"TRAIN up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
- Proverbs 22:6
- Proverbs 22:6
First Year To Home School
I taught public school for 10 years. My husband is still a public school teacher. My sister, several cousins, several aunts and uncles, and a lot of my friends are public school teachers or administrators. So you can imagine the shock when I announced that I was going to resign my position to home school my boys. So I want to share my experience with how people reacted and our experience doing home school for the first time.
It was an equal reaction to people being in favor or home schooling or being against it. The common reactions to those that were against it were the following:
"Kids need school to socialize." I can honestly tell you that forced socialization that occurs at school is not always the best thing. Yes, while kids are in a classroom they often have to work in groups and talk. Learning to work well with others is a good thing. But if the teacher is utilizing the classroom time well, then there really shouldn't be much idle time to "socialize". At my kid's elementary school, they had assigned seating at lunch so socialization is "forced" because kids are not seating next to their friends. Upper grades, or "testing grades", do not always get to go to recess where most of the socializing takes place. In contrast, while it is true that at home your kids do not socialize with others, they do have opportunities for it. We joined a few home school groups on facebook. So we have school 4 days per week and 1 day is reserved for "field trips". Once per week we go on a field trip with one of the groups we belong to. This gives the kids an opportunity to socialize at a more casual level and learn at the same time. My 6th grader was a very timid, insecure boy when I pulled him out of public school. He would never go up to people he didn't already know to strike up a conversation. Even when we were visiting family and friends, he would not go up to them right away. He would stay near me for a good while until he warmed up to going over to play with the rest of the kids. Now that we home school, his confidence has skyrocket and he is a completely different kid. We go to field trips and he goes up to new people and talks with them!
"I could never spend all day with my kids, they'd drive me crazy!" Well I can't help you there. We love spending time together. I don't know if its because I worked through all of my pregnancies and only took the minimum of 45 days for maternity leave. Maybe my boys craved and needed their mom so they love spending all day with me. And perhaps I can't get enough of my boys because I missed out on their early milestones that I can never get back. So yes, we love spending all day together!
"How would you know that you are teaching all that they need to know?" Besides the fact that I am a certified teacher with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, there are plenty of curriculum already made and easy to follow. You do NOT need to have a college degree to be able to effectively home school your children. You can do it! There are enough FREE resources and curriculum available to guide you. There are also a ton of boxed curriculum that you can buy, that give you step-by-step and day-by-day instructions.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of my friends and family were very supportive of my decision to home school my kids. I received a lot of encouragement and prayers.
"Individualized instruction." This is the greatest benefit to home school. My 6th grader would always be bored at school because he had to wait on the rest of the class to finish an assignment in math or science. But he was a struggling reader and writer and always needed more time. My 1st grader struggles to focus and sit still. He is a visual and hands-on learner. I am able to give them their lessons that are tailored to their individual needs and at their own pace.
Why did I decide to home school?
I honestly feel that this is the direction that God wants me to take. I am not claiming that I have ever heard God speak to me. I'm not saying that I don't believe that God speaks to people, I personally have never experienced it. But I do believe that God gives me signs and sends me messages through people. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined myself doing this. I used to be vocal about being AGAINST home schooling, which makes me laugh now. But God put it in my heart. And I fought against the idea. And every objection that I had, that no one even knew I had, God would resolve it. Even though my objections were resolved, I was still not 100% on board. Until my son started having trouble with bullies at school. And even after taking every step necessary in dealing with this issue, it still left my son very insecure and he hated going to school. So that was my last straw and said "okay, I'm doing this!"
My husband and I were in agreement that our kids would never go to public school for high school, and possibly middle school. We both worked in public high school and knew too much. The plan was always to put them in private school. So when I felt called to home school, my husband was very supportive. Our main obstacle was our financial situation, which like I mentioned before, God took care of. Also, if I'm going to be transparent about all of this, I do want to add that I was also getting to a point in my teaching career that I was "burnt out". I needed a change of scenery I guess. So home schooling my kids gives me the best of both worlds. I am still a teacher and I also get to be with my own kids all day. God is great!
I am a Jesus loving wife, mom of 2 boys, and their homeschool teacher. We strive to live a Joy and Valor life, all for the glory of God. The journey is not always easy, but it is well worth it. With this website, I will share our journey, things that I've learned along the way, and anything that may be useful to empower you to be the best version of yourself.