I said yesterday that I would be back today to introduce myself more fully.
I’m married to one of the best people I’ve ever met. He drives me crazy, but I really don’t know what life would look like without him. It kind of pains me to think about it, lol. We have two girls. Our oldest is 10 and in the 5th grade. Our youngest is 7 and in 2nd grade. We started homeschooling them this year.
Our main reasons for wanting to homeschool stemmed from our oldest daughter. She was falling further and further behind in public school when it came to math. Because she was not a behavior issue, she kind of just slipped through the cracks. Because of mandatory testing and low test scores, Minnesota schools seem to focus strongly on reading. And we all know that reading is one of the basic blocks of LIFE. We need to be able to read, it’s a great skill to have, and obviously one that should be taught in schools. However, this happens at the expense of other subjects. History and science are usually the first to go. Math gets more attention, but they don’t have the same sorts of intervention in place for students struggling in math that they do for reading. Our oldest daughter reads at a high school level. She struggles with the simplest of math.
After finding out that they placed her at the behavior table (yes, they have one of those) in her classroom, not because she was having behavior issues, but because she was “slow in math”, I met with the principal. I had been researching online public schools and was seriously considering it, as I thought it would be a way to slow the math down a bit and get her skills back where they needed to be. And I never want my daughter to feel like she is stupid just because she has struggles in certain things. That’s when all of the promises for help started flowing in. As soon as they realized they were going to be losing the revenue they get for her, they wanted to “be there” to support us. I pulled her anyway.
The online public school did not fix the issues though. It was more of the same, except now she was at home. So we unenrolled her from there in March of last year. At the start of this year, we brought our 2nd grade daughter home as well. The main reason for that was because we are already here and I didn’t want all of us going different directions and having different schedules.
So far, we love it! Like I said, this is our first year, so we haven’t really smoothed out all of the bumps. We enjoy our time together and the girls like being able to go at their own pace. At the moment we are using Life of Fred (GREAT math series, told within a story… look it up, even if you don’t homeschool), Story of the World (still figuring that one out), and Road Trip USA by Confessions of a Homeschooler. SOTW and Road Trip USA are a history and geography curriculum, respectively.
I can’t say that our path is perfect yet, because it’s nowhere near that. Today I am struggling with finding a schedule that works for us. I’ve thought about “deschooling” for a period of time, but as someone who doesn’t do well without any structure, I’m not sure if I will just end up feeling like we are doing “nothing” or not. I already know that unschooling is not the answer here. It’s a good choice for those who can make it work, but my brain does not operate like that, and I would be doing all of us a disservice.
I promise I’m not weird (ok, I am. Just not because of this), abusive, or a hermit. Well, I can be a hermit because of my depression, but not because I homeschool. I don’t hide my kids under a rock. They get out more than they did while in school. We don’t homeschool for religious reasons or because we are “training up our children” a certain way. This just works for us, and I’m so glad we made the choice.