Our homeschooling journey began on November 28, 2016.
After having multiple issues with bullying, being picked on, her not being challenged enough and getting in trouble for ‘being disruptive’, etc.. we pulled A out of public school and started putting together a curriculum that better suited her as well as focusing on subjects that were challenging for her so that she was actively learning.
The problem with most schools these days is that they teach for the test and not for the kids. Here our kids are required to do SOL test starting in third grade and the teachers only focus on and teach what is on the SOL lists. The problem with that is that most kids don’t get the education they deserve because they’re not being challenged when it comes to the work or they don’t spend enough time working on it to suite the kids’ needs.
A told me that her teacher, even when introducing new topics, would show them one example and hand them a worksheet that they had to complete in a certain amount of time. Now, since she is only 9 and has a tendency to exaggerate things I asked a couple of the students in her class and a couple that are in grades higher than her. All of them said the same thing A did. It is ridiculous to expect a child to understand a new topic, especially math, with one example given to them.
I spoke with her math teacher during on of the parent/teacher conferences about how A was doing in math and if there was anything that we needed to work on with her at home. I had no idea what she was working on or what grades she was getting because no worksheets were being sent home. Her teacher told me “I am still learning my own way of teaching and their ways of learning since this is my first year teaching math. I’ve been with the school for fifteen years and have always taught history and language arts, so I put my math knowledge on the back burner and my husband helps my children with their homework. Math is my least favorite subject and I was a little irritated when I found out I would be teaching it this year.”
I’m sorry but being a parent to a child who struggles in math, this is NOT what I wanted to hear! This was when I began doing even more in depth research on homeschooling and what all it would take for me to do it. I thought we had to wait til the beginning of the next school year so I thought this was something I would have to just deal with until she began fourth grade and I could pull her out of public school.
She was already dealing with being bullied and being picked on which I was working with the school on and they weren’t showing any interest in fixing the issues. It was always the same kids and it seemed like nothing was being done. I talked with the principal, the assistant principal, and the counselor (who A had seen many times over the course of the school year because of having issues with kids) and they all seemed on top of everything when I saw them in person.. but nothing was actually being done.
Fast forward a couple weeks.. A got off the bus crying with a red eye. She says some kid punched her in the face.. of course no one “saw it happen” so it was her against the kid she said did it. The bus driver separated them making A sit in the front of the bus which embarrassed her and only made things worse. She started blaming herself for being bullied.
This was the straw that broke the camels back. I had had enough and whether or not I would get in trouble for her not going to school we decided to pull her. That weekend I found out you do not have to wait til the new school year to pull them, you can start homeschooling whenever you want. So I got all the information I needed, submitted it, and kept her home.
It started off really bad. She complained everyday about having to do work, having to get up, having to still go to bed at a certain time, etc. About two weeks in I sat her down and we had a long talk. I explained to her why I did this and why I am so headstrong about her education. I want my kids to do amazing in life and have a good solid education to back them up. I don’t care if they don’t go to college, that’s their choice. I do want them to finish high school and graduate.
After I explained these things to her she was much more open to this new adventure we were all going through. It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t at time, but we make it work and now she’s ahead of her grade in math, which was her biggest struggle in public school. I’m not saying that in a bragging manner because I know all she needed was a more one-on-one learning experience which is exactly what I have given her. She’s come so far and I couldn’t be happier.
Next year will be our first full year of homeschooling and, to be honest, it’s a little overwhelming to think about but I got this!
I am currently working on a full curriculum, all kinds of resources, and different field trips we can go on. It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of patience but it’s something I would decide to do over and over again to be the best I can be for my kids.
Have you ever thought of homeschooling? Or would you like to know more about it? Let me know!