We Are Now a Homeschool Family

Homeschool family

Wow, what a year this has been for my son.  I can honestly say I never thought we would have this kind of a school experience.  Before I say anything more about it I want to first say that I don’t judge anyone for their school decisions for their families.  I think some public schools can be wonderful and completely what kids need and I also look up to those who have been able to give their kids the education they needed at home.  I think it is all about the needs of the kid and the families.

But for us school has been harder then I ever thought possible.  My oldest son has always been a higher level thinker.  It has been nothing we have done as parents, he just has always been that way.

In preschool he did very well, developed like he should have and had a wonderful teacher that worked hard with him on his weaknesses and focused on his strengths and let him thrive.  As he entered Kindergarten he was still 4 years old.  He was very ready academically and we knew he would have an adjustment period emotionally.  And we were right.  For the first couple months of school he struggled to focus and to get done the things he needed to.

But the teacher worked with him and he was able to get past it and had a very successful and happy year.  Then there came first grade.

Lets just say it has been a long year.  He started off the first grade just like kinder.  Had a really hard time with being there all day and struggled to focus.  The biggest difference was that his teacher did nothing but be negative to him.  He struggled to find his place in the classroom of 36 kids and it never really happened.  The teacher didn’t care.  She would try for a day or 2 and then stop trying.

He eventually got sent to another class to do his work because e couldn’t concentrate in his own class.  All this time I was not even aware this was going on in the class.  I found out when my son mentioned something about “when he goes into the other class to do his work.”  I asked the teacher and she said “if it helps him isn’t it ok?”  I told her that I am fine with it as long as she talks with me about it first.  I had no idea he was even having trouble concentrating in class.

This sort of a thing continued the whole year.  The teacher never talked with me about anything.  I watched my son continue to get more and more lost in school.  His work was done, his grades were fine, but he just was not himself.  I decided at that point that I was going to homeschool him next year.  I asked him about it and he was so excited.  I prayed about it and received a very strong answer.  I know it is the right thing for him.

While I know there are schools out there that are still doing well and that have amazing teachers (we used to live very close to one), I have to say that as a whole I think the school districts are really going down hill.  More and more the focus is moving away from the kids.  I don’t blame a teacher being overwhelmed by 36 kids in her class when she has no help or aid in the class.  The parents can only do so much for a teacher and there are only so often they can be in there.

I do blame the set up as a whole, the priorities of those who are deciding where the money goes and the lack of responsibility of those who are involved.  It seems that no one is taking responsibility for their actions.

So because of all these things, I truly feel like homeschool is the way to go for my kids.  I have found a great charter school in the area that you can homeschool through.  It gives you guidance and money to put the kids in extra curricular activities like music and a physical education type activity.

I am super excited to start this journey with my family.  I never thought I would be that kind of mom.  Having 4 kids in 6.5 years I was really excited to have a break from at least 1 or 2 kids.  But now I am choosing to have them home.  I am making that choice because I want to do what is best for my child.

Do you homeschool?  Why do you choose to do that for your family?

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  1. Anna-Kare says:

    Congrats to you for doing what’s best for your kids! It can take a lot of courage to do that sometimes. I homeschooled off and on as the needs of a child presented itself. I wish I had gotten that courageous early on. My oldest, like your son, started school at age 4. I would never do that again. Academically he was fine but it really took a toll in other ways. I thought of having him repeat kindergarten and then 1st grade when he would be one of the oldest in his class but the school advised against it. I wish I had considered homeschool then but it never occurred to me at the time. But I should have listened to my instincts and intervened in some way. I finally took him out of school after junior high when we could see we were losing him and began home school then. After only two weeks we could see we had our boy back, the one we knew was in there! Because of his experiences in school I began to think outside the box and experimented more with my other kids and homeschooling. But I was very fortunate. We lived in a great school district and when I had a problem the elementary school principal was my best friend. Amy found herself in the same class each year with a kid who tormented her all the time and then she would get it on Sundays, too, because we went to the same church. She asked me if she could homeschool. I decided that was a great opportunity for a year to have some one-on-one time with her. So we homeschooled her 5th grade year. I wanted her back in school for 6th grade because they had such a great program for that year, but we enjoyed our year together. When Erik was in 1st grade I decided to pull him out of school for the rest of the year. There wasn’t anything terribly wrong and he didn’t have a bad teacher. I just felt he needed some one-on-one time with his mom. So I visited the school principal and she immediately set out to help me. She gathered up all the curriculum they had for 1st grade and loaned it to me. She even sent me home with a ton of school supplies, work sheets, etc. Our goal together was to have Erik ready for 2nd grade when I planned to return him to the system. For both Amy and Erik my homeschool plan was for a short time to accomplish specific needs and the school was my best support. For my oldest child I think it would have made a huge difference in his schooling if I had intervened much earlier. Perhaps he would have been able to stay in the system overall but it was my first time as a mom and I was learning as I went along. I did learn because of him to keep a very close eye on the teachers and be very vocal and proactive if I was uncomfortable with something. There was one specific teacher in our grade school that I refused to let any of my children have after one of them did. I told the principal that although my children might do okay with him I definitely would not and not to put any of my kids in his class. She was respectful of that. I will tell you that I always went in with a humble attitude to ask for what I needed. And sometimes I didn’t know just what I needed; I just knew I needed help. One teacher had totally destroyed the attitude of my second son and I approached the principal during the summer time telling her about what had happened in the classroom and the devastating effects it had for our son. (That teacher was soon removed from the school, by the way.) I asked her to very carefully place him for the following year. She knew immediately who would be awesome; and sure enough, within the first month of school, everything had changed for my boy. He thrived that year. And we got her every year after that!! A great teacher makes all the difference in the world, and a bad one can do far more damage than we can imagine. Fortunately, with the right kind of help, things can be turned around. Also, one other experience with homeschooling and public schools, I found that we could also use both. We could do curriculum at home and be considered homeschooled but I could at the same time sign my child up for public school classes that I could not easily provide myself; so we had a blend of both from time to time, too. Good luck with your adventure.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Anna-kare! I love that there are others who have noticed a change in their child when they took control of their education. I am hoping for the same type of results with my son. He is a great kid but has some struggles we now have to overcome as a result. I hope this will make a difference in him and maybe in the future we will have him back in school if it works well for him.

  2. Nichole McGhie says:

    I don’t home school, but it is something I have thought a lot about. The school my son started out in was a horrible school and while my son got wonderful teachers, I felt like he was just being pushed along and not challenged. We ended up moving to a new area and a new school and he is doing much much better. Homeschooling is still something I’m thinking about though.

  3. Welcome to the dark side! Bwahahahaha
    Kidding! Homeschooling is great. My oldest was in PS for prek and k and it just wasn’t working for him. He just doesn’t learn like the average kid. He doesn’t fit the mold. I have no doubt my youngest would make good grades in PS, but I just prefer to keep them home and raise out of the box thinkers with lots of creativity!

    1. you know, it is funny you say the dark side because based on some peoples reactions, it seems they think I am going to the dark side too! LOL!

  4. I began homeschooling 10 years ago for the same reasons you mentioned. Our oldest had been in public school to start with, K-1, and we ended up pulling her out and putting her in a private Christian school because her teacher was verbally abusive–I witnessed it first hand when’s helped outs class. The Christian school was a good one, however, I felt that once she came out each day, I was undoing all the negative influence she had been soaking in all day long. I prayed about it and felt God clearly showing me to bring her home, and here I am 10 years later, and I love homeschooling my kids! Sure, we have hard days, but we all have hard days,no matter what we do.