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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Why Do I Homeschool?

"Why do you homeschool?" I get this question A LOT!! Along with "Is it easier?", "Is it cheaper?" and my favorite "Are you crazy?" My answers for the last three are NO!!!, not really and yeah a little bit (what's your point?). So many people want to try it (especially with all the scary stuff going down in schools) but are worried that it's just "not them".  It probably isn't but that doesn't mean you can't do a bit of adjusting to make it work.  For those that know me I'm not exactly what jumps into your mind when you think of  a "homeschooling Mom" for those that don't know me believe me when I say if I can pull this off anyone can!!!!  10 years ago I was struggling with how to put a sippy cup lid on straight for my toddler and always running about..... now I stay home A LOT, make way more foods from scratch then I ever thought possible, clean, babysit, teach kiddos to read and we are even going to do some dissecting soon!!!  All things are possible with lots of love, laughter and WINE!! You thought  I was going to say patience didn't you?  Sorry to disappoint you but no one in this house has a lick of that except my Husband and he definitely needs it to deal with all our craziness;-)
I originally started homeschooling (or what I thought was homeschooling) half-way through my oldest son's 5th grade year.  Why? Well because his teachers and I were clashing, he had a lot of stuff going on AND in my opinion 5th grade in public school is borderline criminal.  Notice I said 5th grade....I am NOT anti public school (my oldest is now back in public school and thriving) and I love teachers.  But 5th grade for some reason is when the powers to be decided that the weight of their entire educational future needs to come to rest on the shoulders of 10 year olds! So I pulled him out and enrolled him in the K12 private pay program.  They sent me books, he finished out the year and all that the process required from me was occasional review help on assignments.  We successfully homeschooled through the rest of that year.  I loved it so much I decided to continue the experience with my second boy who was starting Kindergarten.
Let me start by saying that I was a little over confident.  The oldest already knew some you know letters, numbers and all the stuff he was supposed to do with them;-) Halfway through our first week of homeschool Kindergarten I realized oh crap I have to teach that stuff this time around!!  So I buckled down, muddled through and teach it I did.  Now this kiddo who is now in first grade has a pretty much non existent attention span (unless it involves a horse!!).  So we have had our struggles for the past two years BUT I don't regret it.  He has ADHD and keeping him on task is daunting... I just don't think he would thrive in a classroom environment.  Our homeschool days work for us....if he is having an "off" day I have the option of putting away the books and sending him to the barn or garden, and if he is having a really well focused day I can work a little extra on the bookwork.  Since I was already home and doing the school thing I decided to just go all in and start the next in line also.  He is in Kindergarten this year.  He would probably do fine in a classroom but we decided what the heck.  Teaching two at once is a little more time consuming but we are chugging right along.  I even manage to throw in some preschool activities for my youngest, my niece and a extra I babysit (all 3 yr olds). 
So you would think that 2 1/2 years into this and with all these kids I would be pretty much a pro BUT not so.  One of the coolest things about homeschool is that the Mom (or Dad or whoever is homeschooling) learns just as much as the kids. There's always a new and possibly better way to do something that you can't wait to try!!  I guess my advice is don't not homeschool because you're scared or think it won't be a good fit...if you want to then go for it.  It is definitely not a good fit for me but we are thriving!! 

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