Sunday, May 17, 2015

Homeschooling: Why?

We are finishing our FIRST year of homeschool this month!
I survived!
I was challenged a ton, but I also had a ton of fun. I think the kids did, too.
Even on days where my patience failed me, they still wanted to be home with me!
I know I have a lot to learn, but I wanted to dedicate a few posts as to why/how we homeschool.  I love reading these posts on other blogs, and they have helped me learn a lot.

Field trip to the pumpkin patch in October!

  I have read a lot of Christian blogs about homeschooling, and many people will say they felt "called" to homeschool. I think this "calling" is the Spirit telling you that this is what you should be doing right now. For me, it was a little seed that grew and grew once it was planted! 

    Cash and Cosette attended a Montessori school last year that was pretty great. 18 kids per class, a full-time aid, monthly field trips...About halfway through the year, I noticed that Cash's teacher was pretty fed up with him.  He was getting in trouble every day for "wiggling" during circle time and got his recess taken away often (resulting in more wiggling...)
  In April, he got banned from further field trips after his class went to the beach to look at tide pools and he *gasp* climbed a rock and kicked at a wave (apparently, this was a "look-but-don't-touch" beach trip that they had bussed three hours to.
  Yes, Cash definitely needs to work on his behavior, but I could also tell that he was not thriving at all in his classroom. It was Montessori, but there was little handiwork involved.  His teacher mentioned several times that she did not understand how to blend Common Core and Montessori. She told us she had to cut out a poetry unit and lots of p.e. to fit her lessons in, and that did not sit right with me.

Cosette, on the other hand, had an excellent teacher and really thrived...except she had a meltdown every day after school. The schools here start at 7:40, so we had to wake the kids up by 6:30 to get everyone ready to go in time...which was no fun.

I began having lots of anxiety about keeping my kids at public school, since Cosette would have Cash's teacher the next year, which would not be a good fit for her. 

I read a few books about homeschooling over the summer, and it sounded really appealing to me.  Still, I thought I would try them at a regular school in September, since it was my old elementary school and didn't think it was too bad. It was bad. 
My anxiety rushed back, and I just knew that they were supposed to be home with me. I asked them if they wanted to try it, and they were totally on board.  I wouldn't be yelling at them to find their shoes every morning? Yes, please!

I applied to a homeschool charter school and got accepted within two weeks, even though I was #75 on the waiting list. I had to have an interview about why I wanted to homeschool, and I found my answers were simple:
1.) I wanted my kids to have lots of poetry and art, which they weren't getting in regular school.

2.) I did not agree with waking children up at all, especially at 6:30 every morning.
3.) My kids deserved the opportunity to go at their own pace with learning.
4.) Learning should be fun! It should not be "must show principal that I am teaching common core standards CS2.1.1." or "we're supposed to cover American History until 5th grade.

So that's it. That's why we're homeschooling :) How we are homeschooling is definitely a work in progress, but we're getting there!


Pink Panda said...

Awesome, Amy! Good job!! I'm so proud of you!!

Larissa Nelson said...

Seriously Amy so proud of you too for surviving your first year of home school and with two wee ones too! You rock and are an inspiration! I am glad you found peace with your decision and I know it will be hard work but glad you are on the path you want and your kids are thriving!