Monday, August 3, 2015

The big question...Why do you homeschool? (Mom 2 Mom Monday link up)

  What made you decide to homeschool? That seems to be the million dollar question that I get asked all of the time.  It certainly wasn't something that I thought I would end up doing in a million years, and there's really not one simple answer. Everyone has a story, so here is ours.

  Rewind back to the end of 2008.  My oldest daughter, Baylie, was born with a cleft lip/palate and made fun of a lot in school. Kids can be very cruel to a child that may look a little different than them. I noticed her crying a lot and begging not to go to school. She was getting depressed and in 8th grade. If being in middle school isn't hard enough, she had added issues with the name calling and hardly any friends. It didn't matter that she was one of the sweetest girls you could ever meet. She had a scar, and to those kids she might as well have had 3 heads. I had a friend at the time that had years of homeschooling under her belt. She would talk to me and comfort me and try to encourage me. She never pushed homeschool on me, but she would say, there are other options. Well, I started asking questions, and it started to sound VERY good. 

The first thing I thought is, I am NOT a teacher! I can't do this. I didn't finish college. How am I supposed to EDUCATE my own child? I know that in my eyes, education is important! I wanted her to be able to go to college, and go down whatever career path she chose. I surely didn't want to mess up and not give her everything a PUBLIC brick and mortar school could give her. Although I had all of these concerns and questions, I also knew I had to get my increasingly depressed 8th grader out of that toxic environment she was in every day. Well against what I really wanted to do, I had to enroll her in a public school online. Her dad didn't want me to "homeschool" her anyway, but this was at least "real school" in his eyes. We weren't married, and it was a battle to even try school at home.  It was a quick problem solver. I told myself from the very beginning that if she wanted to go back to her old school that I would let her. The online public school was AWFUL. They wanted way too much from you in a short time frame. It was too hard to talk to a teacher and it was definitely too hard to understand the assignments. It was as stressful as putting up with the kids at school! She hated it, and after a couple of months she was ready to go back to her old school. I was devastated. I wanted this to work. I was enjoying every single minute with my daughter. I was a failure. At least that's what I thought. I didn't know at the time what "homeschool" was even like since she was doing online public school. Two totally different things.  I remember crying and crying the day she went back to school. I thought, my babies are growing up, and I literally get to spend nights and weekends with them. That's not what I wanted.

  After her 8th grade year we moved to a new city. I thought it would be good for her to start high school in a new town with new people. New beginnings. It was a good thing for her. Since her father didn't agree to homeschooling, I really didn't have a choice.
My oldest son, Drake, was extremely into sports, and I knew he would never want to be homeschooled because of that. My youngest daughter, Edyn, was a social butterfly and I knew THAT would deter her from wanting to be homeschooled. My only chance to homeschool was about to pass me by since my youngest, Gavin, was about to start
Kindergarten. I had continued talking to my friend every now and then and she would encourage me to just homeschool him. It was what I really WANTED to do, I just didn't have the confidence to do it.  I wasn't ready for my baby to be in school. I wasn't done cuddling him, and reading to him, and just spending time with him. The closer and closer it got to the first day of school, the more and more I thought, I really MISS my kids...all of my kids. Summers would fly by. I enjoyed our days together in the summer, and it just wasn't enough. Time was passing me by entirely too fast

  The night before his first day of  Kindergarten he crawled up in my lap with big tears. This sweet little 5 year old boy said, "Mom, I want to stay home with you. Please don't make me go." I was seriously fighting tears myself. This was actually a first for me. All of my other kids loved school from the beginning. Baylie even loved school until the bullying and name calling started. I sent them to school. Wasn't that what I was supposed to do?

  The first day of school came and went and I continued to miss my kids. I soon after even went back to work as a Pre-K teacher. Gavin HATED school. It was a total nightmare to get him out of the car in the mornings because he was so distraught. Everyday, I could hear myself say, "there are other options Tasha." Why are you traumatizing him? They are still so sweet and innocent at 5 years old. He was also being bullied at school. On top of not having the confidence to teach him, I could NEVER talk my husband into it. He would think that I had lost my mind.

  Most days in Kindergarten and first grade were filled with crying and anxiety from Gavin. He had started second grade and I had really felt God laying it on my heart that I needed to seriously research homeschooling again. I sat down night after night online for hours and hours until I had all of my ducks in a row. I was actually thinking of talking to my husband about it, and I wanted to be armed with plenty of facts and answers to his questions. I had just quit my job to be back home full time, so I was ready. I had the confidence that I COULD teach my son.
I sat my husband down and told him everything. After I had educated him on homeschooling, he gave me the best response a husband could give. "I trust you." Wow. He believes in me enough to trust me with our child's education. At this point, we decided to let him finish out second grade, and start him in 3rd. Christmas break was right around the corner and we were having so much fun on Christmas break, I asked myself, "Why are we waiting??" Why don't we just not go back. So that's what we did. I called the school, informed them of our decision and that was how we started homeschooling. Gavin was ecstatic!! Two weeks went by with just having Gavin home and deschooling. We read books, worked on math, and just lived life. Two weeks into it, I was having trouble with Edyn. She was on ADD medicine, which I HATED, and now she was having a lot of issues at school with boys. She was in 5th grade. The things she was having to deal with and the boy issues were getting out of hand. You would have thought she was having middle school or high school drama. The medicine she was on made her deathly thin, and MOODY. The drama at school was getting worse and worse, and I honestly didn't want her in the middle of it. I talked to my husband again, and I said, I think I want to homeschool Edyn too. He was totally on board. When we confronted her, and told her our decision, she was upset at first. After she really thought about it, she said that it honestly had lifted a lot of stress off of her. I withdrew her the next day, and even the principal said that it was a great decision. I had several teachers even tell me that they would homeschool if they could! We started homeschooling the youngest 2 while the oldest 2 were still in public high school. It was going great.

  About a year or so later, my oldest son was in 10th grade, and really struggling. He has always been a straight A and honor student. This was out of character for him. He had brought it to my attention that he might want to be homeschooled. I told him to think about why he would want that and get back with me. We had recently found out that my husband was being transferred, and we would be moving 300 miles away. Drake really liked how free we were in homeschooling. When we found out we were moving, that pretty much sealed the deal for him. I was so excited to be homeschooling three of my 4 babies now!  Baylie graduated public school that year, and I couldn't have been more proud of her.

  The only thing I regret in all of this is that I wish I had started when they were younger. I love getting to spend everyday with my kids.  They are TOTALLY different kids now. They are themselves. There are little bits and pieces of their personalities that I had never known about or seen. They are able to learn and focus on things that interest them. They actually love to learn now. Are there sacrifices in homeschool? Absolutely. None of those matter to me. I can honestly say that it is the best decision I have ever made for my kids. They can be creative all day long. Not just in the short time after school and on weekends. They are free.

 I am so thankful that I heard God and obeyed him. I believe that He was getting me ready to homeschool all the years before that.  If you are thinking about homeschooling, I would like to encourage you, especially when you feel that you aren't fit to teach your child. You are. You are their BEST teacher. You CAN do this.  Don't doubt yourself, even when other people doubt you. Trust the Lord, and trust in yourself. Everything else will just fall into place.

If you would like to read other inspiring posts that include all things Mom, or link up your own blog then click the link below! 

My Joy-Filled Life

No comments:

Post a Comment