
we saw much better results from those few dollars than the thousands
we pay in property taxes each year to support our local schools.

I'm going to throw in some gratitude while I'm at it. I thank God
every day that He led us to homeschooling. I am incredibly grateful
that homeschooling gave us so much valuable time as a family. There
is a six-year gap between our first and second pairs of children;
how close would they have been if they'd gone to school? The older
ones would have been gone all day when the younger ones were little.
They would not have seen each other much. Instead, they all grew up
together, and what a blessing that has been to their relationships
with each other!

Are you getting the vibe yet? It may hurt more to let go of my kids
because of all the years we had together, but that pain is a small
price to pay for the experience of living together as a family for
all those years. We were especially fortunate that my husband has
worked at home for the past 12 years; most kids nowadays don't even
have one parent at home during the day. Homeschooling has been a
tremendous blessing to our family.

So... when you're tired, when you're discouraged, when you go through
the hard times that make you wonder if it's time to quit and put them
on the school bus, please remember that I went through those times,
too, and I'm here to tell you that it was all worth it. Tape a little
note to your bathroom mirror, where you’ll see it every morning:



Copyright 2007 Barbara Frank/Cardamom Publishers

Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth children
ages 14-23, a freelance writer/editor, and the author of 'Life Prep
for Homeschooled Teenagers', 'The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to
Homeschooling', and 'Homeschooling Your Teenagers'. To visit her
website, 'The Imperfect Homeschooler', go to:


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather @ familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

"Something I do with my kids is shaving cream math. I put them
all in their swimsuits (minus the 13 year old) and cover a wall
in the bathtub area with foamy shaving cream and have everyone do
as many math problems with their fingers as possible in a few
minutes' time. They love it and it keeps things interesting."
-- Sherri


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas @ familyclassroom.net

Winning Website

Imperial History of the Middle East

This awesome site features a map and flash movie showing 5,000
years of history in 90 seconds. The history shown is the differ-
ent countries and peoples that have taken over that region in
order. A cool timeline at the bottom shows you exactly where you
are in history as the map is highlighted and labeled. Especially
useful for anyone studying geography or history of Israel.

-- Cindy - http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"I am starting to homeschool my 3 children this fall. My oldest,
boy age 10, is quite a bit reluctant to be homeschooled. I will
dual enroll him for extra acticvities -- plus he has Boy Scouts
and a small group at church. He's a very brilliant boy and VERY
socialable; he loves people. He is afraid he won't see his friends
everyday. Any suggestions to navigate my way through this one?"
-- Kelly G.

Our Readers' Responses

"I would point out to him that though he won't see his friends at
school, because he won't be bogged down with homework he will be
more available after school to play. Also as a parent I have made
'social' a priority. If someone calls to play we try to put off
whatever else that needs to be done so that they are available.
The other stuff can always be done while other kids are at school.
Friends soon learn that my kids can usually play so they will call
here first. The other kids have homework, chores, soccer, etc.,
and are too busy to play." -- Sandy


"Make opportunities for him to see his friends. If he applies him-
self during the week, let him have a friend over for a few hours
on Friday evening or possibly to sleep over. If the public schools
have a day off, allow friends to visit or take him and a friend or
two to a park, a movie, bowling, etc. Sometimes if we are doing
something fun (making a volcano, etc.) we save it for the evening
time and invite friends to participate. There have even been times
that our support group does a field trip on a day that public
schools are out of session. On those days, I have invited cousins
and friends to go with us. In schools, kids don't have a lot of
uninterrupted time to talk or play. With the suggestions I've
given, he will be spending 'quality' time with his friends instead
of just a large quantity of time." -- Andrea

Answer our NEW Question

"I would like to ask if someone could give advice on how to save
money as a homeschooling family trying to eat healthy and avoid a
lot of packaged and processed foods?" -- Bonita


Do you have some suggestions and/or advice for Bonita?

Please send your email to: HN-answers @ familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions @ familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

Need Immediate Help?

Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center! This is a live 24/7
'chat' area where you can talk live to our homeschool counselors
by typing in a box. When you get there, just introduce yourself
and let them know that Heather sent you!

This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening

Check out our schedule of daily chats and jump right in! :-)


[Note: This ministry is geared toward Christian parents, but all
are welcome. You may need to download a Java program to utilize
this service. Email Luanne @ educationforthesoul.com if you have
any technical difficulties.]

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All contributed articles are printed with the author's prior
consent. It is assumed that any questions, tips or replies to
questions may be reprinted. All letters become the property of
the "Homeschooler's Notebook". [Occasionally your contribution
may have to be edited for space.]

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