Why We Started Homeschooling
I wish I could tell you that homeschooling was always something in my heart. I wish I could tell you that I started homeschooling because I wanted more time with my kids, I wanted to guide my children and give them an education they could never get in a brick and mortar school.
No. I was afraid I wasn't patient enough. I was afraid I would ruin their lives. I was afraid they would fight endlessly and I would end up in a mental hospital.
The reason we started homeschooling? FEAR.
Yes, isn't horrible? I long to be able to say that our homeschooling journey started out of something much more pleasant. And if you have ever heard it said, fear is the worst reason to homeschool.
My oldest was in 4th grade, my second in 2nd, and our third in Kindergarten. I had a baby at home and had recently graduated with my Bachelors. The idea was appealing... this homeschooling thing. There was a group at my church and they did such cool things. I kept flirting with the idea. I started following Catholic Homeschool groups on Yahoo. Tony and I talked about it, but I was worried for all the reasons I mentioned above.
We had moved into one of the best school districts in our valley. We thought things were going to be great. And we were very very wrong. Our oldest was coming home crying because people were talking about having sex. Yes, 4th grade folks. My second grader had been held in at recess because she was writing with her left hand. Yes, folks, this was only 13 years ago. She was also struggling in math and when I asked her teacher what I could do to help at home... I was told, "nothing." NOTHING.
And then one day our kids came home late from school. My husband and I, had agreed to let them walk home from school even though the oldest was home sick. It was only a block through our neighborhood. They were 5 minutes late when we headed out the door to find them. Thankfully they were walking up to the house. But what we heard changed our lives forever.
A volunteer at the school had told one of our kids that she had seen them walking to school with me and lived very close to us. She told our daughter that her dog had just had puppies and she should come and see them on the way home. And my daughter went... with her younger sister.
I flipped. What!?! How many times had I talked to them about safety, the warning signs, and strangers. But this lady worked at the school. She wasn't a stranger. When the lady told them the puppies were in her basement, that was when my daughter's warning system kicked in and they booked out of there.
I called the school. I was assured the lady was safe. She passed the background checks. They would give my daughter a new volunteer to work with.
My husband looked at me. I was truly panicked. She may have passed the background check but that could simply mean she had never been caught. Tony told me, "You have been talking about it. Let's just do it. Let's homeschool them."
I called the school right back and pulled them out. I had to go back to the school and get all their things. The 4th grade teacher looked down his nose at me and told me I would be back next year.
But we didn't come back.
It has not always been easy but it was the best decision we ever made. I had more patience than I thought. They fought less. I did not end up in a mental hospital... well, not yet anyway. And I sure hope I didn't ruin anyone's life.
God always has to smack me upside the head to get me to actually listen to Him. I am working on that. You see, we started homeschooling out of fear, but that is not why we kept doing it.
We kept homeschooling because our relationships blossomed. Because I wanted better for my kids. Our vision changed, our dreams changed, and life became full of possibilities.
In the last years the vision has been changing and I admit, God did smack me upside the head again to get me to move into this next stage in our homeschooling lives. But, you know what? Life really is full of possibilities and room to grow. Maybe even more now than before.