In fact, I didn’t think I could make it to the pre-school stage without tearing my hair out.
I have twin girls, and they are wonderful kids. However, it was tough being a mom of two toddlers and trying to take care of them while running a household! During the early years, it was never a question of whether or not they were going to go to public school. I mean, they “had to” right? I did it, my husband did it, and my parents did it…actually, I didn’t know anyone who hadn’t gone to school. I was ready and counting the days. And then something magical happened…
…I met a homeschool family.
My husband had been sharing stories for weeks about this wonderful family he had met, and I was intrigued because I had never been exposed to that type of family before. They invited us all over for a BBQ one Saturday to celebrate a special occasion. I think about that now, an afternoon with these lovely people, and I realize that I was a changed woman that day. I saw possibilities I never knew existed!
A light bulb went off. “You mean, I can keep my kids at home and school them…myself?”
It’s not like I hadn’t heard about homeschooling, but those were the weird kids. The ones that stayed locked up in the basement, didn’t have any friends, and smelled funny.
After that lovely afternoon, I learned that homeschoolers can, and are, much more than society makes them out to be. These kids were smart, well behaved, friendly, and well adjusted. The eldest, about 8, chatted to me about her studies, as she pulled me around her school room. The little one, about 5, sat at a piano in her swim suit and played Beethoven. I was blown away, not just by their intelligence, but also by their excitement and willingness to learn.
I was impressed, but what stuck out the most for me was seeing the love between the children and their mom. More than anything, I wanted that love and trust with my own. Could we develop that kind of relationship if I put their education into my own hands? Could I make that sacrifice to stay at home with them?
From that point on, I really thought about it. Hard. I loved the idea, but…could I do it?
I thought about my school experience, and it sent shivers down my spine. I was picked on, I had few friends, and the teachers were less than unsatisfactory. I came home crying everyday and hated every minute of it.
I wanted so much more for my kids than what I had experienced growing up.
So, I made a pros and cons list. I started checking out books at the library about homeschooling, doing research online, and I had MANY conversations about it with my husband and parents. They all said “go for it!” I thought, “I don’t know if I have the patience, but I’m willing to try!”
Fast forward to now. My kids just completed 3rd grade.
I look back at all the fear I had about homeschooling, and it seems so silly to me now. Homeschooling is a process, and while that first year of schooling my own was a challenge, it was necessary to get to where I am now with my children. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that you don’t have to be perfect when you start. You will develop your own way of teaching, and yes, you will LEARN patience (otherwise nothing will EVER get done lol). Your method will evolve, and soon you will know exactly what is and isn’t successful for your family. For ours, we have taken the Waldorf approach to schooling, which is more art and literature based.
Most importantly, the best thing you get out of homeschooling is the bond between you and your child. Just like when they said their first word or used the potty for the first time, you are there now through a new set of milestones! I was there the first time each of my children read a book aloud. I was there when they successfully completed their multiplication tables. And I’ll be there when they graduate and move on to the next adventure. Yes, the love and trust is there, and it is strong.
The power to teach with love is in each of us, we just have to let it blossom.
*Blessings and Love*
Do you have any fears or concerns about homeschooling? Share your thoughts or experience in the comments below!
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