Why did our family decide to homeschool?
In 1998, we had two children. I started reading about homeschooling, and it was something I wanted to do with our children. My husband and I talked about it in passing, but our daughter was already in public school at the time because that is what everyone around us did. Our son was 3 years old, and he was in a private preschool. So I pushed the thought of homeschooling to the back of my mind. Fast forward two years, and it was time to send our son to kindergarten. I was also pregnant with our fourth child. So homeschooling that year was not something I was thinking about.
Our son went to kindergarten, and it was just not a good situation for him. He was all-boy, and the school system just does not allow for the wiggling and rough playing that boys do at that age. Within two weeks, we decided to pull him out of public school and homeschool him. Our daughter was struggling in 4th grade with math and too much homework. Within 6 weeks, we decided to homeschool her as well. I had to do some quick research and ordered her some basic books. We started our homeschool journey with a 4th grader, kindergartner, a toddler, and a baby due in January.
I balanced book work with field trips and hands-on activities. I worked on setting some routines for us for school work, house projects, and play time. I found an email group and subscribed to The FlyLady emails. I was a classic Side-Tracked Home Executive (SHE). I needed help setting up my routines, and with three children at home all the time, I also had many things demanding my attention. I needed some focus on how to maintain my household while juggling teaching, caring for a toddler, and taking care of myself.
Following The FlyLady’s routines was a freeing experience for me. The routines kept me from being overwhelmed all the time. Working on small-scale projects 15 minutes at a time was much more manageable with everything else I had going on daily. I was also able to incorporate training my children to help with daily routines. They were young, but they could help with small tasks. I had to let go of my perfectionism. My Type A personality had to learn to take a backseat.
Our first year of homeschooling was a learning experience. I learned how my children learned the best. I learned a lot of patience with them and with myself. I learned with my children. I felt like I had my children back. I always wanted to be a mom and a teacher, and I was both things, even though I had been teaching them all along when they were with me.
If you are thinking about homeschooling, pray about it. Talk to your spouse about it. You both have to want to homeschool. It is a big commitment. It is a full-time job that pays benefits in deeper family relationships. If you are overwhelmed with life and your home and needing routines, then I encourage you to sign up for The FlyLady’s emails. They will change your life and your outlook.
We are currently in our 17th year of homeschooling. We have graduated two of our children, and we are homeschooling four boys this year. We wish we would have started our homeschool journey sooner. It has been the biggest blessing to our family.