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Monday, August 26, 2013

Why we decided to homeschool

Things might have been different if my oldest child had been born in the spring or summer.  As it was, she was born two weeks after the cut-off date for the beginning of kindergarten in our school district.  Being a conscientious parent, I was concerned about how that was going to affect my little girl.  She was a bright and curious four year old, having taught herself to read, do simple addition and subtraction problems and was eager to learn more.  I scheduled an appointment with the kindergarten teacher to discuss the options for her (hoping that she'd suggest that we try to petition the district to allow her to enter kindergarten early).  The teacher was not very encouraging.  She said that if my daughter already knew the basic learning skills taught in kindergarten, she'd just have to wait until the other children caught up.  That was not an acceptable option.

I began to research other options.  All I wanted was for my daughter to retain her love of learning and find a suitable school for her.  There were a few private schools but they were expensive.  Then, one day I was at the public library and while browsing the titles, a book practically jumped out at me.  Written in bold white letters on a black background, the book was titled, Teach Your Own.  I had never heard of such a radical idea.  All children went to I thought.  I checked out the book and began reading about a totally foreign option to public school...homeschool.  How very strange, yet intriguing.  Our school district didn't want to work with us, my husband was getting ready to take on a year long computer job in California and this book was telling us that we didn't have to put our child in school.  We could teach her ourselves.

So began the journey into the world of homeschooling. We knew that we'd be away from home for a year and thought we'd try it for that year and then re-evaluate.   It seemed like a perfect solution.  Our little girl could learn at her own pace and we'd get to explore a new city together and we'd see how it worked out, never realizing that we'd just ventured into a whole new way of living for our family.  This little "experiment" lasted through eight children (K-12) and prepared each of them to enter the world of higher education upon "graduation".

We encountered difficulties and challenges along the way but each year the pros outweighed the cons.  Homeschooling isn't for everyone but it worked for my family.   It was totally worth the time and commitment to see it through.

More on homeschooling next week...


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