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I love learning stories of how homeschool was introduced into a family’s life. Choosing how to educate your child is a big decision. Other families’ stories helped me understand a variety of perspectives and provided confidence in our homeschooling decision. Since others are naturally curious about why we left traditional school, I want to share our story.
Are You A Working Mom? I Was Too.
Let me start off by saying, I never dreamed that we would homeschool our children. I should mention that I do not have a problem with traditional school. Until recently, I had never even met an adult (that I was aware of) that had been homeschooled. Except for the year following our son’s birth, our two children 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 challenging to say the least; round the clock breastfeeding, a challenging 4 year old, a limited budget, feelings of isolation, all amid a home remodel. Consequently, I felt that being a stay at home mom was not a good fit for me. I realize now that most moms of young children have the same struggles of seemingly endless challenges and lack of sleep.
I went back to work when my son turned one. At the time, I missed contributing to a team, adult conversations, and the additional financial security. 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.)
Longing for a Change
Kory and I were both longing for something different, but we were not 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 in 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. I then had medical issues walk into my life that forced decisions on us to work toward a better quality of life for me and our family. Ultimately, I resigned from my job with high hopes for the future.
Could I Really Homeschool?
Now that we committed to being a single income family, 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. I had watched so many moms talk about their successes, but could that be us? I wanted our children to have more than I got in my traditional education because I felt it was not conducive to finding my life goals. I wanted my 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. After I received a medical diagnosis and treatment, we took a leap of faith and planned to begin homeschooling for 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.
Homeschool It Is!
Homeschooling has been a change that we ALL have had to adjust to. Overall the experience has left all with no plans to return to traditional school anytime soon. The constant rush to be somewhere is almost nonexistent, the kid’s love for learning new things is astonishing, sleep is no longer always in need, and my patience levels are continually growing.
So there you have it, the long story of how homeschooling came into our lives. If you aren’t a teacher, never considered homeschooling before, or are not sure where to start, I hope that my story is a testament that homeschool is possible for your family. I recognize that all families are different and homeschool may not be the path for you. I encourage you to advocate for your children’s education and take back time for you and your family.
I would love to hear why you are considering homeschool, and feel free to ask any questions. Please share in the comments below.
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