My husband and I have been homeschooling our son since he was in 1st grade, and he is now in 4th grade. We made the decision to homeschool our son for several reasons. We were not happy with the elementary school in our town. They seemed very unorganized, and the quality of education seemed lacking. Our son was only enrolled in 1/2 day kindergarten for one year before we pulled him out of the public school system. In that one year, at such a young age our son had already been bullied. Our son has an easy going personality, and is eager to please others so he became a target. We also knew we wanted to give our son a Christian education, and that wasn’t going to be possible in the public school. We looked into private school options, but the cost and travel involved wouldn’t work for our family. We are very lucky to have work schedules that allow one of us to be home at all times, so we looked into homeschooling. We found an affordable option, that offered a Christian education that would also provide an actual diploma if we stayed with the plan through high school. We also have an affiliation with a school, that helps with grading his work and provides report cards for us. This program has worked very well for us so far.
The first few years were pretty uneventful and successful, but this year has been tough. I was out of work with an injury from 12/2013 to 3/2015 with multiple injury related appointments weekly, and I discovered I was pregnant in January of 2014 too. My medical history requires close monitoring during pregnancy, so there were sometimes 2 pregnancy related appointments per week also. We struggled to get through our school routine, but the freedom homeschooling gives made it so that I never had to worry about scheduling appointments around the school day. Some days we had school in the evening, and on super busy days we skipped school. I love that we can choose what days to take off. We usually have school on the weekend since that is when my husband works, and have every Tuesday off as a family. We try to take another day off weekly, but that day varies. It depends on what errands we need to run, or how busy we are taking care of household duties and such. We are finally getting back into a school routine this year since I have returned to work and only have 1 appointment weekly related to my injury. We were afraid that we would be working on school in July this year at the rate we were going, but we have made up some ground and are looking forward to finishing up in May or early June. Having a new baby in the house has been quite the challenge when it comes to homeschooling our son. The baby always needs attention during school hours. There have been times when my son has to get away from the screaming to concentrate, or be patient while I have to nurse the baby in the middle of a lesson. I am so proud of the way my son has handled being a big brother and student at the same time. He has wanted a sibling for a very long time, and has been aware of the multiple pregnancy losses I have had. He is such a loving and supportive child. He is a great big brother too. He is excited to be able to teach his little brother everything he knows. 😉
Having a baby and a homeschooled child can be exhausting, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. I know that I would be much more rested if I sent my son to public school, but I know exactly what he is learning here. I am able to give extra attention when he struggles, and explore in more detail the subjects he excels in. I also have control of what he is exposed to, and don’t have to worry about him being bullied, or being taught false information. We don’t shelter him from the world, but we are in control of how he learns about the negative things in this world. We are teaching him how to make healthy choices, and what kinds of things can lead to people making bad decisions. We are just trying to give our children the best start in life, and the tools they need to succeed.
My husband and I are products of the public school system, and are shocked every year to discover things we were not taught in public school. It is a wonderful gift to be able to learn so much about our world and country as we homeschool. My husband and I work separate days, so we don’t get to homeschool our son together very often. When we do, it is such a blessing. If you feel like the public school system is not offering enough for your child/children I highly recommend homeschooling if you can work it out. There are so many resources available to use, and it is a blessing to be with your child as they learn and grow. Don’t worry about socialization either, since there are a multitude of programs to get kids interacting. My son is one of the most outgoing, social people I have ever known. It is quite unexpected since my husband and I are rather shy and don’t push him to be social. 😉
I just felt like I should share this today, because you might be on the fence about homeschooling. You might think it is too hard, or that you don’t know enough to teach a child what they need to succeed, but you can do it! I am not the best teacher when it comes to certain subjects… like grammar and spelling, but that is when I lean on my husband’s abilities or rely on the resources available. I feel that we need to get more involved with teaching our children even if it isn’t by homeschooling. If homeschooling isn’t for you, please make sure you review what your children are being taught, and correct any false teaching you come across. I use a curriculum for my son that might have a few beliefs that I don’t agree with 100%, but I am right here to share my views and values with him. We are given the gift of having children, and need to do our best to ensure they have everything they need in this life. We should not just trust that our kids are getting all they need when we send them off to school.