The official first day of school for our district was on Monday, August 29th. My oldest would have started in kindergarten. Instead he spent the morning sleeping in. Just how it should be. We read books, played video games, basically a typical day in our home. His first day of school picture is him curled up and asleep in bed. Getting all the rest he needs so that he can grow and function through the day. I was so worried about my choice until Monday came around. Then I realized that this is the right choice for us at this moment in time. The future may dictate something else but for now this works. He can learn at his own pace, play when he wants, sleep when he wants, most importantly he can learn what he wants (which I assist with). Not to mention the freedom to go with Daddy’s schedule and not miss out on that valuable time.
So this is purely my opinion of the matter, since everyone feels differently.
I think the hardest decision I am facing with homeschooling, is what method to teach my children. I have been homeschooling since the birth of my oldest. It has been a decision I was set on before he was born. Fortunately my amazing husband has agreed and supported the decisions I have made in regards to our children’s education. I have looked at a lot of different methods for homeschooling too from standard curricula (like in a classroom or school) to unschooling (the far opposite end where it is child-led learning). When I first read about unschooling, I was against it. I thought “How can a child learn that way for everything they need to know to get through life?” . So I moved on and kept looking. Well I came across it again when my son was a little older. This time I joined groups, talked to people, and found success stories. Children learn things on their own from birth: how to hold up their head, how to grab something, how to eat solid foods, and I could go on. A child is naturally inclined to pursue things that are beneficial to them. Yes there are exceptions for those that need extra assistance due to disabilities or other issues, and unschooling is probably not the best fit. In general terms though, a child is eager to learn new things and as long as the parent/guardian is there to help the child in pursuing their interests then they will learn.
For me, I really do like what we have experienced the last 5 years with unschooling. My oldest has learned all of the basics (numbers, colors, letters) with my assistance when he was ready to learn them. Then he started getting interested in letter sounds, how to add and subtract numbers, how to read. Well I have helped him when he needs help. We research online things he wants to know, recently was how a dog can see when it is getting dark out. He uses a calculator to add numbers together and he loves it! He is learning how to read with a little of my assistance but mostly just from me reading every day to him and his brother’s. I do have concerns though from when I was going to school to be a teacher and from having family members that are teachers, including one who was home-schooled and has some social issues. I don’t think radical unschooling is for my family. We set limits on things and have a bedtime in place. I want to be sure my kids are not behind on grade level things that they should know. I also do not want to sit down with a curriculum every day and force my kids to learn something they are not interested in at that moment.
Ultimately this is the hardest choice I am facing right now. I want my kid’s to be free to pursue their interests but I also don’t want them to get so focused on one thing and neglect to learn anything else that they will need to be successful when they are adults. Not to mention, with unschooling I will have to face my family who already does not like the fact I homeschool let alone a child-led method. Fortunately it is only time to start kindergarten which is an easy year. I can postpone making a decision for another year, I hope.
So my husband is a truck driver, professional driver, what ever other terms there are for driving the big trucks on the road that haul our stuff to the stores. That makes me a trucker’s wife. He may not be out as long as some other drivers or even other professions, but with three young kid’s at home it seems like it is much longer. I home-school our children, we have no family out here and few friends, so the only reprieve I can get is when our babysitter is free (she works full time) or when he is home. Some days I feel like a single mom, minus the need to work to support my family, because I am so stressed over what needs to be done. Other days I enjoy every moment I get to spend with my children. This style of life isn’t easy, no matter how long you have been in it. Hubby drove for 5 months about 6 years ago but quit because our oldest was born. He went back about a year ago, just before our baby turned 1 year old. The kid’s are used to it by now but some days it gets hard, especially the day after daddy leaves from being home for a few days. So I try to not plan anything the day or two following him being home so I can make life a bit easier on myself instead of having to tame tantrums all day long. I can’t say I love this life but it is income, it puts food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our bodies. He enjoys driving and being in new places so he doesn’t get bored with the job unlike others in the past where he gets into a routine and it is the same day in and day out. Hubby just cannot stand that. I am thankful that he makes enough to support us so that I can stay home to raise our children and home-school them since public education here is not the best. There are worse things to be than a trucker wife. I know being a military spouse while your partner is on deployment is no easy feat. At least my hubby is home a few times a month and we have pretty much open contact with each other while he is driving from place to place. I wouldn’t change my life for anything though, because the joy the kid’s get at seeing daddy’s truck definitely makes it all worthwhile!
Guns are such a taboo topic these days, along with a myriad of other subjects. You have people far off on one side wanting civilians disarmed. Then there is the other side that wants no regulation what so ever. Of course there are people that fall in between those two as well. What it comes down to is an extremely touchy subject that is difficult to bring up in conversation unless you know the person or are willing to get into a debate.
As for me, I am a gun owner. I also teach my children the simple rules from Eddie Eagle as well as the cardinal rules of gun safety for my older two children who are starting to be interested in firearms. I think those are the absolute best ways to prevent accidents. There is also my responsibility as a parent; that is to ensure my firearms are kept locked away from my children so they cannot obtain access without permission and supervision.
I do carry a firearm on a daily basis when I leave the home. I hope that I never have to protect myself and children but I do not want to take that risk. It takes minutes for police to arrive, by that time myself and my children could be dead. I have yet to have a negative encounter from other people. Usually it is those who are surprised it is legal and ask how they can start carrying as well. Once in a while I get comments like ” If something happens here, I am coming to find you!”, from those that do not carry firearms but are supporting of the right to do so. I also live in a state where it is legal to do so, we have quite a bit more freedom than other states who infringe on citizens rights.
Firearms are not something to be afraid of. Take some time to educate yourself, take a trip to a gun range with an experienced instructor, you will find it is not scary at all. Remember criminals do not obey the law and a background check will not stop the majority of them from obtaining a firearm . See the following links for examples, including a paper that surveyed criminals on various subjects with the focus being firearms for the paper.
I will end with the 2nd Amendment “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”