I never considered homeschooling, ever. I honestly thought that all kids, once they turned five wen to public school. Yes, I knew a few 'fringe parents' who homeschooled but it was not in the cards for us.
I had my first, second, and third baby and then my first was ready for pre-school. I remember being so very proud to sign him for that first day of school. I went in to meet the teacher, who was great and signed up on the parent volunteer sheet. Then the big day came and he got on the little bus and headed off to school. He seemed happy and the rest of the house was happy and then my sweet little boy came home. I'm going to be totally honest here, he came home a little hellion. What happened to my sweet boy? Did someone hurt him? Were the other kids bad examples? No!! He was just plain over tired from a half day away and was so very good in school he let it all out when he got home.
At first I thought he would get used to it and the end of the day would get better. It did not. It got worse. Instead of just the end of the day tantrum he started to have before school tantrums. He would literally hide under a chair before school, because he did not want to go. Of course I made him go, after all that's what good mothers do right? I talked to his teacher to see exactly what was going on at school, but there was nothing going on. She said that he was one of the very best students in the class and she enjoyed him very much. She said he was polite, kind, and shared the toys.
Right around that same time I met a few homeschoolers that did not seem so on the 'fringe' to me. They were just normal run of mill parents trying to do what they thought was best for their families. I watched them for awhile and then I talked to them about homeschooling. I wanted to know what they really thought about their kids being home all the time, if it was hard teaching their kids, and of course I wanted to know about socialization.
They were kind and considerate and answered my questions without condemnation or judgement. They claimed to love having their kids home, but yes there were tough days. Yes, some days were hard teaching but seeing their children reach milestones was so worth it. As for the big 'S', they encouraged me not to worry about that. After all I had a total of four kid 6 and under, there was lots of socialization going on.
I began to pray about it.
The more I prayed the more I wanted to try it, but yet I was still reluctant.
Then one night I was watching 20/20, it was a special about bulling and violence in the public schools. I remember laying on the couch and watching the terrible stuff that some kids do and how hurt the kids were that it affected. One of the clips was about a little boy who brought a gun to school, basically to terrorize another student. This was elementary school for pete sakes!!
I told the Lord right then and there that if I ever heard about something like that here in our small community then I would certainly homeschool.
Be careful what you say to the God of the universe!
The very next week I was reading the weekly paper and right on the front page was a story about an elementary school student bringing a gun to school!! Now we live in a very rural community, so guns are no uncommon but a little boy bringing one to school was unheard of! No one got hurt, he just wanted to show it off to his friends, but that is not the point. The point is that I knew right then and there that I had to homeschool.
I talked to my husband that very night and this is pretty much what I said word for word:
"Honey, I think I want to homeschool Max. I will homeschool him over the summer and teach him to read. If I can't teach him to read then I'll put him in Kindergarten. What do you think?"
His answer was so fast and so simple it startled me, he said okay.
I was dumbfounded!!
Once the official decision was made I knew Max had to leave the pre-school class. Mainly because in the spring they start to introduce the children to their Kindergarten teacher and show them their new class. I didn't want to confuse him, so I talked to the teacher and took him out the very next week. His teacher was extremely nice about it and said that if she could she would homeschool her own children. The only thing she was concerned about was that we were not happy with her as teacher. I told her that absolutely was not the case, she was a great teacher and we all appreciated her very much.
Well, this blog post has gotten longer then I anticipated. Let me end by saying two graduates and fourteen years later I am so happy we made the decision to homeschool. I have nothing against public schools, but for us homeschooling is what's best for our family.
I would love to hear how you decided to homeschool, please feel free to write your own post and make sure to come back here with your link.