Homeschool is cool!
I always thought it would be cool to homeschool our kids. All of the homeschool families I knew seemed so well behaved and well adjusted. I gave a lot of thought to becoming a homeschool family.
My husband however thought I was insane, in fact he may have tried to have me committed! I wanted the opportunity to homeschool my children. I knew my husband would have to be on board for that to happen.
Doubting my abilities I pushed that thought out of my head for a few years. Our decision to home school took time and was not one we easily arrived at.
We started out as a public school family
Our oldest daughter turned 5 and we enrolled her in Kindergarten as most people do. She was happy and I enjoyed the time I spent at the school getting to know other moms. Everything seemed fabulous!
The following year my second child started school, that was a little bit harder for me. Megan was a young kindergartner and she would frequently fall asleep in the reading nook. She had a great teacher who reassured me that she was fine. The school year came and went with no issues.
Then my oldest child started second grade and I noticed she was really struggling with self esteem. Concerned, I went and visited with the principal to see what we could do to help her. She listened to me and told me that her scores were excellent and she was a model student. She said “As far as she was concerned, my daughter had no issues, she had excellent grades and was at the top of her class.”
When children believe in themselves and have a positive self image they can achieve so much more then those that do not believe in themselves despite their grades in school.
I knew in that moment that I would never be happy with this school. My definition of raising and educating a well balanced child and that of the elementary schools definition were so far apart. I told the principal that I knew children who did not have the highest grades however, despite this they went on to be successful, happy, and well adjusted people that liked and believed in themselves.
I also knew children that were at the top of their class and yet failed to do much of anything with their lives. I believed this was partly because they lacked confidence and belief in themselves. I was not as concerned with my daughters grades as I was with the fact that she liked herself and knew her abilities.
Addressing the whole child, body mind and spirit is critical because a child is not a neatly compartmentalized being. They are so multifaceted! Looking only at a child’s grades is a small indicator of what their gifts, talents, and abilities are.
I knew when I left the principal’s office that day, that I wanted to raise children that were firmly planted in their faith, confident in who they were, and believed in their own abilities to accomplish anything they set their minds to;I wanted to raise leaders who loved learning and were self motivated to explore and discover the world around them. I was told that I should consider a private education if that is what I wanted because “this was only a public institution”.
On Our Way To Becoming Homeschoolers
I left our meeting feeling frustrated and defeated. I knew I couldn’t afford a private education for my children, however I couldn’t stand the thought of someone making light of mine or my child’s concerns. My daughter was so much more then a test score!
Her teacher used sarcasm often in the class which really effected my daughter. There was also a group of clicky girls in her class had made her feel like an outsider. She struggled to make friends. She had a hard time sitting still and keeping her chatty outbursts to a minimum (we later had her diagnosed with ADHD and that was life changing). My heart hurt because I knew deep down that I didn’t want her to be in this place.
My husband however, thought I was insane to even suggest homeschooling our children. You see I lacked organizational skills and he was afraid that homeschooling would be a complete train wreck.
We continued at our public school. Middle school came and went and then our oldest reached High school. She was not the happiest of campers during her 9th grade year.
My son opened our eyes to the need for different learning styles and less time sitting in one place.
By this time my son was in third grade. He did very well academically but he too, had lots of energy. I felt that the public school system didn’t serve him well or fully recognize his gifts and talents. He had a hard time in specials, namely music and PE, staying quiet and calm.
Frequently letters were sent home that described how he fooled around in class. He was a respectful child he just had a hard time being quiet and still. My son and daughter didn’t fall too far from their mama’s tree! If I had to quietly sit still all day for 5.5 – 6 hours I would lose my mind.
I knew he needed to run and play and burn energy as many children do. Given the opportunity to expend energy he was quite capable of sitting and working quietly for an hour or so. Frustrated I prayed really hard for an answer!
I casually brought the subject of homeschooling up from time to time but I was always met with my husbands disapproval. As time passed I grew even more frustrated because I really felt that God had placed this desire so strongly on my heart.
I hated the chaos of our life and the hectic schedule we had adopted running all day in our van dropping off and picking up children. I knew they would do better with time to run and play burning energy. If they were home with me I could build them up instead of tearing them down with sarcastic remarks.
Why would my husband be so against this idea if this was really God’s will for our family.
I don’t think he was against it completely he just needed time to adjust to the idea and things needed to happen in God’s time. My girlfriend told me to pray for God’s will and then let it be. I surrendered and put it in God’s hands even though I still felt this strong calling to homeschool our children.
The Beginning Of Our Homeschool Journey
The following spring my husband walked into our room and mentioned that the homeschool conference was coming up. He would watch the kids if I wanted to go because he knew I had always wanted to. I looked at him and didn’t know what to say.
I felt it was cruel to suggest such a thing knowing how badly I had wanted to try homeschooling our kids. There was no point in going since I believed he would never let me homeschool our kids.
With that he looked at me and said “you have until Christmas, you can homeschool the kids”. He just asked that we reevaluate things at the end of the semester. I was so excited and nervous at the same time.
As the school year came to an end I read everything I could about homeschooling and we decided to enroll our children in Seton Home Study School. My husband liked the fact that they graded the kids classwork and provided transcripts for our children. We began homeschooling at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year and we have not looked back!