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Should I homeschool? This is the question that we had been pondering off and on for over a year.
Our life was filled with the typical hustle and bustle that comes along with having children and both parents working full-time. We were getting tired of it and wanted something simpler. This is how homeschool entered our life.
The go, go, go of everyday life can be a struggle. Then you add homework and extracurriculars and poof….finding real family time seems impossible.
I love hearing moms tell the story of why they homeschool. I love to hear the variety of perspectives and the motivation to do the hard job of homeschooling.
Since others are naturally curious about why we left traditional school, I wanted to share our homeschool story.
I NEVER Thought We Would Be a Homeschooling Family
I never dreamed that we would homeschool our children…….seriously, ever.
We don’t have any traumatic experiences that sent us on the homeschool path. And I don’t really have a beef with traditional school. Until recently, my encounters with anyone homeschooled was minimal.
With the exception of the year after our son was born, our two kids have been in daycare, in-home care, or public or private school.
The year I spent at home with our newborn and 4-year old was very challenging for me. I felt like a dairy cow with around the clock breastfeeding. My daughter was struggling with no longer being an only child. We were on a limited budget and I felt isolated taking care of a newborn and a 4-year old that could explode at any moment. On top of all of that, we were amid a home remodel.
That one year made me feel that I was not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I mean, we made some wonderful memories at times. But it was HARD.
Finding the time to actually talk to other moms in the trenches, I now realize now that most moms of young children are dealing with a lot of the same struggles that I was. And those struggles are normal. It wasn’t just me.
So how in the world did I go from never even dreaming of homeschooling, to loving our little homeschool family life?
I Thought I Was Fit to be a Working Mom
After the stress of that year at home. A working mom is what I thought I was meant to be.
I wish someone would have told me it was understandable for that year to be hard. That someone would have told me that it would only get better. I wish I could have looked into the future and known that financially we would soon be in a better place.
If only my older and wiser self could have given my frazzled younger self a pep talk, I may have stayed home. I wish so badly that I could get the 3 years I missed with my daughter back. The memories and relationship I am building with my son by starting homeschool in Pre-K, I long to have had with her. I can’t express how special homeschooling from the beginning is.
However, at that time, I missed contributing to a team, adult conversations, and the financial security of two incomes. I thought to have a career, two kids, and the money to have nice things and travel would all fit nicely together. I mean I see moms do it all the time. They work, their kids go to school, their kids play baseball or dance and they are always smiling. Aren’t they?
Longing for a Change
Fast forward almost three years, Kory and I were both working long hours and struggling to maintain schedules. Stretching ourselves enough to shuttle the kids back and forth to school, manage a quick dinner, battle homework and bedtime, then start all over again the next day.
Does this sound familiar to you? I think many of us are on the rinse and repeat cycle every day. It is grueling.
We both longed for something different, but we weren’t sure what to change. We began learning about homesteading, square-foot gardening, minimalism, and homeschooling. Some of our favorite resources are: Off the Grid with Doug and Stacy, the Minimalism documentary, All New Square Foot Gardening, and This Gathered Nest.
Homeschooling appealed to us since it seemed to offer an opportunity for hands-on learning and a parent-driven schedule. At this season of life, we did not want to change everything, but we were both open to stepping out of our comfort zone to take back control of our time. Homeschooling could provide that.
Since Kory is the primary financial contributor for our family, the obvious choice was for me to take on the homeschool responsibility.
- But how could we give up my income?
- Would I miss the adult interactions and the career challenges again?
- Would Kory become stressed out knowing that he was the sole provider?
- Was I really interested in teaching and learning along with my kids?
We considered our options for quite some time. All the while, I continued reading blogs and watching videos to discover the vast world of homeschool.
Then…WHAM! I was hit with medical issues that forced decisions on us to work toward a better quality of life. I resigned from my job with high hopes for the future.
But, Could I Really Homeschool?
I didn’t have an education degree. My career had nothing to do with teaching or involved kids. I knew nothing about homeschooling, other than what I had learned from blogs and Youtube videos. Was it realistic for me to think that I could take full responsibility for my kids’ education?
We made the commitment to become a single income family, but did we want to take the leap into homeschooling?
I doubted my ability to teach and was concerned that my health would interfere with a daily schedule. So many moms talk about their successes on their blogs or videos, but could that be us?
I wanted our children to have more than my traditional education experience. We wanted our kids to find their interests and love learning, could I do that at home?
Over a few weeks, I did a lot of soul-searching, researching, discussing experiences with other homeschool parents, and had a serious discussion with our oldest.
Homeschool It Is!
I finally got a medical diagnosis for my debilitating headaches along with successful treatment, so we took a leap of faith and planned to start homeschooling the next school year.
All four of us went into homeschooling with the agreement that we would take it year by year. Each May, we would evaluate everyone’s progress, needs, and experiences to determine the next school year plan.
Homeschooling has been a change that we ALL have had to adjust to. But overall, our experience has left us with no plans to return to traditional school. The constant rush to be somewhere is almost nonexistent, the kids’ love for learning is astonishing, sleep is no longer an issue, and my patience levels are continually growing.
This is our story. As much as I wish I knew 5 years ago what I know now, I can’t go back and undo the decisions we made. Really, they were probably right for us at the time so we could learn from them.
If you are considering homeschooling, know that it is HARD, but you will not regret it.
I wanted to share our story so you know that even if you aren’t a teacher, have never considered homeschooling before, or are not sure where to start, you can do it!
I recognize that all families are different and homeschool may not be the path for you. Even if you don’t homeschool, I encourage you to advocate for your children’s education and take back the much-needed family time.
If you are considering homeschooling. Tell me, what is holding you back?
Considering or new to homeschool? Check out these posts:
- 10 Fundamental Questions To Ask Before Homeschooling
- Homeschool Expenses: Our First Year
- How to Start Homeschooling Checklist
- 8 Must Watch Homeschooling TED Talks
- New to Homeschool: Making Sense of Homeschooling Styles
If you are looking for something to help you get started homeschooling, I have created a 10-Day Email Homeschool Bootcamp course to get your homeschool started from scratch.
I wish I could have had someone holding my hand and walking me through setting up my homeschool, so I am offering this Bootcamp to you for FREE! Simply subscribe to my email list and over the next ten days I will walk you through everything you need to be confident in your homeschool.