Lately I keep getting asked more and more as to why we went with and are sticking with our decision to homeschool. It seems that so many people consider it and then talk themselves out of doing it. I know this, because that was me 4 years ago. We kept waffling with out decision and then no matter how many times it seemed like the right path for us, we shook our heads and forged on. We thought we had found the right place for our children in a private school here in Rockford, IL but boy were we wrong. It was a good place that went downhill quickly. The small size of the school should have tipped us off from the get-go, but of course we just attributed that to the conservative aspect of the school. In my opinion, it ended up having too many qualities that reminded me of a bizarre cult. Oh how I wish that we had listened to what God was telling us and not have made the big mistake of sending our children to that school. The good that came out of it? I made an amazing friend, who also left the school and we homeschool together and I learned a very difficult lesson that I needed to learn. People are not all who they seem to be, until you do something that they are not in favour of.
When the lives of our children were finally threatened, in school of all places, we knew that this was God SMACKING us with a wake up call. It was time to make the move that we had been thinking about for so long. The good thing about thinking it over and over and over for 4 years? We were well prepared with what we wanted to do and use to start with our children. We were able to being within a week of them leaving school and we were off and running. It's amazing how much falls into place when you are doing exactly what you finally feel is right for you and your family.
Has it all been smooth sailing? Not at all, but we are learning as we go and loving and we learn. I've always been close to my children, but now I am closer. I get to see them finally grasp something that they struggle with. I get to see them learn new things and help one another. I get to be with them during these intimate moments that they normally share with a stranger. While a teacher may get to love her students by the end of the year because she gets to know so much about them, how well do students TRULY get to know a teacher? Nothing even close to a mother. They have already learned so much about me and I too about them. It's amazing to see every single day.
It definitely would have been easier and less costly to enroll them in a public school or even another private school, but that was not the route we had in mind for so long. We chose to homeschool because it was a chance for me to step up and take on a new roll. It was an opportunity to take an active role in the lives of my children. I am the one choosing what they will learn and what we will focus on and for how long. I get to do all that with their help too. I follow their lead and together we are able to work on something that works just for us. We chose to homeschool because of the socialization aspect, when we saw children being physically and mentally hurt at an institution, I knew it was time to trust myself and put my children somewhere that I KNEW they would be safe. There is no teacher here to bully them, no struggling children here that hold back the rest of the class, there is no class bully here telling them that they will be killed, no distractions, just love and a true desire to learn.
Together we are learning that school doesn't have to be all about worksheets and sitting at your desk. It's games and music and movies. It's freedom to ask questions without fear, learning without really realizing it. There are no strict rules here but one: We Must Respect Each Other & Their Ideas. Our decision to homeschool was not a difficult one to make, I think what held us back was my fear. I feared I wasn't good enough for my children. Why? Have you SEEN, MET or even READ the stories about some of the teachers out there? I've met my fair share and while some were AMAZING and actually changed my life, there are some that I met recently that shouldn't even be teaching. When it came down to it, they had nothing that I didn't have and I even had something more; love. I love my children more than anything and I would never allow them to fail.
If homeschooling is something that you are considering but are afraid of doing, let me tell you this; take the leap and you will be glad you did. Test the waters over Summer Break, see how it works. I feared so much that they wouldn't see me as a teacher but as 'mom' and you know what? They see me as both. It's amazing how well they listen and get actively involved. They WANT to learn and that's all you really need. Trust that you can and you will. There is online support EVERYWHERE you go and if you need more, e-mail me, message me on facebook or even ask for my number and call me. I am more than willing to show you my classroom, share with you my experiences and help you through anything you may need. It was friends out there in the cyber world along with God, that helped me get to where I am today and I would love to pay it forward.
It has only been 4.5 months for us but I look forward to the next 11 years with a sense of excitement for this new adventure. I welcome each new roadblock and am in awe of what I too am learning. It's definitely a rollercoaster ride full of ups and downs but I look forward to when the ride ends and all I am left with is a big smile on my face and so many memories!!
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