“Have you ever thought about homeschooling your children?”
Was this a trick question?
I normally hear lots of negativity about homeschooling.
Why is this doctor asking me this type of question?
I just brought my children here for a checkup.
He then proceeds to tell me that my children interact so well together and with him during conversation. Also, they are so well behaved and whatever I have been doing with my children to keep it up.
He continued by saying that he “would just hate for the public school system to corrupt them.”
Talk about mixed feelings….
I was completely honored, confused, glowing with pride, and slightly insulted about being interrogated on the choices I am making for my children’s education.
I then immediately had a six year flashback
You see, I too have my fears.
I do not want my children to be raised by people of this world with their doctrines and ungodly views on life.
I do not want my children to go through school with this “common core” idea of thinking.
It’s not normal for all children to be on the same level as everyone else. It’s not normal to judge a teacher on his/her ability to teach based on whether or not a child decides to actually try hard on a test or if they are even good test takers.
I get all of these things.
For these reasons, I tried to homeschool.
Please let me start by saying….
homeschooling is not for the weak.
There should be a caution sign attached in bold colors with a long discretion and side effects section.
After my oldest went through Pre-K I signed him up for a state funded K-12 homeschooling lesson plan. I had in my mind that this homeschool thing would go by smoothly because I had been provided all the curriculum and a teacher that we scheduled to interact with online.
Yes, I said smoothly.
Boy was I wrong.
Smoothly has now transformed into a completely new adjective directed toward the noun homeschool.
Let’s try using roughly.
Or better yet, let us use the phrase extremely chaotic and stressful process which feels akin to drowning in a large lake while grasping for non-existent floaties.
Yes that is how I would describe our homeschooling experience.
You see I have four children, all a year apart with April birthdays, accept the youngest, she’s a September baby. So if you can use your imagination for just a moment to examine my circumstances, you may see I was setting myself up for failure.
At that particular moment my children’s ages were somewhere around 5, 4, 3, 2. The youngest being potty trained, a 3 year old being a 3 year old, the 4 year old being taken back and forth from pre-k, and my easily distracted 5 year old, Parker.
I began looking over the curriculum before the school year started. I was provided with lots of materials including phonics, reading, math, science and social studies. There was a lesson in each of these subjects every day, we were expected to log on live with his teacher and other students several times a week. We were also expected to log in so many hours of physical education every week.
As the school year began, I soon realized that the lesson plans given were way more than he would be expected to do during a normal public school day!
My schedule was very stressful.
I would begin my days making breakfast for my children and scooting my 4 year old out the door to catch the bus to her Pre-K class. I would then have to clean up after breakfast and put a load or two in the laundry because after all, my life couldn’t be put on hold because of Parker’s schooling, I had to squeeze these things in somewhere.
Parker’s studies began early. I felt Parker needed to still maintain a scheduled schooling experience to help prepare him for the real world. Soon, however, I realized that the strict schedules we were having to endure were almost impossible for my family to accomplish.
I had two other children at home who needed my attention. While I was in near tears trying to help Parker understand the basics of Phonics I was having to neglect my other children for the majority of the day until his schooling was complete.
Most days we struggled through his school work until my husband came home in the evenings and I was unable to provide food on the table when he came home. We were experiencing long trying days and late suppers.
After a few months of this ongoing trial and being hit by the realization that Parker was getting behind, I placed him back in the public school system. You see I couldn’t offer Parker the help and the classroom setting he desperately needed
I felt like a failure, an unfit mom.
Why can so many other mom’s succeed in this? Where did I go wrong???
I’m sure there’s someone out there that’s been through this before, right?
Many times I have reflected on other families and compared my situation to their’s. However, a lot of families, especially us moms, only let others see what we want them to see.
Since that time in my life I have discovered that there are several home school moms who do not even get out of bed until noon before starting schooling. Homes are being unkempt, children are being neglected, many days go by without any schooling progress and then they will have “catch up days”.
I am not saying this is everyone’s home school experience all around. There are some awesome parents that are really rocking this home school thing and kudos to them. What I am getting at though is that EVERYONE has their own struggles. Some more than others.
While I know there are a lot of benefits to homeschooling and it can be wonderful, there can be hindrances in a child’s development if the job is not being taken serious.
At that point in my life I was not able to succeed with Parker’s schooling. I am not saying homeschooling is completely out of the question for the future but he had a lot of maturing to do.
In my case, putting him back in the school system was the best thing I could have done for him. He was underdeveloped in his maturity level as I had just mentioned and his reading comprehension required the help of professionals who have a ton more resources than I did.
See, I beat myself up thinking it was my fault but all in all he required more attention to certain aspects in his learning.
Eventually, I was given the opportunity to hold him back a grade and it was the best decision I could have made with his schooling.
He is now making decent grades and he received Math medals last year. He has also been on student counsel for the last two years and is excited about school.
I am not a fan of common core.
I worry about the things that my children are faced with on a daily basis. There are many temptations in this life that they will be faced with. I cannot shield them from everything.
I can, however, PRAY.
Prayer is our best defense.
One day our children will grow up and enter the real world. I do not want them ill equipped without the knowledge of what life has to offer them. They will ultimately have to make life choices and the only thing we can do is trust in God that what we have taught them will be rooted and grounded in their hearts and they will take those things with them and cultivate them. I pray they will grow into wonderful Christian men and women one day.
So yes….I have thought about homeschooling our children.
This was just our experience.
I would love to hear yours.