This summer I am deciding if I’m going to unenroll my daughter from public school and homeschool her next year. But if you were to ask me for my answer today it would most definitely be yes. Yes I am.
I’ve told a handful of friends and my husband and the first question is always the same.
I have so many reasons. But the strongest one is because I want to. I’ve always had that option as a top choice in the back of my mind. All this time I’ve just been making excuses for why we should give traditional school a try.
So she could get socialization and make friends. Because I loved school. So I could get a break during the day.
I wanted to homeschool before my daughter started kindergarten but told myself she would be missing out if I didn’t let her go. Some of my friends told me kindergarten was so fun and I didn’t want to take that away from her.
But this year came and went and it was fun, I loved her teacher, loved her school, but like a brick wall on the last day of school it hit me in the face. This was fun. But I still want to homeschool. Public school certainly is a place she can do well. But just maybe not the best option.
It’s as if she has been a bird stuffed into a box lined up to 17 identical boxes. Sure, she can fit in too; but she’d do much better with the freedom outside of that box. It’s just the way the system is set up. And maybe learning how to conform to a system is important at some point but, she not even 6 yet. I think she will be ok to wait awhile.
Yea, but but WHY are you going to do this?
I feel like when you’re talking to a homeschooling parent we feel the natural desire to explain why we can’t, don’t, or won’t homeschool our own kids. When I’m describing the reasons for our choice it’s definitely not against anyone who chooses differently.
I’m a sucky school mom
If I’m being totally honest I feel like I sucked this year as a parent with a kid in school. I went to the parties and parent meetings in the evenings, I read the amazing 7 Mindsets book the school is using as a program, and I sent supplies and tried to keep up with other news. But I dropped the ball on so many things. Some silly (I forgot to order her field day shirt) others more serious (I didn’t realize she was having problems paying attention the last quarter). Then add in the fact that she missed quite a few days for family trips.–I’m a terrible mom. At least that’s what I told myself repeatedly this last school year.
I wasn’t exactly sure how hands on or hands off I could or should be in the classroom. I didn’t want to be distracting. But perhaps the more I was there the less distracting I would have been.
Maybe more time helping at the school would have made a difference. But it just wasn’t always plausible with my son and schedule.
Speaking of which…
At the beginning of the school year I thought the seven hours my daughter was away at school would mean lots of extra time for work. And since school started at a gruesome 7:25, she’d be home fairly early and we’d still have the rest of the afternoon to go out and do things.
The reality was by the time she got home, ate a second lunch did her homework, and whatnot, we were exhausted. Not including other after school activities like dance and girl scouts. We wound up dropping a dance class because she was not practicing or looking forward to it. Plus it’s more shuffling around during the day.
Counting the hustle and bustle of getting out the door and to school in the morning (which we were tardy an embarrassing 15 times-(but to my credit the 10 minute earlier time switch mid-year didn’t help)), the rushing to pick her up after getting her brother, and time spent on homework and projects in the evening, it’s about a 2-3 hour ordeal. That’s all the time we need to do a full homeschool day with one-on-one (or one-on-two) attention.
But really, HOW are you going to do this?
Honestly I’m still figuring this out. I still have a full-time workload and deadlines up the wazoo. But my husband is supportive of us giving it a go this summer then seeing how we feel come fall.
It may mean cutting back on work for me, or adjusting my schedule so that we have enough time for learning and trips in the morning, then the afternoons I’ll work on my projects and deadlines. But I’m ok giving up some spending money if it means I can make this a priority.
So you’re really serious?
As a heart attack! But I’m giving myself some grace. Time to have fun with it and test the waters this summer. A homeschooling friend of mine told me not to feel the need to dive right in, but just enjoy dipping my feet in for now. And that’s what I intend to do.
We’re still working out a routine and we are discovering new ways to learn different subjects. I’m researching like crazy, asking other homeschooling parents lots of questions, and toying with a free curriculum. I’m hoping summer is full of learning and fun, and that we can continue it right on into first grade at home.
It’s actually scary putting this out there and stating my feelings so strongly knowing there’s a possibility I’ll fail and send her back to school. But whenever I get into a deep conversation about deciding to homeschool my heart throbs and I get emotional. I feel like this is what I’m being lead to do. What I need to do. I just need to find a way to make it happen.