I’m probably the last woman you would expect to find homeschooling. For years I took my little one to the bus stop, smiled and waved from the sidewalk and then headed either to work (Cake decorator) or back home for a day of gardening, relaxing or socializing. I frequented spa’s, had lunch with friends and spent my afternoons shopping, and more than once it was commented to me that I lived the life of a debutant.
So when I made the announcement last February that I was going to begin homeschooling, effective immediately, my close friends and family thought I wouldn’t last. I would be giving up income, free time and sanity – 3 things I’m partial too. I admit I was worried as well but it was my sister Joan who kept me going. Her children have never attended public school, but they are bright, active and well-educated children.
People as me all the time, how did I make the decision, wasn’t I afraid?, how did I choose curriculum, etc. Mostly they tell me that they don’t think it will work for them because their children are to head strong. Um, hello – have you met my daughter?! All I can do is repeat what my sister said to me, “The hardest part of homeschooling, is just actually making the decision to do it” She was right, it took me 2 years to make that decision, and only a week for me to figure out How.
So here we are, another school year started at the kitchen table. The changes that have taken place since we began last year are incredible. She can read, and read with confidence. When she is interested in a topic we just keep running with it, the time doesn’t matter. We conduct science experiments and take walks in woods. What better way to study a tree than IN one? When she is struggling with a concept I can give her a hug and help her through it, and when she’s tired and having a bad day I can be there with her. We begin each morning with devotions, that alone is worth the effort to home school.
We bought a family membership to the YMCA, and she spends lots of time socializing with other kids in their programs. She has taken aerobics, karate, jujitsu, cooking, drama and ballet. Since the memberships are universal we can attend any branch and their programs, and with 5 YMCA’s in our area it makes for some great variety! We are also part of 2 Christian home school groups – one of them meets once a month for field trips (police station tour, canoe lessons, etc) and the other is weekly, a 3 hour drop off for gym/art and time with other children.
We have also become closer, and she has become more respectful, responsible and self-confident. I’m grateful that she spent the first few years in a public school because I think it was good for her, but even now as I write this, she’s sitting on the couch quietly completing her math assignments. I look at her and she amazes me. What a blessing it is for me to be able to have all the parts of her childhood.