Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homeschooling Parent Poem

We're not trying to do "School at Home." We're trying to do homeschool. These are two entirely different propositions. We're not trying to replicate the time, style or content of the classroom. Rather we're trying to cultivate a lifestyle of learning in which learning takes place from morning until bedtime 7 days each week. The "formal" portion of each teaching day is just the tip of the iceburg.
~Steve and Jane Lambert

Educating one's child at home is not for the faint of heart. A parent makes dozens of decisions every day and some of us...actually, of the homeschooling parents I know personally, I would venture to write that most of us at some point get caught up in the "curriculum craze." I saw this poem on a message board and made some suggestions in editing, which Aime received graciously, and gave me permission to post on my blog.

Homeschooling Parent Poem
by Aime L. Oakes

'Twas ten minutes to midnight and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring except for me and my mouse.
The curriculum websites were all bookmarked and filed,
While I had visions of great books to my ceiling being piled.

And me with my finger poised to click on the "buy",
A little voice in my head said "Show some restraint - oh, please try!"
"Go away," I said. "I don't want a fight.
I'll get all free shipping if I purchase tonight!"

"It's not fair" I cried out, "they all look so good."
But the voice in my head said, "What if you could?
Do you think your children would know what to do?
They don't need more books, they just need more of you!"

I pondered on this - what was that voice trying to say?
Did it not realize what a deal I could get on eBay?
I thought and pondered and wondered some more,
Then slowly my eyes drifted to the books on the floor.

Three writing, three phonics, four grammar and more,
All sitting there unused, except to prop open the door.
I remember the hours spent scouring the sites,
And the money I spent would give Bill Gates a fright.

"Come away from the computer." My children would request.
"I can't," I would say, "until I've found you the best."
"But we don't want something different or new,
We want you to teach us like you always used to."

I remember those days when we had just started out.
"I will teach them myself!" I'd announced with a shout.
And teach them I did with good books I'd picked,
And they learned and we laughed and it all somehow clicked.

So there I sat in the dark about to purchase some more,
My children as usual would find it a bore.
"No more," I said suddenly clicking the "x" on the page.
"I'll no longer be a prisoner in this curriculum cage."

We already have plenty and we have quite enough,
We don't need all the new flashy hyped up school stuff.
We'll get back to basics and learning when ready.
We'll stop switching our methods and stay calm and steady.

I'll use what I have and I'll create or borrow the rest,
After all it's always been I who know my children the best.
I know what they like and I know what they need.
I'll not be tempted again by curriculum greed.

I'll teach them to honor the One from above.
I'll teach them to laugh and to live and to love.
Then I'll teach them the things that will make their minds grow,
And the things out of books that all kids ought to know.

I'll teach them that learning goes on every day,
But not just in books but in how they live and they play.
If, when they are grown, they remember one thing I've said,
I want them to hear "knowledge is power" from the voice in their heads.

~ My Lord, it is always nice to have that break for the holidays to help us reflect and re-examine on the way we are educating our children. I am thankful every day that I not only have the choice to educate my daughter at home but I have the choice in how I will educate her. Guide me to make choices that please You. ~


  1. lol Pity about our state regulations. Pretty sure Star would be more than happy never to set eyes on curriculum stuff ever again!

  2. Yes, I am fortunate to live in a state with very little regulation, but I still find submitting monthly attendance records ridiculous.

  3. That is a lovely poem, I think I needed that reminder. I do use curriculum for just about every subject, but I'm learning to rely on it less, I use it more as a guide of where to go next, to keep things in order, but I don't feel as bound to it as I once did. I no longer feel that I must finish it as the schedule says, I now try hard to remember to take my children's cues as well because they learn so much more! Thank you for the reminder as I'm just getting ready to look and decide what will be ordered for next year.

  4. Birbitt, it seems that all of us homeschooling parents need this reminder. You would be appalled to see how much stuff I have that we did not use that I have had, although I have resold much of it now. I did collect quite a few reference books that will always be something she can use though.

    I do appreciate having choices. There are times that a workbook is just the thing in a particular subject. Still, I have always thought it so odd that some homeschooling pioneers are selling curriculum when they themselves did not use one for their own children—rather ironic!


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.