Why would you want to do that? Our Homeschooling Journey-Part 3

You must understand that at this point, I was very sure that homeschooling was for other people. That there was no way that I wanted to homeschool. Don’t people know that homeschooling takes over your whole life? It’s a HUGE commitment. I wanted no part of it. I was going to send my kiddos to school and get a part time job to help pay for it, and that was that. I also had told God that if He wanted me to homeschool that He was going to have to make it VERY clear. You should never threaten God by the way, it’s bad for your health, but God is very nice and took us on a little path throughout the year that made homeschooling not seem like such a radical decision.

Up until now, you’ve heard about Emma. She was going to school to learn how to socialize with other kids. She was pretty good at conversing with adults and was SO sweet with kids younger than her, but she really didn’t know what to do with kids her own age. We thought that this nice school with attentive teachers and small classes was just the place for her, and it was a pretty good experience for her overall.

But then, there was Hannah. Hannah sees the world a bit differently. Her brain has a unique way of retrieving information. When she was two, she would tell me “I like that pink shirt you’re wearing, Mommy.” I would reply, “What color shirt am I wearing?” To which she would reply, “I don’t know.” This is the most vivid example in my mind, but it was this way with everything: letters, numbers, colors, shapes. She just didn’t answer questions in a logical school-like fashion. I would ask her “What is it?” (a ball) and she would answer with the function of the item (that thing you throw). She was excellent with puzzles, but had a hard time remembering symbols. It broke my heart to think of this very bright girl not being able to express how intelligent she was because that was not the mode that school worked in. So, I decided that I would give her an advantage. I would teach her preschool stuff at home, one-on-one so that she would know it and do well in school.  And that is how Hannah started to win my heart towards homeschooling. Anyone who knows Hannah knows that she is delightful (Emma is delightful as well in a very silly way), and I delighted in teaching her. I would ask Emma what she had learned in school, and she could not remember. But I could remember all of Hannah’s learning for that day, and I loved it. And, I missed Emma. Strike One.

Emma entered kindergarten in 2008.  Before she started, we ran some of the numbers and made sure that when Hannah started in a few years, we’d be able to afford both of them attending.  We budgeted using Crown Mvelopes which I highly recommend. I could have probably made finances work and not worry about them had I not had a tumor in my ear. In 2008, I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma which is a non-cancerous tumor that had grown on my auditory nerve. In 2010, I received news that my surgery (I had brain surgery to correct the issue in 2008) had not completely eliminated my tumor, that future surgeries could be needed.  With this 2010 check-up, we also discovered that our insurance had drastically changed.  We needed to change our budget to accommodate the higher medical costs, and to accommodate Hannah’s schooling starting up.  Adding things up, we wouldn’t be able to make it.  Looking back, the raises were much smaller than we had anticipated.  We still managed to make our budget in those years, but we weren’t looking ahead to the large increase (Hannah’s schooling) that was going to hit us.  Combining that with the increased medical costs, we were about to be a lot more dependent on the part time job that I didn’t have, that I didn’t know that I could get, and  that I didn’t know how I would manage when school breaks happened. I started working harder to manage our money and reading and listening to Dave Ramsey (I really love that guy).  I worked to get deals, but I couldn’t manage to make our saving goals work, and I got more stressed out about finances. I began to wonder: what will we do if our car breaks, if an appliance goes out, if we have another child? All of this weighed heavily on me. Strike Two.

And then, reading Simple Homeschooling which I happened to see in a link from the Simple Mom blog, I found an article about Classical Conversations. Classical Conversations is a home-based home school curriculum that has one day of education with tutors learning material while the rest of the week is spend at home working on the new learning. You would supply the math and language arts for younger kids. I suddenly thought, I could do this! If I had this program, homeschooling would not be out of my reach. So, I started doing some research. I hosted a Classical Conversations informational meeting at my home. There was a lot of interest in Rochester, but no one was willing to step up to be director (especially not me in my first year of homeschooling!). I started talking to families at our church who homeschool. I asked them about curriculum, how they manage their time, what school looks like. (You could either say Strike Three here, but I prefer to think that this is where I hit a home run because this is where we turned toward home 🙂 )

By this time, I was in too deep. I had researched homeschool online, read books, talked to families at our church who homeschool, and I was sold. So, we ordered curriculum, joined our local and state homeschooling organizations, resigned from our private school, attended a conference, and got started in the summer of 2011.

Read what I love about homeschooling in the conclusion.

Read Part 1 and Part 2

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...