Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Made You Want to Homeschool?

As a homeschooling mom, I love to hear other homeschooling moms share why they chose to homeschool.  One reason I love this is that I am always fascinated by people and what drives them in life, what makes them tick.  Another reason is that the reasons are always so diverse...rarely have I heard the same reason twice.

For us, it came quite accidentally.  In the beginning I thought homeschoolers were weird and brainwashed.  I felt sorry for them-they would never know how to get along in the 'real world'.
How would they ever learn how to socialize with others if they were home ALL DAY?   (Quit laughing...I really thought these things.)

So I dutifully sent my son, and then later my daughter, to preschool at the age of 3.  A private, church based preschool.  Which, honestly, was wonderful.  They did learn how to function in a group, without Mommy, and learned lots of things.  (My daughter learned to read when she was 3 years old.  I was so surprised!)

Then came public school. 

Starting in kindergarten, my son struggled.  Not with the academics, but with fine motor skills.  After much urging, I agreed to have him evaluated for OT.  Naturally, he qualified and began the OT one day a week.  Which, again, was wonderful for him. 

What was not wonderful was the fact that his teacher began 'not so subtly' hinting that my son should be placed on ADD medication.  He was not the kid running around, out of his seat and disturbing others....he was the kid daydreaming and not paying attention.  I suggested maybe he was bored.  (He probably was.)  Still, the insistence continued.

First Grade-  More suggestions for ADD meds.  More of me saying "No."  Still, he loved school and loved to read.

Second Grade- Suffered through the school year with the Mean Teacher.  Who personally blamed my son for their class not getting the 'AR' trophy that month.  (In Georgia, the AR program is a reading program through which the schools bribe the kids to read with prizes and such.  This school awarded a trophy to the class with the most books read.)  My son began to despise reading.  It was no longer an enjoyable activity for him.  He was still struggling with fine motor skills and grew frustrated with handwritten work.

He also started developing migraine headaches this year.  On the third trip in two weeks to pick up my son because he was vomitting, his teacher mentioned "Well, he never said his stomach hurt...he just said he had a headache."  Yeah, thanks for letting me know. 

Third Grade- Wonderful teacher who noticed that all of her students who had my son's second grade teacher the year before were not enthusiastic readers.  (Hmmmm...wonder why?)  He never, NEVER wanted to read.  As a voracious reader, that killed me!  Also, because my son was easily distracted, he was placed at the table nearest the teachers desk.  Which was fine...except that all the class clowns and deviants were also at that table.  Not a good combination.  Also, even though he tested fine on reading comprehension and math, I felt his skills were not where I wanted them to be.  I wanted better for him.

Anyway, third grade was the year of Cursive Writing.  My fine motor deficient son, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, struggled with it.  The teacher, bless her heart, had no extra time to sit with him to work on it.  So yours truly took it upon herself to teach it during homework time.

As I sat there teaching him cursive, it was like a light bulb went off in my head:  "If you can teach him this you might as well teach him all of it." 

Sometimes if people say God spoke to them, others look at them with suspicion.  But truly, it felt like God spoke to me.

(Side note:  The first week of kindergarten, my daughter's teacher told me she didn't know what to do with her.  She was reading at a third grade level at the beginning of the kindergarten year.  By the end of he year, she was reading on a fifth grade level.  She was denied the opportunity of sitting in a first grade reading group during reading time.  Andwith the AR program, she was denied reading 'age appropriate' books...she was expected to read third-fourth grade level books.  So unfair in my opinion.  So she spent her year helping the other kids who struggled with reading.  And she was sick constantly. )

I began researching homeschool techniques, statistics, curriculum. 

And I prayed.

Suddenly, I knew this was the answer I had been looking for. 

That following summer, we started with little 'mini-lessons' on science topics and history.  They loved it.  I loved it.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

So, after my rambling tale...what's your story?  Why did you start homeschooling?  I'd love to know.


  1. Well, really you know my story, as I was one of those youprobably felt sorry for! ha ha! But really, it was impressed upon my husband and me early on, but let's just say I wasn't accepting that message. So, my eldest went to that same wonderful church preschool yours did and did well, but even there, my strong-willed and very bright boy struggled with 'personality' clashes at THREE. Really? He wasn't the type to run around and disobey, he would just say what he did and did not want to do and have an opinion on everything. He needed strong structure. PreK was awesome b/c his teacher was awesome. K was a different story - he was allowed to run the show and yet was not provided with the level of material he needed - yes a bored stubborn 5 year old running the show. wow. God just used all of it to show me that He was right and I should have brought him home sooner. If I had to fight that hard at a wonderful school, what would it be like at public school? May as well do it myself if I was going to spend all that time and give him what he needs. Learned on the 2nd kid and brought him home for K. LOVE it! Love my kids and there is nothing better than doing what God says!

  2. Isn't it amazing how God does talk to us? From my favorite hymn: "In the rustling grass I hear Him pass; He speaks to me everywhere."
    Here's my condensed story: loads of research, observation, soul searching and prayer convinced me that there really is no truly "good" public school. Not today, anyway. We sent my daughter to a fabulous school with a fabulous tuition price tag. A couple of years later, the horrible economy pressed us to make some tough decisions. The biggest one was homeschooling. Our 2nd year into it, we the IRS forced us into foreclosure (bullies, bad ones they are - and now they're REFUNDING the money they seized..sigh). Anyway, the foreclosure lead us to the far corner of Horrid County to a location that seems inconvenient to everything. However, that "forced" decision was truly God's plan. I fell in love with homeschooling. My family has more peace than ever before. And if it hadn't been for that foreclosure, I never would've even considered the amazing homeschool group I joined in a neighboring county, whose benefits are just too many to list! God really is in control. "You lead, I'll follow!"
    Lisa Needsawordlimit Wheeler