Sometimes, when I run into people we went to school with (or, anyone for that matter), they will ask me about homeschooling. It is usually in the form of “How’s THAT going?!?”, like instead of teaching our kids at home, we decided to build Frankenstein’s monster and they are afraid…(It’s ALIVE!). I answer them honestly.
“It’s going great. The kids are happy with the change, and so are we.”
After the shock wears off, the person might say, “Well, you’re a better person than me. I could NEVER do it.”
Want the truth? I didn’t think we could do it either, which is why both of my children had been enrolled in school until April of this year, when my husband and I reached the conclusion that we’d had enough.
Enough crying and begging not to go to school.
Enough arbitrary rules, like how long or short someone’s hair could be. And, without even breaking that rule, enough commentary from the teacher about our child needing a haircut (she voiced this in front of other students, who then deemed it appropriate to also tell him he needed a haircut.)
Enough telling my very intelligent child that, while he did fine in school, he needed to be more organized.
Enough talking to administration with no changes.
Enough getting up early and telling everyone to hurry up.
Enough frustration, aggravation, and anger.
Guess what? ANYONE can homeschool given the right attitude, support, and tools. Chances are, you just don’t want to AND THAT IS OKAY. What you do with your child’s education is entirely your business, as is our right to homeschool. It’s what’s working for us. It’s the change we needed. And we’re doing fine.
Yes, it gets challenging being together ALL the time. Yes, the adults get frustrated sometimes when there are groans when it’s time to start working. Yes, there are days when we don’t get in everything that we’d like to do. But that’s okay too. It’s a learning process for all of us. It’s tweaking what we thought would work and making it into something that does work. It’s getting to know your children and understanding them fully, in a way that wouldn’t work in a classroom-not because it’s not desired, but sheer numbers don’t allow for this. And no teacher, no matter how qualified or educated, knows our children as well as we do.
No, my kids haven’t turned into mutants that are unable to communicate with anyone outside of our household. They still have friends in droves. No, they’re not falling behind and not learning anything. No, they don’t need a certified teacher to guide them-only people that love them and want the best for them. No, we’re not worried that they’ll never go to college. No, we don’t let them do whatever they want all day long (but when they’ve completed their school day, they can play/draw/explore freely). No, the TV doesn’t babysit them (but we’re totally fine incorporating educational shows into our school day). And NO, we’re not worried about “socialization” (what the hell does that word even mean anyway?).
We are homeschoolers. I’m becoming more and more bold in that declaration. It’s not a bad/weird/wrong thing to do. We’re proud of the education that we’re able to give our kids. We all want what is best for our families. Our kids are not a science experiment. They are little people with feelings, opinions, and emotions. We are very lucky to be able to give our kids the opportunity to have this kind of education. I’m so glad that we listened to them and our intuition. Our children’s education is important enough to us, that’s it’s lead us down this path, and we’re all better for it.