I feel like the longer I homeschool, the more I could talk about it, so this first post will be the history, if you will, of our decision to homeschool.
A little background. When I was in a kid in school, I knew some people who homeschooled. A few were good friends of mine, but my mind couldn’t grasp how anyone could successfully school at home.
Try as I might (and if I’m being honest, I didn’t try at all), I couldn’t fathom not going to school. I was a student council member (still have the t-shirt), I was in pep club – heck, my senior year, I was the MASCOT. I loved the socialization of school.
Buzzword alert: socialization. More on this in a future post.
I didn’t necessarily love school, though. My senior year I had one period where I was a guidance office aid, I had one period of study hall, and I had one period of open campus. I only had four “real” classes, and I was bored to death. I started to hate school the closer I got to graduation, and I was only in it because I had to be.
Well, and because I was the mascot.
This lax schedule and resulting boredom severely hindered my college experience. I started college hating school, and as you’ve read before, this led to some big upsets in my life.
Regardless, I knew, from before ever being married or having children, I would never homeschool. After all, I didn’t want to raise “weird” kids.
I am a product of public school, I turned out fine (mostly…), and after teaching a solid year of middle school bible class at church (I was 19 and had no business teaching those kids), I knew elementary education was not my calling.
When Little Miss was of schooling age, in our area, we had Kindergarten centers. Essentially, no matter where we lived in our town, she would go to a Kindergarten center and then go to a different elementary school for first grade.
Personally, I’m not a fan of that setup, but I’m not here to debate that. We did use that factor, however, in our decision to send Little Miss to Kindergarten at a local private, Christian school.
I would like to point out that up to this point, Little Miss had been in daycare while I worked full-time outside of the home (and hated leaving her every day), and even when I worked part-time from home, she still went to daycare a few days per week. You would think I would be okay with sending her to a private, Christian school for Kindergarten.
…but I was a wreck.
All that week, I cried. Every day when she got on that bus, I couldn’t wait to have her back home again and it was all I could do not to follow her bus to the school, and proceed to follow her around at school every day. It was a horrible week for me.
As the school year progressed, however, we became accustomed to being apart all day, five days a week.
We loved having her there, we loved how her teacher really poured in to each of her students’ natural gifts and abilities, and we loved how Little Miss’ learning capabilities were being enhanced and challenged. We didn’t love the price tag, however, and were really feeling the crunch.
After much debate and prayer, we made the choice to transition her to public school for her 1st grade year. Again, we really liked her teacher, but this was a whole different ball game. We noticed in the first few days the stark differences between the environment of this particular public school and the private school we transitioned from.
When she came home one day telling us about how one of her (six year old!) classmates was telling her a story about JonBenet Ramsey, I wondered how this public schooling thing was going to permanently impact, influence, and steer my child. They had her for eight hours a day, I had her for four.
It was the first week of October that year when they had one day off from school, that she developed a fever and general not feeling well. She ended up staying home that whole week – four school days – and it was on day two I sensed it.
I sensed I was being called to homeschool Little Miss.
And, as usually happens when I believe I hear directly from the Lord, I argued. After all, I swore I would never homeschool.
As the week went on, however, the prompting grew stronger and I knew it wasn’t something I could ignore. I mentioned it to Hubs and he began to research curriculums and options and reviews and testimonies and all things homeschool.
True to form, I stuck my head in the sand and avoided it all.
Eventually, we both felt confirmed homeschool was what we were supposed to do, we ordered curriculum, and we waited for the current school year to end.
Then, God brought us to #bighouseonalittleprairie which (not at all coincidentally) has the absolute perfect homeschool space for us.
I’ll go in to more depth about our homeschool journey later, but I want to point out a few things…
I swore I would never live in North Dakota. We moved there January 1st, 2006.
I swore I would never live in Minnesota. We moved there July 15th, 2017 (after 11 1/2 years in North Dakota.)
I swore I would never homeschool. We began homeschooling August 21st, 2017.
Now I’m swearing I’ll never be a millionaire because… #trackrecord
If you’re anything like me (first of all, God help you) and you think homeschool is completely off the table, stay tuned. You might be surprised by some parts of our story.