Our Homeschool Journey Part 1: 7 years of Homeschooling
We are starting our 7th year of homeschooling. It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve actually been doing it for 7 years but we have! Through those years what started out very much as a “school at home” setting has turned into a “way of life” setting. Some people don’t realize this but yes homeschooling,just like country living,is a way of life.
The one thing I love about homeschooling is the people you meet. Everyone has a story as to why they homeschool. At first glance it may seem one of the generic reasons we’ve all heard,religious, not wanting their kids around bad influences, rebellion against the public school system or even the fact that the parents themselves were homeschooled and they carried on the tradition. As you talk to these families though more you find that each family is unique as to why they homeschool.
For me there was really a quite practical reason we began homeschooling. I lived in the middle of nowhere with 3 young children and one very small infant. Ok maybe not out in the middle of nowhere we lived in outside of a town called Granite Falls, WA. Ever heard of it?Yeah not many people have. I lived there, I was still married at the time, and we had a really bad winter. The kind of winter where if you hate snow(ahem like some of us. Yes I know I moved away from AZ back to snow country again,don’t ask) you are pretty much miserable. I also had a little two month old baby as well as a5, 3 and 2 years old. My oldest was going to Public School. I had known a couple people who had homeschooled before such as my cousin but at this point in my life figured it might be too much for me to handle.
I was EXHAUSTED doing the driving into town to drop him off for school then pick him up. He had tested into an accelerated Kindergarten class, so he was bringing home more homework then I thought could even be possible for a kid at 5 to do. Most afternoons we sat around doing an additional 3 hours of schoolwork. Another really big factor. I really missed having Nathaniel home with me. Here he was learning all of these great things at school and I was not there to witness them. I wanted to homeschool him then,but he was also in speech and I knew for now he needed that service.
By winter time there were days I literally could not get down the hill to go into town. I would email the teacher and let her know and she had agreed to email me the day’s lessons if we were absent. I quickly found mostly everything he was bringing home for homework was basically the work they were supposed to be doing in school during the day.By the time the first parent teacher conference rolled around I was convinced we should be homeschooling. The teacher said he was doing great in class, he just had a lot of energy and maybe we should have him tested for ADD. I had worked in preschool,kindergarten, and daycare my whole life. I knew that yes Nathaniel had a lot of energy he was a 5 year old boy, but it wasn’t an abnormal amount. I also found out at that meeting that Nathaniel had not been going to speech. When I approached the speech teacher as to why her answer was,”Well I didn’t want him missing out on class or the other kids making fun of him for having to leave class” Umm…this was in his IEP he NEEDED speech! She agreed to start taking him out for speech. By the end of the year he had only gone to speech 5 times.
So we decided that he would finish up Kindergarten then come home. This is where the research started for me. I devoured all things homeschooling. Read a bunch of what our First Grader needed to know…..or Second grader. Scanned the world wide web for curriculums and lessons. I didn’t want to miss one single thing.
Here we are now 6 full years later and I don’t regret my decision one bit. All 4 kids are homeschooled. I love the fact that like now for instance,in the middle of our African Safari, we’re all learning something together.Of course there are those days where I wanna pull my hair out. The days where it’s very clear no one wants to do school. There are also the days where we all sit around the table and laugh and talk about the things we’ve learned.
I started out a very strictly scheduled homeschooler. Over the last couple of years though I’ve stopped with the “They have to know every little thing.There can’t be any gaps,” mentality, and learned to “Go with the flow” Our homeschooling style though is for another post.
Posted on June 30, 2011, in homeschool, Homeschooling, Single mom and tagged home school, homeschool families, homeschool reasons, homeschooling, Kindergarten. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.