Through the years of writing this blog I have talked very little about our home school life. Sure I have sprinkled hints of home school here and there; however, I have never really talked about the why. I have received many e-mails and much encouragement from friends outside of this blog saying I should share the why. Just last week I received an e-mail from Brandis, a blogging friend, asking me if I would do this very thing as a guest host on her blog. Without giving it much thought I dove in. I wrote a post talking about ” why” we home school. Mainly it’s a post about what brought us to this wonderful life of homeschooling. I shared the post with my son first and then with his approval I sent it off to Brandis. To my surprise this son of mine said, “Mom that was really nice. You should post this on your blog.”
~So, here it is ~
Everyone home schools for a different reason: it maybe family practicality, religious reasons, academic, the list just goes on and on. But, the truth is “why” a family homeschools is very personal. I have home schooled all our four children for 9 years now.
I believe in home schooling.
I believe most families would love homeschooling their children. There is a closeness to home schoolers that just can’t be matched anywhere. Home schooled kids are not weird. They are not antisocial. They are just normal children. Home schooled kids have to be made to do their homework, made to get up in the morning, made to go to bed at night and for the most part they have to be made to practice their piano just like other kids.
I was not always a home schooling mom.
At one time my children went to school. But, I soon realized public school was not the path we needed to take. I had a son that was struggling terribly in first grade. He wanted to read but just couldn’t get it. Time went by and I talked to the teacher weekly about his struggles. I talked to the teacher about my son’s upset stomach and how sick he felt every morning going to school. It was clear to me, even though I was telling her often this teacher was not aware of my son’s distress. It was clear to me she was not listening. Unbelievably, she was not aware, by any means, that one of her students was not reading. She told me time and time again my son was fine. But, I knew better. I knew he was struggling and desperate to achieve.
Then there was the day my phone rang. It was the school principle. He wanted to talk to me about my first grader who had just been caught cheating on a daily spelling test. I remember it all like it was yesterday. I went down to the school and learned my young son had spelling tests daily. I learned that the children in this first grade class had 10 minutes in the morning to study 10 new words each day and then they would be tested on them. I learned my little boy kept his new spelling words out on his desk so he could see them while taking the test that day to finally make a passing grade. He wanted to feel good about himself, if only for a moment.
My reaction was not at all what was expected by the principle or the teacher. My reaction was not anger towards my son. My anger was directed towards the teacher. My thinking was, and my thinking still is, 6 year olds do not cheat. . . unless they are desperate and he was.
That day I learned most of the children didn’t pass these spelling tests. I learned this teacher was trying a new program that was not working for her class but she wanted to stick to it because it was an expensive program. I was appalled the school would let such a thing happen. I was told by the principle not to worry because “next year things would be better“.
I demanded my son be tested for reading issues. I told the principle my baby had been struggling. I told this man how my son would tell me when he tried to read words would slip off his paper and it all made him sick to his stomach. I told the principle how many times this year I told my son’s teacher about these issues and she told me time and time again my son was fine. And now, here he was in trouble for cheating and I blamed them. I made it clear that the school was not to punish my son for this act. I would take care of it at home and I did.
As time went on that year the company my husband worked for was closing and moving to China. His job was ending and our young son was still not reading. After months of persistent fighting with our school our little boy was finally tested for his reading issues. The report came back visual perception problems. . .bottom line
An IEP was set up for this child. This smart little boy of mine would have to leave his class mates during science and history and go to a remedial reading group to learn the one thing he wanted so badly. This first grader was also required to keep up with the other studies he would be missing to go to the remedial classes. I knew my son was bright. His IQ tests showed me his intelligence was way above average. I already knew this about him. I knew if a 6 year old was going to take apart a VCR and put it back together. . . mostly right. . . he had to be smart. I could not figure out how in the world a school expected a child to keep up with reading subjects when he was struggling so much with reading. When I pressed the school to keep my son out of gym or art I was told this was not allowed by our school district. It was plain to see this plan would cause more frustration for this wonderfully bright, loving child of mine.
My husband and I knew if our son was going to achieve we had to help him ourselves.
~ and so our home school journey had begun ~
To much disapproval from everyone around us we took all the kids out of school and started a new year. I learned a lot that first year. Little did I know this thing called dyslexia that my son had came from his mother.
I learned Dyslexia runs in families.
I got mine from my father, he from his mother and so on. I also learned Dyslexia is a gift. It’s a gift that has to be worked around to reach the gift of reading. With a lot of hard work it can be done. But, never the less, this gift of Dyslexia brought us to home schooling and I am so grateful for that.
I can honestly tell you as a dyslexic home schooling mother of four this is one gift I would never trade for anything.
Home school is something I know I have to do for my son. I take one year at a time. Not everyday is bliss. There are many days I wonder why am I still doing this thing. And then there are those days that I know why I do this thing.
It doesn’t happen often but every now and then I will hear a “thank you” from one of my kids. Like the time my oldest said “Thanks Mom.” “Home schooling me was the best thing you could have done for me.” and that my dear Friends nine years later was my ah ha moment when I knew following my gut and home schooling our children was right.