Another one of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to challenge your children, rather than following a strictly laid out plan that someone else has made. Sure, you can supplement public school education, but that supplementation always has to wait until you’ve finished what the school has demanded. As a homeschooling mother, I define our plans. I set the standards for my children to meet, and I can choose to raise or lower those standards as needed to meet their needs.
One interesting challenge for my children is playing Scrabble with me. They love to play Scrabble. Unfortunately for them, their mother is also a published author. Their mother strings together 50K-100K words at a time to make an entertaining story that people pay money to read. Translation: Their mother has a serious vocabulary to draw from when playing Scrabble, and can see words that they don’t.
This drives them nuts. They so badly want to beat me at Scrabble, and yet they just can’t – yet. And this is the joy of homeschooling. Because though I do assign them spelling and vocabulary words to help them be more eloquent and able to read and/or write with ease, they go above and beyond to work on their own spelling and vocabulary, just so that they can try to beat me at Scrabble.
If they were in public school – well, let’s face it: if they were in public school, first of all, we would have less time to even play Scrabble. But they also wouldn’t be as inclined to try so hard. After six hours in class, another two hours of homework, eating dinner, taking showers, and preparing for bed, all they would want to do is veg out in front of the TV or their computer. They would simply accept that Mom is better at Scrabble and either accept defeat or stop playing the game at all.
But because we homeschool, learning is enjoyable for them again. They learn in ways that make it not only fun for them, but also makes the material stick, and takes considerably less time than it would in public school. A game of Scrabble counts as part of our learning, part of our homeschool day, if we play. So not only does increasing their vocabulary and ability to spell benefit their Scrabble game, but it also doesn’t seem like the daunting task it once did. When you’re done with your school day after only three or four hours, and you have another eight or nine to fill – why not spend an hour or two with a dictionary, or a good book, or a website that will teach you new words?
They will one day take great joy from finally beating me at a game of Scrabble. In the meantime, however, I take great joy from listening to them use their new vocabulary, and use it correctly. There’s little that can make me smile bigger than when J uses words like resolution or forthcoming appropriately in conversation.
And for the record? C is catching up to me. I only won by about twenty points yesterday. 😀