We’re about to head into our fourth month of becoming a homeschool family and I’ve been feeling a little discontent.
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for about five years now, right before we had our second baby. There’s a seven-year difference between our oldest and him.
As a kid, I have homeschooled my entire childhood. I had always had my mind made up that my kids would “get to experience what I didn’t”. My husband was public schooled, so it was never a question when it came time to enroll our daughter in pre-school. We knew that she would be in a public school.
Over the first few years of public school, we were incredibly blessed with amazing teachers. I can’t sing their praises high enough. Each of them treated our little girl as if she was their own. They communicated well and they made her (and me) feel safe.
When she reached third grade, I began having thoughts of homeschooling our family. At first, I pushed them away, because I thought I didn’t want that for them. Plus, in third grade, our little girl literally hit the jackpot of teachers and had the BEST year.
But I couldn’t swing the thought that we needed to shift into becoming a homeschool family.
My husband is the most supportive man on the planet. He works so hard and sacrifices so much so that I can be at home with our babies. But when I mentioned for the first time that I’d been feeling like we should rethink schooling for our kids, he was adamant that he didn’t want that.
God’s placed him as the leader of our home and I respect that position. So I didn’t say anything more about it.
The fourth grade was a tough year. It was her first year of switching classes throughout the day. The teachers weren’t as communicative as I would have liked. But she still lucked out with a great homeroom teacher, who I still believe truly cared about her.
The feelings of homeschooling started sky-rocketing. I would pray that if this is what our family needs, then God would soften my husband’s heart to the thought of it.
Over that year, we began to search for a new home. We loved the school district we were in, but I saw this as an opportunity to bring up homeschooling again. Because if we homeschool, the school district doesn’t really matter, and we can look for houses we love elsewhere.
I was shocked when my husband actually talked about his feelings towards becoming a homeschool family with me.
He discussed his hesitations, the pros, and the cons. I saw a slight shift in his thinking. But ultimately, we decided to stay in this school district. We settled on a home that we weren’t 100% thrilled with and we prepared for our little girl to finish fourth grade and enter fifth grade in just a few short months.
This was also the time we began to discuss pre-school for our son. I couldn’t bear the thought of sending him to school. It broke my heart every time my fourth-grader came home talking about the active shooter drills and tornado drills and bullying. I didn’t want her to deal with that, much less my 4-year-old.
I felt stuck.
So I made the decision to do homeschool pre-school for my son since we didn’t HAVE to send him to pre-school. And my husband was surprisingly on-board.
In my mind, I knew that if I could just show my husband that I could do this, maybe he’d reconsider. It was so much fun teaching our son his ABCs and counting and colors. And every day he learned something new, you better believe I had him showing off for daddy!
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Fifth grade was a year of chaos.
I was in and out of the principal’s office, going to bat for our daughter, more times than I cared to ever be. So many things happened that year that I may share more about later, or may not.
But the year ended with a field trip to a mountain (that parents were discouraged to attend). Our daughter’s group was left behind on the hike to a waterfall, with no chaperone, among other things that happened on that trip… and we were livid.
The school that once made me feel so safe, had put our daughter’s life in danger.
I just keep thinking about how if the wrong person had found her and her few other friends wandering the trails alone or if they hadn’t accidentally ran into another teacher who just happened to be headed back to the buses to get lunch ready, etc. etc. etc.
This was the last straw for us – and when my husband asked me to do some research on what it would really look like to shift into becoming a homeschool family… I told him I already had everything saved in a Google doc (because that’s what I do) and I was just waiting for the moment God softened his heart to the idea.
That was the last year our daughter attended public school and I’m praying we can continue this homeschool journey until all of our babies have graduated.
The first three months have been spent in a great curriculum that’s helping her reconnect with loving to learn. I’ve seen her habits and self-talk shift in such a positive way without having much influence from her peers.
I feel that it’s important to allow her to de-school a bit before we really develop a homeschooling routine that’s perfect for us.
As we’re getting ready to start our fourth month, I’m feeling confident that we can begin to really build a foundation of learning at home that’s strong mentally and educationally.
I want our time together to develop our kids in a way that prepares them for the world. But also molds them to be strong in their faith, mind, and heart.
It’s important to me to not just raise kids who can multiply quickly, read fluently, and recite all of the countries in alphabetical order…
My kids will be kids who see learning as an opportunity to grow, kids who are kind FIRST, kids who are respectful. I want our kids to see that homeschooling isn’t something that’s keeping them from experiencing life (like I did growing up).
I want them to see that homeschooling is a means to let them live life abundantly.
Originally, I was going to write about the shift in our curriculum for this next quarter. Perhaps I will do that in the next post. But I hope this blog inspires you to really consider your kid’s future.
It’s okay not to settle on their education.
School does not have to happen Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 3 PM. But even if it does, you don’t have to let public school raise your kids. Supplement at home with things you think are important for them to learn.
Whether you have thought about becoming a homeschool family or are already homeschooling, don’t settle on what the books say or what the lesson plans you found on Pinterest say…
Homeschooling is more of developing kids to LOVE to learn than reciting History facts. If they love to learn, they’ll always want to be learning. And that will move them forward in life faster than anything else.