A "blogger friend" posted a question about homeschooling on her blog and after I finished typing my response, I thought that it might be good to share it here as well. I know that I haven't done that fabulous of a job explaining to many of our family our thoughts behind home schooling. Believe me when I say that the directions that we've gone have been the result of a lot of thought and soul-searching and prayer. Here's my response to Traci's post:
Hey Traci. We homeschool for now. Our oldest son started his education in public school. He was there for all of K5 and part of 1st grade. The teachers were wonderful, he made a few friends, but he really struggled in an environment where he was one of 30 kids. He's introverted and a perfectionist and struggles with his reading skills but b/c he's so well-behaved, he flew under the radar just squeaking by and always got stuck next to the trouble maker. We decided in first grade that something had to change, but I wasn't ready to take the homeschool plunge, so we enrolled him in an University Model school. UMS involves the child attending classes 2 days a week and schooling at home, using the teacher's lesson plans, the other 3 days. We really enjoyed it and stayed there through the 2nd grade. At that point we realized that some of the curriculum they used, although fabulous, was not the best choice for John. Also, my husband was laid off so we could not afford any kind of tuition. So, we brought him home. This past year, we've home educated him for 3rd grade and his sister for K5. His is much more structured with sit down lessons, etc. Hers is more "as we come to it" practicing reading and writing, working in math workbooks (nothing special - the readiness workbooks at Walmart are fine.)
There have been many times over the past year that I've thought that maybe we were doing them a disservice. With my husband out of work (going on 16 months), I work 30 hours a week at church and our homeschool doesn't look anything like what I had imagined. But, I know that we are where God wants us. I am a control freak as well, especially with my children, but every time I try to envision my kids going to an institution for 7 hours a day surrounded by 30 other kids in a small room then coming home to a few hours of "busywork homework", I literally feel nauseous. And since private school is not an option, we continue to home school. And I'm reminded that home education is not just about reading and writing. It's about life skills, relationships, nurturing and growth. And I see all those things and more in my kids. So I know that we are where God would have us for this time. This time next year, it could be totally different. :-)
Praying for peace and guidance for both of you about this. Parenthood is tough!