I haven’t always been. My oldest son went through public school, and then he even went to a boarding school… My second son went through public school until the 7th grade…then we home-schooled through 12th. My daughter was in public through 5th, then home, then back to public for 9th through 12th…and then our youngest… he has been in public, private and home… I have been room-mom, PTA officer, substitute teacher and tutor. I’ve home-schooled with the help of a couple **home-school “schools” and I’ve created a curriculum all by myself… I like to think I am well rounded in the area of educational options.
I used to think that home-schoolers were “weird”. At the least, they were crazy! I always thought I would end up in prison for beating my children if I ever even tried it… I was one of those moms that counted down summer vacation and never, ever thought to challenge a teacher, a specialist or a curriculum…
My second child had always struggled in school. He had all of the extra help the public schools could provide. He even spent every summer in summer school. By 6th grade he had figured out how to divert the attention from his lack of understanding by becoming the class clown. He was popular with the kids, but no so much with the teachers. He technically failed 6th grade, but, against our wishes, was placed in 7th grade. Things got worse. After 1st semester progress reports, I knew we had to do something drastic. After extensive independent testing, we found out that after all of his education, our son was on a 4th grade level…but in the 7th grade. How did this happen? We had to do something, and quick.
We found out that he has Dyslexia. His reading skills were minimal, and he had mastered the art of diversion. We got him a tutor that specialized in dyslexia, and the Wilson Program, and then we enrolled him in a home-school “school” that focused on the children’s hearts and their spirits. With the specialized focus, and lots of one on one teaching, he was on grade level in just over a year.
We opted to continue home schooling through his high school years. We enrolled him in The American School, which is an established correspondence school. We were able to continue using the dyslexia tutor and exercises, as well as one on one lessons and group activities. He received his diploma with a 3.4 GPA in just under 4 years. It was not always easy, but when your routine changes, everything changes, including attitudes.
So, my motivation for home-schooling, began out of desperation to help my son, who had slipped though the cracks of the public school system. They did their best, and it just wasn’t good enough, and that’s OK. It’s not their responsibility anyway. It’s mine. Parents know their kids better than anyone, or at least, they should. It’s the parents job to be the advocate for their kids, to make sure they are getting the services they need, even if that means to be in a different environment all together. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it. Really.
So, that is how I started… it’s not really why I still do it though….
stay tuned for part 2…
** A home-school “school” is a program that offers classroom teaching, with pre-packaged curriculum. Most of these schools offer classes once a week in a block schedule. The assignments are completed at home, with the help of the parents, then turned back in to the class teacher the following week.