My husband and I had our second date at starbucks, which we closed out, talking for hours about our families, how we were raised, etc. When it came to education I told him I was homeschooled from 2nd grade to 8th grade. He just started laughing. I laughed with him but thought “Oh great, this super cute, nice, baseball player now thinks I might be weird because I was a homeschooler.” So I stumbled on trying to explain… to which he cut me off and said, “No, I’m laughing because I was homeschool till 8th grade too!” So, before I go on about why we are choosing to homeschool this year, I just want you to know, my husband and I have been on the other side!
I want to preface what I’m about to say with a few things. First, we are taking it one year at a time. I felt called to homeschool this year for various reasons, but we are keeping an open mind and heart year to year. Secondly, I don’t agree that there’s only one right way to school your children. Whether it be public, private, or at home…all can be great!
So why are we homeschooling? Well, I honestly wasn’t really planning on homeschooling. Last year Levi went to THE sweetest preschool which we absolutely loved. We sent him 4-ish (it was flexible) days a week from 8:30-11:30. I heard that the private school I used to go to had a half day kinder option, so I knew thats where I wanted him to go. I feel like our society (and satan really) is creating chaos in the family with all the busyness. I knew I didn’t want him to be in school 7 hours a day as a young 5 year old. I’m a big advocate of pushing, encouraging and discipling our children (aka, not let them be lazy and have their way) but I’m also a big advocate of letting kids be kids. I want my child to learn, but I want him to be outside throwing dirt clods, building forts, catching bugs and riding bikes. So this half day kindergarten seemed perfect for us and how I feel! I went to the open house and was told they were no longer offering half day. My heart literally sunk, I had a pit in my stomach, and I fought back tears as I was talking to the teacher. It may sound dramatic, but it was just the mama in me. 🙂 I didn’t want my “just” 5 year old in school till 3:15 everyday, when he still naps 5 out of 7 days! I didn’t want to get him at the end of the day when he was tired and worn out. I didn’t want his siblings to only see him for a few hours before he had to turn in early for the night. And, I also took into consideration his personality. He loved preschool, but some days he said he missed us and just wanted to be home. When he was at school he felt like he was missing out with the family. So the thought of making him go every day, for a total of 34 hours a week, didn’t seem the best for us. My husband and I also agreed that if he was in school he would not participate in any extra curricular activities, such as sports, as a 5 year old. We didn’t want our family to be running here, and there, and not have enough quality family time!
This is when I looked into the schools’ homeschool program. I could homeschool through the school (aka, have help and guidance!) and he had the option to go into the kindergarten class room on Fridays! At first I thought, “There’s no way I can homeschool…I have the other ones at home and theres always a lot of chaos”. Along with the fact that I already have to clean, cook, do the laundry, grocery shop, etc…all while taking care of 3 little ones. But my heart softened to the idea and I felt a peace. Much more of a peace than sending him to school. So, here we are. I’m his teacher.
I totally doubt myself sometimes. Carrying the responsibilities of being a mom, and then adding the job of being your child’s educator is daunting. Even though its kindergarten. I have to teach him the english language, for crying out loud!!! Total shout out to you homeschool moms that teach multiple grades at multiple levels. I have a whole new respect for you! I’m enjoying going through the curriculum and finding fun ways to teach it. I’m enjoying the fact that I get to watch him learn and be so involved. I’m enjoying that we can finish his lessons in less than 2 hours, and he doesn’t have to be gone for 7. I’m enjoying that his siblings are learning with him or that I can postpone starting school because the kids are playing so well together. I’m enjoying that we can learn outside, or do math & numbers on the kitchen floor. I’m enjoying we don’t have to rush out the door every morning to get him to school. I’m enjoying that we can have quieter afternoons and no homework at night.
Now, don’t get me wrong…there’s a lot of things that are challenging. Its a hard concept for him that I’m now his teacher, summer is over, and we have to sit and do things that aren’t always fun. Its harder for him to respect me as the teacher because, I’m mom. I know for a doubt he wouldn’t tell his teacher “I’m only doing one work sheet today, ok? Not two.” He may or may not have said this to me. 😉 But there’s also the flip side of me lacking patience for him. I know what he’s capable of and I want the best for him, so at times its frustrating when he’s not focusing. I definitely get to practice extra patience.
I recently read the book (recommended by a homeschool mom I admire), “Teaching from Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakable Peace” by Sarah Mackenzie. It was so insightful in preparing to homeschool! The Lord knew I needed to read it. I was convicted of many things and have tried to change my mindset, as in having more patience and calmness as I teach in our home. I would highly recommend the book if you are even considering homeschooling. A lot of areas can even apply to just being a mom!
We are now a few weeks in and I think our family as a whole is loving this fit. Levi’s teachers at school have been so sweet and accommodating. They always welcome and invite him to other things and he may even be going an extra day a week. I am so thankful for what we have this year! Like I said, we are prayerfully taking it one year at a time, so I’m not sure what next year will look like. I do love the fact that he is plugged into the school so if we do decide to put him in, he knows his classmates. Or if we continue to homeschool, he’ll continue to see them once or twice a week:)
I am not an experienced homeschool mom, but if you have any questions about homeschool and how it works, I’d love to chat! 🙂
P.s. I know a BIG argument about homeschooling is the socialization part. I understand people’s concern, and I agree kids need socialization, but I think depending on the family, there are a lot of other ways to socialize than just school! My husband and I were homeschooled and we felt we had plenty of socialization! 😉 If you have further questions on this, send me a message and I’d love to talk more about it!
Shop our homeschool wall :
“Create” letters- hobby lobby
Chalkboard- DIY, See here how I made the green chalk paint (my hubby built the frame and I just put a little stain and white washed it!)
Happy Shopping!!! 🙂