About three months ago, I started paying attention. I started paying attention to the frequency with which I found myself reading about issues with the U.S. public education system. I started paying attention to comments my kids’ teachers were making and, more importantly, to the things my boys were saying about their schooling. I started paying attention to the little voice inside that said, “this is not the education you want for your kids. Dig deeper. Find out what is going on. Look for another way.”
Three months ago, I started talking to my husband about the education we wanted for our boys. We started reading and researching together and engaging in lengthy discussions on the topic. Eventually, we looked to see what the options were for giving our boys the kind of education that we valued. I read a lot about homeschooling in my research and decided to learn more about it. I never in a million years thought I would or could homeschool, but that’s like saying you could never run into a burning building. Under the right circumstances, you can and you will do it if it means helping your child. After doing weeks of research, I knew I could do it and I knew I could do it well.
During this time we had many many conversations with the boys about homeschooling and what they would think of the idea. We had a neighborhood friend who homeschooled so it wasn’t a foreign idea to them. They actually seemed excited about it. We talked to them over the next few weeks about how they thought they would feel about not going to school anymore. We asked them what they thought they would like about home school and what they thought they wouldn’t like about it. We asked them what they didn’t like about public school. We asked them about what they thought they might like to learn about in homeschool that they weren’t learning about in public school.
A few weeks ago, I kept the older boys home and did a trial homeschool run for two days. I thought for sure they would sleep in like they do on weekends, but surprisingly they were out of bed before the time I typically have to drag them out to catch the bus. We did math, spelling, French, typing, history, science, writing, reading and computer skills. Eventually, we’ll add a couple more subjects, but these were just practice days. I just wanted them to have an understanding of what homeschool would really be like. We all loved it. I’m not saying it was easy and fun from start to finish, but we all loved it. At the end of the second day we talked about when they might want to be done with public school and picked a date three weeks out — Valentine’s Day. They wanted to go out with a bang and have their last day be the day of a school party.
So here we are. Our first official day of homeschooling. The one that isn’t just for practice. The one that really counts.
I’ll teach you to jump on the wind’s back, and then away we go. — Peter Pan