The Decision to Homeschool

I haven’t advertised the fact that In August we made the decision to homeschool my son. I haven’t kept it a secret either. I’ve mentioned it in conversations or when people ask where my son attends school, but I have to admit that I’m only now not reluctant to admit it. I’m not sure why. I’m confident in our decision to homeschool, and for the most part, I couldn’t care less what people think, but I am fully aware of the stigma attached to homeschooling.

My husband and I had talked about homeschooling off and on for a while, always thinking, maybe we’d do it someday. Someday came when Xander was approaching middle school. Middle school is tough; I’m sure we can all remember those difficult transition years, but that wasn’t our reason behind the decision. You see, as a teacher, I can’t help but to be a tough critic of other teachers. I truly believe that the majority of teachers do the best they possibly can for each student who enters their classroom, but experience has shown me that that’s not always the case. I’ve worked with teachers who didn’t put every bit of energy into their school day, and unfortunately, my son has been a student in those same types of classrooms. I clearly remember sitting across from a teacher in a parent-conference and realizing by the teacher’s vague comments how little she really knew about my child. A different teacher, a different year, in yet another conference, talked about my son’s lack of focus (yup, I’d known that since his 3rd birthday). She said sometimes he sat daydreaming for nearly an hour, without working. She explained that she had 22 other students and did not have time to redirect him, so he needed to learn to stay focused.

I could go on with our negative experiences, but let’s fast forward to Summer 2014. I’m a teacher by nature. Whether it’s teaching adults or pre-k kids, or my own kiddos, it’s what I do, but giving up my full-time teaching position was not an option for me. I’m so very lucky to have a husband who stepped up wanted and to homeschool my son. I’ll admit I was reluctant, but he was not. “I Can Do It” he confidently told me. With help from a friend, lots of research, and a 30 minute Homeschool Information Session, our decision was made and we jumped right in. It hasn’t been easy, not by a longshot, but after 6 months we’re confident that this is what is best for our son. It’s been lots of trial and error, and lots of worrying that we’re not getting it right, but I’ve come to realize that those worries will always be lingering. I worry constantly that I’m not doing the very best for my children, and I have the same worries in the classroom when it comes to my students, but age and experience have taught me that those worries are not a bad thing – they keep me striving to be better.

Our days are long and stressful. I spend my day with a group of rambunctious four and 5 year olds, come home to a 14 month old who has an endless amount of energy, and a son often wanting my help with a lesson from the day. My hubby spends his days chasing MJ around, teaching Xander, and running a business. We’re tired, but we’re content.