Why this topic, you ask? Let me give you a little history and maybe then you’ll understand why this topic is now coming up.
I was almost always a straight ‘A’ student throughout my elementary school years. Every club and every sports opportunity that was presented, I took advantage of it. There is nothing that I hated about school but there are things that I disliked (and that I still dislike) about the public school system. I don’t have any personal experience with being homeschooled as a child. I am a product of the public school system and proud of it. So, you may ask what gave me the desire to do something so outrageous as homeschooling my own children?
Ever since my children were little I’ve known that I wanted to homeschool them. I even went as far as homeschooling my older girls who are now ages 11 and 9 years old and heading to 6th and 4th grades this school year. The only reason I stopped homeschooling was because of going through my divorce and having to work more often, which left me with very little time and energy to even think about continuing to homeschool. On top of that, I couldn’t see how anyone, including me, could realistically homeschool their children while also being the sole provider.
However, the desire to homeschool never went away. In fact, it has only gotten stronger over the years. Although the thought of working from home “full-time” takes me completely out of my comfort zone, I truly believe that God is giving me the grace to be able to homeschool my children again, and for good this time. I am still struggling with whether or not to continue to send my older girls to school, since they have been doing well in that environment, but we’ll see.
My 9-year old has struggled to stay afloat in the public school environment since she is more of a kinesthetic learner and needs to touch things and move around often in order to truly learn a particular subject and they just don’t allow for that in most schools. Also, she has already experienced her fair share of being bullied so that is another reason for my concern with sending her back to school this year. However, instead of making my children’s decisions for them, I usually talk to them (especially the older ones) and I let them have a voice in how we proceed in most, if not all, situations. This will be no different. If they stay in school it will be because they are prepared to stay and because we feel it is the better choice for them at this time.
Homeschooling, to me, is more than just being able to teach my children of our Christian values. It is being able to have my children learn in ways that really allow them to master a subject and not merely just memorize the correct answers for a test. I don’t care what anyone says, many of us adults can barely remember algebra or even what an adjective is. And when our 3rd graders bring home their homework and expect us to help them with it, we sometimes have to Google what ‘this is’ and what ‘that is’. That’s ludicrous in my opinion! It also shows that we learned things merely to pass various tests and never really mastered MOST of the subjects “taught” to us.
I am by no means saying that there aren’t great teachers in the public school system, because I believe my children and I have been blessed to have some of the best teachers this world has to offer. I am just saying that public school does not work for everyone. Likewise, homeschooling is not something that will work for every child or family. I do think we must weigh the pro’s and con’s of these major decisions and truly understand how each could affect our children’s and our family’s lives.
Either way it goes I am prepared to step into the role of a single, homeschooling parent. Although I rarely see or hear about single parents taking on this role, I believe that when God calls us to do something He also equips us with the tools we need to do it, period. With His grace and leading I know that everything will work out fine.