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Home School – What We Learned

Homeschooling was always a “some day” for us.

My husband and I would talk about it almost like we talked about retirement plans. Someday, we would pull our kids from school and spend all our time with them homeschooling them. We imagined ourselves traveling around the country learning about whatever the kids were interested in. We had these imaginary jobs that allowed us to work for like 15 minutes a day and focus the rest of the day on the kids in harmony so wonderful it has never even been dared to be portrayed on either large or small screen. Our attitude when our oldest went into kindergarten was that we would give it a try. Now that I think about it, there are so many factors that went into our decision. The length of the day, the situation of the system, our children’s performance, the fact that we feel disconnected from their education. It is what is right for us for now. {Nikol}

My sister and I do not just say we are completely different for kicks. We have gone about planning for homeschooling completely different. The first tasks that I have started to tackle are where will the kids do work where I still have a shot at running a blog while teaching? I have no idea what the day will look like, but I am hoping to get bits and pieces of work done if there is time. So I have been thinking about tables and space in the office, where will our supplies go? What will be the easiest way to keep us all organized?

We currently do our homework at the kitchen table. That has downfalls. I hate having school supplies in our kitchen. We have a galley kitchen with 4 tiny 2.5 ft wide counter spots. I have one drawer dedicated to supplies and junk. Not exactly effective. The dog food and water is next to the counter. We have had papers and pencils fall into the water bowl before. I hate having to clear school work off of the table in order to eat. Hopefully, this new table in my office is going to work out well. We will test it out for the rest of the school year and make adjustments as needed.

Now comes the task of telling everyone that we are “pulling our kids”. I have gotten both support, criticism and honest questions. I guess that is to be expected. I don’t have all the answers. What I do know is that I am going to give it my all and I am working to create a solid support system. {Nikol}

Homeschooling was “I could never do that!” for us.

I didn’t know it but homeschooling was in the cards for me since my son was 3-years old.  We had a terrible experience at a very prestigious private school that lead us to a behaviorist, which lead us to pulling him out of that school to put him into another private school (a story for another blog post!).  Although the situation got better with his behavior, it was always a concern.  This experience snowballed and was one of the reasons I decided to home school my daughter, which lead us to thinking about homeschooling our son.

When this series began I still did not think I would ever homeschool.  I was a teacher in the system and very much believed in the system.  Plus, I always thought, “I could never do that!  He always fights me when I try to teach him, he’s better off learning from a teacher, just like we did!”  But the more that I realized my son was not thriving in the system, the more I began to think that maybe, I should at least find out more about this homeschooling thing.

What did I learn?  Honestly I’m not sure what my turning point was.  Part of it was that I knew soon in his current school situation Kade would not have a recess at all, which he only has a few days a week as it is.  Although my son was getting excellent grades I did not feel he was being challenged enough.  When I spoke to Alicia and heard her story I felt that she said all my concerns out loud.  After talking to Gracie and Christina I realized how much support was in our area and I started to think, “I can do this!  I can educate my children myself!”

As my sister mentioned above, we are very different.  As an educator my first priority was to figure out how I was going to teach them everything they needed to learn.  I immediately registered Kade for Classical Conversations, started researching curriculums, found a homeschool conference to attend, and began reading Peter Gray’s book Free to Learn.  Which has already changed the way I have planned on homeschooling and picking curriculum!  I plan on having my sister help me figure out where the table is going and how exactly I am going to work and homeschool!

I’m scared, excited, nervous, and overwhelmed all at the same time and just hope I can give my children everything they need to be successful.  {Vanessa}



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