I considered homeschooling my children even before I had children. When I was growing up, school was very hard for me. I was such a shy and timid little girl that I only wanted to be home with my mom, so it was a daily struggle for her to get me up, dressed, and out the door. I literally don’t remember one day that I didn’t cry for my mom during my kindergarten year. This was pretty much the norm for me up until about the 7th grade.
I know that my parents considered homeschooling me, but at the time, homeschooling wasn’t what it is today. It was not a popular option back then and the resources were not near as prevalent as they are today.
By the time that I had children of my own, I had pretty much decided that I was incapable of homeschooling and the idea of me taking on that responsibility terrified me. I mean really, the thought of being the sole person responsible for my kids’ education and whether or not they succeeded in life was not something that I leapt for joy over. The fear was REAL!
So when my son, Justin, got to preschool age, I enrolled him in pre-k. It was one of the hardest times on my life. Having to put this little dude on the bus, most of the time crying, broke my heart, but that is life, right? We made it through. My daughter, Jaylee, who was two years younger than Justin, was the complete opposite. She was outgoing, made friends with everyone and wasn’t quite stuck to me like Justin was. She loved school, as much as you can love school. I mean really, who loves school? Anyways, she was my easier child, as far as that goes.
It wasn’t until halfway through Justin’s second grade year that he started falling behind with his reading. He had a fantastic second grade teacher but halfway through that year, she went on maternity leave, how dare her, I know, right? This change in the middle of the school year really threw Justin for a loop. Despite all of this, he managed to go on to the third grade. He was put in extra reading classes and was missing out on Drama class, Library day, P.E., and Music in order for him to get this extra reading help.
He was passing each grade by the skin of his nose and then was still needing the extra classes so when this was still going to continue in the 5th grade I decided then that it was time to try something different. He was frustrated and still hated school. He wasn’t getting any down time during school, and when he got home he had so much homework and reading he needed to do that by the time he was done with all of it, it was bedtime. It was a vicious, never ending cycle that had to stop.
By that time my daughter was having enough issues of her own with other children that she was all for homeschooling as well. Everyone was on board.
The fear never went away really. The anxieties of making the life changing commitment was overwhelming but it was worth the risk to help my kids. So we dove in, head first, after many, many nights of prayer and discussion between my husband and I. I was fortunate enough to already know a couple of people who homeschooled. I don’t know what I would’ve done without their support and guidance. I also had a family that was very supportive, which was huge! If you don’t get anything else from this article, get this… surround yourself with supportive, positive people. Don’t get me wrong, I had people who didn’t agree with our decision and they made a point to let me know it, but if you only focus on the negative, you will miss out on so many amazing opportunities that this life has to offer.
My only regret with this whole experience is that I didn’t do it sooner. I hate that I doubted myself so much that it kept me in my little safe box and kept me from growing and taking on new and exciting challenges. I know I have grown so much these past two years and my kids have as well. We just finished up year two of homeschooling and I am excited to get started on year 3.
I still get anxious. I still have days that I wonder what I was thinking and if this really is the right path for us, but then I remember why I started in the first place. I remind myself of the awesome moments when my child finally grasped a new concept and we got to celebrate it together. With God’s guidance and grace I know that there will be many more moments of joy to share with my children and husband as we continue this journey together. May God bless your journey as well.