Hi All! My name is Genette and, in our family, we've recently made a big decision. I will be homeschooling my now 3rd grade daughter, Genna, and my kindergarten boy, Thomas. :) Several of my friends have suggested starting a blog because....so many people are wondering "Why in the world would they do that?" And others are simply thinking I'm completely off my rocker! LOL I'm not going to deny that, but what I will tell you is why we've made this decision and why we think it is the right one for us.
Warning and Disclaimer: After reading all of this (and the rest of my blog posts as they come) you might be tempted to join me in my endeavor!
My fascination began about 18 months or so ago, when my dear friend, and momma to my beautiful God Daughter, called to tell me that she was homeschooling her 2nd grader and Kindergartener. As she began to explain I immediately wanted to know more. It seemed like everytime I talked with her on the phone or saw her, we'd end up talking about their experience and I was never tired of hearing how much less stressful their lives were! Followed by her, I had another friend in California who made the jump...and she is extremely happy with her decision.
At that point, I really didn't believe that I could personally handle the challenge. I felt like most people...no way would Genna and I get through a day without pulling every hair out of our heads. So, we kept on keeping on. We kept on stressing over homework Monday through Thursday. We kept on stressing when the kids weren't sleeping by 8pm. We kept on waking our kids up before the sun came up and taking them out in the 30 degree weather in order to get to school in time for the 7:35am bell! We kept on deciding NOT to participate in enriching activities because we just couldn't handle and juggle anymore throughout our week. We kept on allowing days to go by when the only time our kids saw their daddy was when he woke up with them to get them to school. Actually, we still are! LOL Because I haven't pulled them out of school yet. We have a start date planned for October 5th. That will give me enough time to get things ready. I have a photography studio that is going to double as a classroom now! So...we have work to do! I'll post pictures as I have them. The good news is that we've been wanting to renovate the room to be a more productive studio anyway.
The next question many people are asking is "why now?" Well, lets see...I think my mom put it best when she said "Well, you are already spending 1 or 2 hours every night on homework...you may as well spend a couple more!" Third Grade has been a shocker, to say the least. I had issue with the quantity of homework last year, but it was managable. This year it is actually to the point where I simply don't blame her for not wanting to do it! LOL Completely ridiculous, in my humble opinion. I'll ask you all...if you or your spouse go to work for 8 hours...do they come home and work for 1 or 2 hours at the kitchen table? Some might...but, that isn't the way it is supposed to work! When do our kids get to be kids? I found myself saying "No, we can't go ride bikes because there is just no time with the homework, cooking dinner and bathtime." And then I felt so sad. :-( Genna is spending 45 hours per week on school and homework. Homeschooling will be 16 - 20 hours a week (tops) and she will be learning more and learning faster! Her instruction will all be one on one. If she doesn't get something, I'll know it right away! And since I'll know her level of understanding for each individual lesson the extra (home) work will be simply unnecessary!
So, what is the most common concern of the naysayers? Social concerns, of course! Well, simply stated...that is a complete myth. There are homeschool groups/organizations available. They are FULL of families. Last week I spent a few hours at a picnic for one of the local groups. I parked my van and looked in awe at what I saw. Probably 40 parents and 100 kids were there. All ages. All completely normal and well adjusted! The only real differences I did notice were all very positive. They had conversations with adults, they were very helpful and polite, and very sweet with younger children. I didn't hear one child crying there! I'm really hoping that trait rubs off on my kids! LOL This group gets together for PE on Thursdays and then almost weekly there is another social activity on the schedule. And I've heard that unofficially there are regular playdates. On top of all of that the kids do a variety of activities and will add more!
On an individual level....Genna is the child that I believe homeschooling will make the drastic difference for. She is so smart. But, like her momma, she struggles with an attention deficit - aka ADHD. So, after school...when she is overtired and has struggled all day to remain focused and to keep her emotions in check she gets to the point where she is just done. On top of that, she is a bit of a perfectionist.
Thomas is a completely different kiddo. He would do well in any environment. He happens to LOVE being with his mommy, though! :-) So, he is happy as ever to hear that he will get to be home with me, get his education, and go out (with mom) to play with friends.
I think the first and most important part of my decision making process was all about confidence! A few weeks ago I was beginning to toss the idea around in my own head. Then I gently made the suggestion to my husband. He completely shocked me because he was immediately on board. Then, the next day I mentioned it to my mom...who did the same thing! Shocked me with "I know you can do this and I think it would be great!" With that, I felt like a million bucks! This is a huge decision. And it certainly isn't one that can be made without confidence. Now I had two of my most important advisors in my corner saying "Get in there and knock this out because you can and because you want to!" Since then, I've found even more support. As for those who don't personally agree with my decision (I can tell who they are LOL)...well, they are coming around and will just have to see it work.
Well, that will be all for tonight! I'm sure as I go on I'll have much more to share.