And So Begins Another (Home) School Year

It’s Year 3 and Year 1 at the ‘Skiy residence! D ‘Skiy begins his third year of homeschooling today, and today M ‘Skiy officially starts homeschooling!

We can’t even begin to express how grateful and blessed we are to be able to do this.

Mama ‘Skiy doesn’t have to go through that emotional first day of school, especially since our youngest is now “attending.”

We can choose the schedule we want, which happens to be Monday through Thursday, since Papa ‘Skiy has every other Friday off of work. This is also why we always begin school on the first Monday of August, rather than when traditional schools begin.

We can vacation and travel when other families aren’t, which means smaller crowds, shorter lines, and less traffic. And if somebody is sick or having an off day, we can take it easy and make up lessons some other time.

Our boys — being boys — are extremely active and don’t sit still for very long, preferring to go outside and work with their hands over remaining chained to a desk and book to finish tasks. And if they don’t get something right now or find something too easy or boring, then we adjust for them, so they can learn in the manner that’s best for them.

Do we even need to mention homework, studying for tests, attending parent-teacher and parental organization meetings, dealing with bullying and various behaviorial issues of other kids, waking up super early and possible sleep deprivation? After all, no study has proven the benefits of homework, teachers are pressured now more than ever to teach for tests and not true education, those meetings tent to fuel competition and frustration…

The boys have asked us about regular school, and we’re honest.

Papa ‘Skiy only attended high school in America, and he was picked on a lot. Due to the way classes are taught here compared to Russia, he also struggled. He enjoyed the activities he got in to — swimming, tennis, band — but admits signing up because (due to the language barrier) he didn’t understand they were school teams. He was smart but says he also got involved with bad habits and not the best of crowds, just so he could try to fit in.

Mama ‘Skiy was one of those annoying students that completed all projects ahead of or on time, volunteered to bang the chalkboard erasers and pass out papers, excelled in all subjects and was even moved to the level of band ahead of her age and class, was in every honors society and tutored other students and classmates… She actually enjoyed school, for the most part. Although she liked the classes and activities, she was teased and bullied relentlessly, and despite her parents’ involvement and how much they tried to help with issues and be part of field trips and such, the schools despised their participation and presence and made her parents well aware of this. It was as if, unless parents were willing to be quiet participants or kiss butt, the schools didn’t want parents involved.

We’ve given the boys the option to go to school, especially because they’re curious and have never been, and we’ll continue to give them that option. Homeschooling is a family decision, though, not a parental one.

We’re certainly not worried about their social skills. Their friends range in ages from two to fourteen, they’re very outgoing and more than comfortable talking to adults and making new friends wherever they go, they — and we — are constantly being praised for their manners and behavior, and they can easily recognize the bullies and bad behavior at playgrounds, stores, and other places we go…and they choose to avoid it.

And we’re not helicopter parents. We don’t hover at the playgrounds, we allow them to ride their bikes on their own at campgrounds, and when we go places like Sea World and they want to go to the children’s area, we have a meeting place and have walkie-talkies to keep in touch.

Despite popular belief, we’re no hermits. We do a lot, we travel, we explore, and we’re active. Our boys are growing in leaps and bounds — physically, emotionally, and intelligently.

We’re thrilled that our boys have chosen to be homeschooled. We can continue to educate them in ways books and schools simply can’t, and we can carry on with our RVing and camping obsession…er, hobby.

Year 3…and Year 1: bring it on!

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