Thursday, September 4, 2008

How Did I Get Into Homeschooling

How Did I Get Into Homeschooling

Well, I guess the first exposure to homeschooling that I had was a single mom who pulled her kids from the private school they were attending to be homeschooled. The kids were also in the daycare I taught in after school, and they were teased a lot. I didn't think much of it at the time, other than a passing thought on whether that would help those kids or whether it would hinder them.

Then, I guess I heard of homeschooling here and there talking with friends. I heard so and so was homeschooling, but again didn't think much of it. I was a young single gal, why would I think about it much. Then I had some exposure to a friend's sister-in-law who homeschooled. This wasn't good exposure. This mom kept her kids out of school, but didn't really school them, and they were WAY behind on reading and math.

After I married my husband (Jon) and began having kids, I thought about schooling. Then I started having good (typical) exposures to homeschoolers. Jon's cousin homeschooled her girls and did (and does) a fantastic job at it. Her kids are smart, well-adjusted, and happy.

When my oldest girls were babies, we lived just down the street from a high school, and I can tell you I didn't think much of the fruit of public school coming from that (which was displayed before me before and after school). I was sure I would homeschool or private school. Also, several families across the street from us (by that high school), homeschooled and had happy, smart, well-adjusted kids. There was also a homeschooling program through the school district I had heard about. I had even met some adults who were homeschooled as kids, who had healthy sibling relationships as an adult. I knew homeschooling was a viable option.

I hadn't really decided based on all of that, however. I had always loved teaching kids (any kids, not just my own), and had always loved learning independently, so I had a strong tug to homeschooling. Yet, it seemed like a lot of work, and "how did you really know your kids would be socialized properly?"

When my oldest daughter was four, I put her in preschool at a local private school. I was testing it out, knowing that I was debating between homeschooling and private schooling. And, it turned out to be an excellent school. It would have been a good choice I think. But, still, while the fruit shown in the teenage years was better at the private school, it still bothered myself, and maybe more importantly it bothered my husband, that the teens didn't seem that innocent, that they didn't seem that happy to be around their parents. At this point, I met a friend (Keren) at the local MOPS (mothers of preschoolers co-op) who had begun to homeschool and she was sold on it. She was involved in a Co-op called First Class, and she told me about it. I visited with her and saw how she organized her homeschool efforts, and I decided to go for it.

The next fall, when my daughter was in Kindergarten we went to the Co-op. We got the chance to meet lots of other homeschoolers and homeschooling families and talk to them about what they do in their homeschooling. Also about this time we began playing soccer. On the soccer team there were two other families that homeschooled. A year and a half later, for the last half of Natalie's first grade, First Class started a co-op up in our neck of the woods. I especially enjoyed this, as for once I felt connected with others in my community who homeschooled.

Now, I'm sold. I believe I will homeschool through High School. I love that my kids can learn to learn by themselves, and to love learning. Sometimes it's hectic, especially challenging are times like being pregnant and having an infant. But, I can see the fruit of close sibling relationships in my kids already. I love it.

Here are some reality pictures of homeschooling. I try and have things more together, but with a 10 month old, a 5 year old, and a 7 year old, it can all fall apart way too quickly. But, they are learning and they are loved. This is what matters.

No comments: