I’m in complete shock, I think. We are beginning our SIXTH year of homeschooling. How? How did this even happen? I just have no idea. It’s interesting to look back and think about how, when and where we started.
Jason wasn’t too keen on the homeschooling idea. When he was in school, it was all about him and his friends. I’m not going to lie, I was very similar. I guess that’s why we’re a match made in heaven, eh? Ha ha ha. Sorry, back to topic. In his mind, you didn’t have as many opportunities as a public schooler, if you homeschooled. I think, too, that deep down he felt like it had to be a professional teaching. I mean, they do go to college for 4+ years to be teacher, right? So how on earth will WE (us degree-less folk) be able to properly educate our children?
Well, like a good friend in NY told me, A) you take it one day at a time and B) if we can’t teach our children, at the very least, elementary education, then maybe we should reconsider homeschooling. I mean, how easy can you get? ELEMENTARY school stuff? I think I may have been stumped a time or two, but on a whole, it’s been pretty simple. 😉
But seriously. Look at it like this. Who knows your child the best? You OR the new-never met before-who’ll only get to know him for one year teacher he’ll get? I’m betting you know your child better than anyone. Just a wild guess, you know. You know his strengths and weaknesses. You know that instead of waiting until he’s six b/c he missed the cutoff date, that he can start kindergarten a year ‘early.’ You know that he might not do so well if you start him at 5 for K, so you’ll wait until he’s 6. You know that he LOVES science, so you can gear his education toward a more science based curriculum.
In the public schools, I’m sorry, but the schools are one- size-fits-all. Furthermore, they teach to the test. Why? Why would you spend an entire year of prime teaching time to teach to the test? Don’t they know there’s more wonderful knowledge out there aside from what’s JUST on the test? Sigh. I’m not going to get into why I dislike the public school system, though. I’m kind of digressing here. Ha ha.
Anyway, Jason had ended up okaying my homeschooling them, but only through middle school. Once they hit high school age, he wanted them in some sort of school system (public or private) SO, I started on my homeschooling journey. I don’t even remember how I felt about it. I remember it was tiring and frustrating but I could see the rewards already. I taught my Zachary to read in just 6 weeks! I couldn’t believe it! I think that’s all it took. Jason was sold, hook, line and sinker after that.
I will say, I was very intimidated to homeschool in NY. They had pretty strict rules to follow. By June 30th, we had to send in our letter of intent stating who was teaching and what kids were being taught along w/ their birthdays and grade levels. Once that was sent into the superintendent of the school system, they would send back this huge package on the laws of NY and some paperwork we’d have to fill out. So then I’d have to sit down and fill out what’s called the Individualized Home Instruction Plan. I don’t even remember exactly how it went… but I had to state when I’d send in quarterly reports, list our curriculum, blah blah blah blah… It was all very frustrating. Of course there’s more, but that’s all behind me, dontcha know!? Ha ha. BUT – I was willing to jump through the hoops to homeschool my kiddos and you know, it wasn’t all THAT hard. I made it through. Now I’m in North Carolina where I just have to send one notice of intent in and test them once a year. Though, I don’t have to send in the test scores. If they want to see them, they have to come to me. 😉
I think one of the most challenging things about my first through third year of homeschooling, was that Jason was on recruiting duty for the Marine Corps. If you’re in the USMC or you’re married to it, you must know what I mean. Even if you haven’t experienced it, you’ve at least heard about it. It was a very hard duty where Jason was very scarce. It wasn’t his fault. If he had his choice, he’d have been home by 6 every single night and not work on Saturdays. But what can you do? So generally speaking, I was on my own with the kids for three years.
I think the Lord blessed my family immensely throughout our first three years of homeschooling, I really do. I think if I can homeschool through all of that, then I can homeschool no matter what. I have every confidence, in the Lord, to homeschool for the rest of my life… and boy do I LOVE it!
And here we are today, about to embark on our sixth year. Wow. Thank you Jesus!