It’s the end of the year as we know it

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Kids all excited to see Guinness again on our return from London & Dublin in December

It’s been a loooooooong time since I could sit down at the computer and blog. I rarely get to use my own PC these days, as there’s always one child or another using it for lessons. Our school year is over and done. I have a 5th grader who is ready for Middle School. I have a 3rd grader who suddenly has his nose in a book constantly. And I have a kindergartener who can read & write in English and Hebrew, taught by yours truly.

We have had an amazing, crazy, tiring year. It’s been 10 months of endless time with my kids. 10 months of watching them learn, seeing them grow and learning with and from them. 10 months of sheer pleasure, spending every waking moment with the little people I gave birth to.

Whaaaat?! You don’t believe me?

Ok, okay. It’s mostly true. No really! Home schooling your kids is possibly one of the most selfless decisions a parent can make. Especially a parent used to having kids in school from 8am til 4pm. You basically give over your life to others, and it is not easy to keep that up for an entire school year with almost no break. When I did have a break (i.e a couple of child-free hours one afternoon per week) I generally spent it running around doing errands to benefit the same little people. I tried hard to take 30 minutes every day for myself, where I closed the bedroom door and relaxed with a book, or called my sister, but that didn’t always pan out.

We finish this school year feeling full of achievement. I have grown closer to my children simply by being with them all the time. We have met some wonderful people through the various homeschool groups that we joined, from many different walks of life. We have met families who home school for so many different reasons. Some due to their faith, others who have extremely gifted children, some who just love to travel and don’t want to be tied down and some with very special children for whom no school was a fit. I really enjoyed meeting such a diverse group of people, and the kids have learned so much through meeting so many different kids.

Home schooling allowed us to travel to London and Dublin in December for 3 weeks without worrying about missing school. It allowed us to go on field trips on our own, or with other home school families. We enjoyed picnics in Hollywood, Palm Beach, Boca and Boynton. We got to play outside in the middle of the day just because it was too nice out to be stuck indoors learning. We got to ride bikes and take the dog to the park when our friends were in school. My children learned to make challah, to bake cakes, cook chicken, make pizza from scratch. They got to watch the vet examine the dog and were able to ask her questions and get lots of answers. My daughter learned how to create animations on a computer and my son learned to make a robot and program it to respond to noise. And so much more.

Ultimately, for this family, home schooling is not a long term choice. For the record, not one of my kids missed out socially this year. It is incredibly easy to socialize home schooled kids, and they probably spent more time interacting with other people – adults and children – this year than they ever did at school. Camp is fast approaching, and all 3 kids will be in day camp all summer long. And when the school year rolls around again in August, they are all heading back to school. Last year’s Plan B is this year’s Plan A. All three kids have been accepted into Ben Gamla Plantation.

My husband will continue to teach the older two kids Judaics, and I will continue to teach the youngest Judaics for the next year. After next year? We have a whole new adventure planned, but more on that to come!

Last night my youngest got to go to her friends’ kindergarten graduation at Hillel. I worried that she’d be upset, but as it turns out, she was thrilled to cheer for them as the photo below shows:

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebekah
    Jun 07, 2013 @ 14:37:35

    Great review of homeschooling – education, socialization more than occurs in public school. Puzzled why you are sending the kids back to school.

    Reply

  2. Rebekah
    Jun 07, 2013 @ 15:22:01

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Reply

  3. vanessabrooksceo
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 11:19:09

    Reblogged this on Vanessa Brooks CEO Blog and commented:

    As I sit here contemplating the school supply lists, I’m reminded of how short my list was last year 🙂

    Reply

  4. Rebekah
    Aug 07, 2013 @ 11:31:16

    Short and sweet.

    Reply

  5. Former Ben Gamla Teacher
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 23:24:55

    Homeschooling is a much better choice than Ben Gamla Plantation!!!! This coming from a former teacher of the institution!!!

    Reply

    • vanessabrooksceo
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 07:36:45

      Sounds like this is coming from a former teacher of the institution who is disgruntled! I wonder when you taught there, and what grade you taught? Who was the principal at the time? Were you fired? Or did you resign?
      I think Homeschooling can be a better option than most schools, as long as it works for the family doing it. No school, public or private, can cater to the individual needs of each child in a class in the same way that private instruction can. No arguments on that one. But I’d love to know why you give Ben Gamla so many exclamation marks.

      Reply

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