I never thought in a million years that I would homeschool my children. I didn’t really know anyone who homeschooled. I always pictured homeschooling people as hippies living on a commune, or maybe people living in a religious cult inside a Doomsday bunker. When we joined our church in 2011, I was absolutely shocked to find that in sending our kids to public school we were in the minority! I was amazed by the women of my church, most of them with more than four children. The children were great…faithful, well-mannered, smart, socialized, athletic and accomplished. Their college-aged children had all gone on to great schools, with scholarships. I was impressed, but I always thought that homeschooling was something you had to start from the beginning, certainly before middle school.
Our youngest son, Cooper, started middle school last fall. The year started out fine, but then he got the flu, missed a week of school, and never caught back up. Cooper was not prepared for the attitude of a couple of his middle school teachers after what he was used to in elementary school. I knew I needed to do something, or his whole year would be a waste, and his spirit would be completely broken. I spent a week researching, evaluating curriculum choices, bit the bullet, and pulled him out of school at Christmas break to begin homeschooling him. I was terrified, but the women of my church were wonderful. They gave me both advice and curriculum…I could not have done it without them.
Now I feel like I know what I am doing…mostly. I have seen the changes, positive changes, in Cooper. He is so much more confident and secure in his abilities now. I am much more confident in my abilities now, too. I know how to be legal and organized. I know which educational philosophy is right for us, and which curriculums are the best fit. I know what records to keep and the best way to do it. I am actually considering homeschooling our high schooler next year.
I like the fact that I get to decide what my child is learning. I can use Christian textbooks. I can teach my kid my own values. I can teach difficult or easy subjects at my kid’s own pace. If my child struggles with an academic subject, he can progress more slowly without feeling like a failure. If he is exceptionally gifted in a subject, he can work ahead and finish early. Either way, he is making progress and can feel good about himself. I can encourage my child to be who God made him by including extra learning opportunities, mentorships, part-time jobs, and special trips. And one of the best parts: we spend less time homeschooling each day than I used to spend driving and sitting in car line!
Just because you want to homeschool, don’t think you have to do it all alone. If you think you can’t handle high school chemistry or calculus, you don’t have to. You can always use a homeschool co-op, or a tutor, an online class, or you and a friend can swap off teaching your kids the subjects you are most comfortable with. You can even send your teenager to a local college where he can earn college credit and high school credit at the same time. There are tons of options.
What about socialization? You can get plenty of that in the neighborhood, at church, playing sports…yes, sports! Most local homeschool co-ops have sports teams that actually play in real leagues, with private schools. My high school age son will be playing football this fall at the high school we are zoned for. Here in South Carolina you can participate in almost all extra-curricular activities. It is legal…all you have to do is fill out some forms.
When I meet someone new, and they find out I homeschool, I get one of two reactions. Either, “Oh, I do, too!” or “There is no way I would ever do that!”. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. I know that homeschooling is a weird, unnatural, and seemingly crazy concept to most people. It isn’t as terrifying as you think. Every day I realize more and more advantages to this unnatural way of life. It can really be a great experience for your child, and for you.
Sometimes I link to:
Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,Time Warp Wife, Chef In Training, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Holly’s Stamping Addiction, Serendipity and Spice, Homestead Revival
Tuesday: Bowl Full of Lemons, Organize & Decorate Everything, Primitive and Proper, homework, Tilly’s Nest, Elizabeth & Co., Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Project Queen, Sugar Bee Crafts, Time Warp Wife, Coastal Charm, The DIY Dreamer
Wednesday: House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, Ivy and Elephants, Someday Crafts, the 36th Avenue, Southern Lovely, seven thirty-three, Semi-Homemade Mom, The Real Housewives of Riverton, lil pink pocket, Stone Gable, No Minimalist Here, A Creative Princess
Saturday: Positively Splendid