*I changed the URL to the link listed for our homeschool blog, click below*
Homeschooling has been on my mind a lot lately: to do it or not. Last October, when we moved from Florida to Virginia, it just sort of happened -the learning at home. It was just preschool and when I was all done teaching ABCs and 123s, the plan was to send Turner off to Kindergarten to learn with a "real" teacher and other children. Then I started reading: a lot. I have been reading for almost a year about public education, private education, progressive education and homeschooling: the pros, the cons and everything in between. What was the best decision for my boys, my family?
While reading I've tried to keep an open mind. What are the BEST parts of a public education (let's face it Uncle Sam pays the bills around here and public is about all we can do with three children)? What are the WORST parts? What are the benefits of homeschooling? What can I see being the downfalls (or, rather, my own pitfalls)? I have been reading and questioning myself over and over and over (Thank you to my friends and family for letting me talk it out!) . John must think I'm a nut because I decided to homeschool and then called the local public school to get a feel (over the phone?). After all of this I decided to send Turner to the public half day Kinder. I did a follow-up call and was told I'd have to bring him in to be tested to see what teacher he'd go to and stopped in my tracks.
What the what?
A test? Already? I get it. It's innocent enough. They want to make sure the class is equal, not skewed. What a gateway, though, testing kids before they've even made it in to a classroom.
I should stop right here and say this: I'm not a "go against the flow" person. I don't like explaining myself, though I might feel passionate about something. I have never been a "question authority person." I was raised to just do things, get the grades and move on. So, this makes me very uncomfortable to even explain myself.
HOWEVER, I feel passionately about this. I really do. My inability to stick to my original decision (though it's done now), was largely based on the fact that I felt supported but not really backed. Does that make sense? My friends, family and my biggest supporter of all, John, were saying "uh, huh, what ever makes you happy." I really just needed the "...and I've got your back, no matter how hard a day you have." When I finally expressed that to John he was sort of side-lined because he thought his support was enough. I needed a deafening "YEAH! I'm totally on board!" We have since been able to talk (he's still in Newport at "become a CO school") and we're on the same page about the goals of this home learning.
It's hard to go against "normal" (even though homeschooling isn't a fringe activity anymore). For me, it's difficult because I wasn't wronged by the system, I'm not doing it for secular reasons, nor am I doing this because I feel like I can do it better than Mrs. X at the local school. I'm doing it because I want to. I feel like this is what I can do for my kids right now and I want to.
Here I am: finally sticking up for my decision.
Is it a good one? I have no idea.
Will it be worth it? Totally.
I will be documenting our trials, errors and triumphs over at Oh! The Things We'll Know. For now it's under maintenance, but I plan to keep a nice record for John (and family) to read up on while he's deployed.