Homeschool. Let’s do this thing!

Tomorrow is the day. The day we begin to homeschool our kids. It wasn’t just something we decided to do last minute and frivolously signed up for. Trust me, we thought about this long and hard. It’s been a decision in the making for about two years. Homeschooling is not for everyone, HECK it might not even be for us, but it feels like it will fit right. We know the value of an education. We know how important the balance for our kids’ happiness AND an education is also. You see, the neighborhood I live in…it’s above the lower class, but below the middle class…if that makes sense. The school Lil J went to her entire elementary school career and Lil M went to for three years, it’s score is a 2 on the 1-10 scale. We want better for our kids. We did manage this year to get them into schools that were both scored as 8’s. They went there for this past entire fall semester. It was good. Things were not bad. (Other than me having to drive for 2 hours to get them both to separate schools in the morning and another 2 hours in the afternoon)…but it was worth it for a better opportunity for the kids. Homeschooling was the main goal for this entire school year but we had to get the right documents, records, applications, etc… sent to us first. So the “better” schools were actually a step up until we got the homeschooling approved because we did not want Lil J (who entered middle school this year) to go to the middle school that she was zoned for; albeit my junior high alma mater, it wasn’t the best school then and it’s certainly fallen down the ladder since. We don’t know how the homeschooling will turn out, but we have high hopes. But my sister, who I call S, (who is also the mother of Lil J & Lil M)…she is NOT happy at all that we are homeschooling them. In fact, we got into a little tiff tonight about it. It does not sit well with me that she’s giving us grief over it because: 1. She has not raised the kids in almost 6 years. She was choosing drugs, a dating life, a “fun” life over them repeatedly. It’s true that child services initially took them from her, but she didn’t try one time to get them back. She’s had all this time. Yes, for 4 1/2 years of it she was in and out of rehab centers, jails, and halfway houses…but mostly because she kept choosing drugs over them. She’s been clean for over a year now (wonderful news and definitely the longest ever), but she still hasn’t stepped up like a mother should (besides moments here and there when she feels the need)…when she does see them, she pops in for an hour once or twice a week with some form of fast food or presents and then darts back home to “her life”. So yea, it kinda burns my biscuit that she feels the need to have an opinion on THIS MATTER. But also, her reasoning really just…for lack of a better word: SUCKS. She’s upset that now they won’t have boyfriends, or get to go to prom or football games. Yea, try not to choke on your green tea latte. Let me break it down. Yes, a social life is important for kids. Yes, the proms and boyfriends and football games CAN be some of the best memories of a person’s life…BUT not all kids live for that stuff. Some have other interests, ideas, and passions. Some just “aren’t that into it”. So, it’s okay if these kids could care less about these things. It’s also absolutely okay if they do care about them. One day they might, but they are 8 years old and 11 years old for God’s sake. Why on earth do girls those ages NEED to have a boyfriend, and what kind of parent PUSHES those things on their kids. It’s so bizarre. That is just one way my sister and I differ. We both had lots of friends in high school and a decent social life…but she CARED about those things, I didn’t. Also, she STILL cares about those things. It’s like she’s an almost 30 year old trapped in a 16 year old girl’s mind. No kidding. My sister (though I love her) is kinda shallow. She still believes that the world revolves around name brand clothes and judging people’s looks and popularity. Name brand clothes are fine, if you’re attractive; that’s swell, but those things should not control your mind when you’re almost 30 and have had two kids. She passes these ideas along to the kids whenever she can and me and my mom spend the rest of the time trying to undo it. It’s a struggle bus. But I digress, we plan on making sure the kids have a social life too for as long as they are in homeschool, whether it be for the rest of their non-collegiate career…or if only a semester. Here are the reasons why homeschool seems right for OUR FAMILY. 1. The kids want it. What kid doesn’t want to roll out of bed and attend school in their pajamas in the comfort of their own home? In fact I (half)jokingly told them that our school uniform is pajamas and that they will be “sent home” if wearing real clothes- haha.  2. My mom is always home and I am much of the time, so WHY NOT. 3. Lil J has a harder time learning in a group setting and we believe that one-on-one attention in a comfortable setting will boost her learning and not to mention, grades. 4. We don’t live a conventional life and we don’t want to. Our lives are a little crazy, a lot unique, but blessed. Homeschool just FEELS RIGHT for us. Call it a gut feeling, maybe it’s wrong, but it’s there. 5. Statistically, homeschool children end up testing above their grade level. 6. We feel much safer having them home with us than at school. I’m not one of those “hovering parents” with attachment problems, school is legit a scary place these days! With school shootings being a modern day trend, fatal bus accidents going on left and right, fights, bullies, peer pressure…and not to mention just the crummy way schools are today with the CRAPPY food, common core, boot camp rules…it’s not even slightly enjoyable anymore.  7. Some of the super fun homeschool facts: They only have to have 4 hours of teaching A DAY so it makes for a shorter day so there’s more time for family, fun, and extracurricular activities! We can take them to the zoo or museums for science and history classes. We get to plan our own curriculum, lesson plans, and work. No hall passes needed to go to the restroom or get a drink of water…and there’s so much more. Though we plan to do classes from 9-2:30 everyday, if I need to go do a photography job or we decide to spend the day somewhere in the mountains; we can come home and do their classes in the evening…it’s super flexible as long as they get at least 20 hours of teaching a week in. Anyways, obviously we are doing this FOR THE KIDS. They feel relieved and are very excited about it. If we didn’t care, we’d just make them go to school because HELLO MORE FREE TIME FOR US. While they’re at school is usually when I get my errands in, clean the house, make lunch dates with friends, do jobs, or even nap! Homeschool wipes that out, but I’m okay with that…because it’s for the kids! Anyways, tomorrow is DAY 1. We are very excited about teaching them. I will be teaching them Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies this semester while my mom will take Bible, Music, Spelling, Cursive Writing, and P.E….if we do it next year, we will switch it up with different arts and electives. We have the “classroom” set up, weekly lessons planned and the kids in bed. I’ll most definitely update you on how it’s going for each one of us. But for now, I’m going in like a wrecking ball. 🙂

 

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