Quality Children's Literature and Unsolicited Advice.

I have always been a children's literature buff. When I began my teaching career in 1993 I also began my collection of books, and today my house is literally stuffed with great books! My kids' bedrooms have a bed, dresser, and bookshelf. We have quiet reading time for an hour each afternoon. You get the picture.

At the library last week I found a great version of Jack and The Beanstalk by E. Nesbit. The language is beautiful, and the illustrations are gorgeous as well. Click the link to see it in Google books and you can see what I mean! The story was perfect for my third grader (who by the way is definitely not too old for fairytales!) and surprisingly my five year old sat through the reading as well. It was a science, vocabulary, and reading lesson all rolled into one. It's funny what you can find when you just browse your local library.

Another book, Papa and The Pioneer Quilt, was perfect for my daughter. We read the book, then mapped the journey on the US map, and then learned a little bit about the quilting pattern in the back of the book. Again, this was found just browsing in the library.

So, the week has been going very well as far as homeschooling goes. We haven't had one (yes, that's right not ONE) meltdown about schoolwork, and my daughter actually asked me to do her Six Traits writing assignment one day. This made me feel great! I'm also starting to gather resources and ideas for homeschooling Kindergarten with my son. He is an awesome reader and has a zest for life that is infectious, so he will be fun to have at home next school year.

Now, to preface this next part I will say that I do have someone who cleans my house. I don't consider myself a lazy person, but after a surgery I had last year we decided a housekeeper would be a good idea. AND, I've never gotten rid of her (pretty clever of me, huh?). Earlier this week she told me quite seriously to not be offended, but that my daughter would be better off in public school and I was doing her a disservice to keep her sheltered at home. Really?!?! Did she just say that to me out of the blue? Yep, she did. Of course I was a little tongue tied and offered a weak defense for my decision. Looking back on it, why did I even debate the subject, why couldn't I come up with better points to support my decision, and why did it BOTHER me so much??

In the past month my husband and I have said numerous times how happy we are to be able to homeschool, and what changes we have seen in our daughter since we have been out of school. As we are out and about (because you see, I don't keep her "sheltered" at home all day) I notice that she is socializing with a variety of age groups, and she is doing quite well. I have received a couple of compliments from moms at a class we go to, telling me how sweet my daughter is with the younger children, and how she strives to make sure they are included and feeling comfortable. I've noticed that this week (Holy Week) we have had time to focus on Jesus and his ultimate sacrifice. (I will show you what I mean at the end of the week when the finished project is done!) Most importantly, I have felt such joy being with my children, and I can honestly say in the past few years it hasn't always been that way. I have time to enjoy them now and I am there and involved in their learning. Wow, I am blessed!

So, the next time the housekeeper says something to me about homeschool I will probably react the same way I did the last time. Why? Because she's probably never going to GET why I homeschool, and that's OK. They're my kids, not hers. And in the end, the only people I have to answer to are my husband, children, and of course God.