A while ago I did a multi-part post about what our homeschooling day looks like. I also have some information about why I homeschool and favorite resources under my Homeschool link, however I have had several questions from readers, so I figured I’d start at the beginning and tell you why I homeschool.
While in law school, my husband discussed his interest in signing on with the JAG corps. I knew that if this happened we would likely be moving a lot and I would have a hard time using my recently acquired MBA. I enrolled in an elementary teacher certification program because I figured I could at least find a teaching job no matter where we lived, and I had always been interested in elementary education. Little did I know that I would end up teaching my own children a few years later!
My oldest son started reading a few weeks before this third birthday. At age two he knew four articles of faith and by age three knew all thirteen. He could locate all fifty states, perform addition and subtraction and a multitude of other things by age four. On top of all that he is a very hyper active little boy (borderline ADHD) and extremely mischevious. He has a mid-October birthday which means he cannot attend kindergarten until age 6 (one year from now). We decided to homeschool him because we knew that if we were to wait until age six, he would be the class delinquent, completely bored out of his mind and fidgeting to no end. Sure, they have “gifted” programs, I was in one when I was that age too, it consisted of spending all my time in the library or reading to the 4th graders. Not helping me advance at my own pace, simply trying to keep me out of trouble…
So, we made the decision. I started looking for free preschool activities to do with him which worked well for a while, however he was way beyond preschool at this point and wanted something more. I started to get serious about curriculum hunting and decided if I was going to do this I needed to figure out what the heck I was doing. I also thought I’d get a head start and “practice” homeschooling to make sure I’d be able to do it when it started to count legally. I still wasn’t 100% committed yet- I wanted to feel it out first.
I literally spent every spare moment researching and reading about homeschool curriculum, philosophies, methods, etc…and trying to figure out how on earth I was going to help him meet his full potential while taking care of a demanding three year old and one year old. There were several times where I thought there is no way I can handle this. The fear of being responsible for preparing this little guy for college at times seemed too great.
Then I discovered the LDS Homeschooling Conference at Southern Virginia University (btw this year’s conference in May features Susan Wise Bauer!) I wanted desperately to go. Unfortunately my husband had a scheduled business trip that week. I emailed the association and they were kind enough to let me purchase some transcripts from the year before. It helped immensly to hear other people’s stories about how they got started. I noticed a common thread in each session. Each presenter talked about the spiritual confirmation they received to know that homeschooling was right for their family. I thought about that for quite a while. I had made an intellectual decision but I hadn’t really, seriously prayed about it. I wanted to try it out, yet have the option to give up if it became too difficult. However after listening to these sessions, I came to the conclusion that if I was going to do this I had to do it all the way. I finally agreed to do whatever God wanted me to for my child, whether it was public, private or homeschool.
It was then (once I was finally ready and willing to accept whatever He wanted) that I finally received the confirmation that those other mothers/presenters had talked about. I knew beyond a doubt that this is what our family was supposed to do.
Perhaps it will change in the future, but for now, this is what is right for us. And the more I learn and teach the more I grow to love this decision.
Do you homeschool? Are you thinking about it? If you do, what were the deciding factors for you?
Continue to A Day in the Life Part 1, an overview of how I homeschool (at the present moment)