12 July 2015

The Family Meeting

Last week was boy scout camp and my husband tagged along this year with our son. We had decided upon his return that we would discuss our idea to homeschool. My husband had the opportunity to get to know another parent in the boy scout troop who does homeschool. He came home excited to share with me all that he learned in favor of homeschooling teens. I already knew this from all the reading and conversations I have had but I knew he needed to hear it for himself also. This is that light bulb moment when it all clicks and we look each other in the eyes with confirmation!

After all the camping gear was cleaned and showers were taken, we sat our 12 & 15 year old down to give them the option this coming school year of whether to go back to public or start homeschool. I presented how all their deep desires that they had shared with me would be met at home vs in school. I addressed how we could strengthen their friendships outside of school too. My husband was there to enhance the conversation and he chimed in with youth group and boy scouts continuing as their extracurricular activities to show some continuity. We also told them about having the ability to explore more of the subject matter they choose. We let them ask their questions. At the end, I have given them a week deadline to decide so I can get the paperwork going if need be before the new school year begins. I have my suspicions who will choose homeschool. Knowing my boys, they need time to warm up to the idea. I wanted them to feel in control of the choice.

09 July 2015

Us vs Them

As I set out to embark on a new path for my family, I'd like to address the notion that the choice to homeschool is an "us vs them" battle. I have begun to share my thoughts with a few friends and family who have all been receptive. I've inadvertently shared my growing distaste for public school as it pertains to my kids and that has gotten some reactions. I'm beginning to see this division forming. It makes me wonder if I've ever come off that way to my other homeschooling friends. I'd like to think I portrayed acceptance to everyone. But nevertheless, I will discuss:

Think about it: God created snowflakes and fingerprints in such a way that no two are alike. We should consider our children to be the same. If that is true, then children learn differently, too. My children have been raised in public school. I figured this is what we do. Many of us take our parenting styles by what we were raised on. If we hesitate on how to handle a particular parenting dilemma we have no fear because our default button is set.

After all, I came out of public school okay with a 3.2 GPA. I loved school for the most part. I struggled with socialization as many kids do but today's world coupled with changes in the school systems are among a couple reasons why I'm seeking homeschool as an option. I've learned that my kids may need something different than what I was raised on. They both need something new that public school simply can't provide. They use a one-size-fits-all approach and can't afford to alter it too much for the sake of my children. I get it. I also see it will not be a good fit anymore. It does no one any good to lead a life of frustration out of fear of the unknown.

One child has an approved IEP with documented learning delay and my other child was tested for disabilities years ago only to find he's quite intelligent...yet his grades are poor. Poor grades means lots of remedial classes where he is bored instead of putting him in a more stimulating setting. Two extremely different kids who are slipping through and losing their natural desire to learn. Hmmm, something has to give, right?!

On the other hand, many of my friends have kids who thrive in the public school setting. I'm happy for them...truly I am. I feel that everyone should do what is right to build a nuturing, loving environment for their family. I do not believe all can homeschool just like not all can public school. So, I am venturing out on my quest to discover and learn alongside my children as their mom, teacher and mentor! Are you considering homeschool? Does the idea of leaving your corporate job scare you? You are in good company! Join me as I figure out this new lifestyle we will be entering soon.