Posted by: Genny Colby | March 27, 2012

Homeschooling

I knew, from the moment I met my kindergarten teacher, (who was also my 1st grade teacher) that I wanted to be a teacher.  That is how much I loved Mrs. Garfoot and school.  While growing up I may have flirted with being a lawyer, a police detective, or fashion designer, but it always came back to working with kids.  I did have one point where I seriously considered Child Psychology, but always came back to Education.  Early Childhood/Elementary Education to be specific.  I never saw myself as a High School teacher and after one semester of doing some volunteer work with Middle School kids…you could never PAY me enough to work with them again!

I also knew I wanted to have a family.  I grew up in a single family home, with my mother as the head of our house.  I was surrounded by strong, independent women who taught me I could be anything I wanted, I could dream as big as I wanted.  I never saw being a woman as an obstacle to achieving my goals.  I actually come from a long line of strong, independent women.  I knew I could have it all, a career and a family.  It may take some juggling, but it was more than doable.

And then my husband and I got serious about talking about a family.  After my years working in Early Childhood, I was no longer sure I wanted to go back to work, have my child in day care/preschool and basically have someone else have a very strong voice in raising them.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED my job as a teacher, and I was a great teacher.  But I also felt like “how can I leave my child all day to go play with someone else’s kids?” , at least when she was young.  So, after much less discussion than I expected, the hubby and I agreed that we would hold off on kids until we were in place that I could stay home with our kid(s).  I think we both assumed (me a little more than him) that going off to school at 5 was just a given.  We both did, it was just what you did with your kids, you send them to kindergarten and they progress through to High School Graduation.  Yes, we both had friends/knew kids who had been home-schooled, but that really did not seem like us.

I have now been home for 3 years with the most adorable, funny, energetic, creative, independent little girl.  We have such fun together exploring our world, doing projects, reading stories, and hanging out with friends.  And I realized, why pay to send her to preschool when I can do all that home?  I have the background, the resources, and  a ton of materials.  I was not worried about her social skills, she is a very social little girl (she gets that from her momma!).  Between our mom’s group, play dates, and gymnastics/swim lessons, she has plenty of opportunities to interact with other kids of all ages.

This fall we turned our front room into our school room.  The goal this year, our first year, is to hit about 20-30 minutes per day, 3-4 times per week.  It really started out as an experiment of “can we do this?  Can I teach my own child?  Will she listen and respond and learn from her mommy?”  It is going so well that I am excited to start planning a more comprehensive curriculum for next year.  I find myself searching the internet for activity idea, ordering new supplies and planning resources, and reading more and more about homeschooling.

Because of her where her birthday falls, she won’t actually be eligible for public school until she is closer to 6, so I am going to do a 4-yr old kindergarten at home, which is what I primarily taught.  And we are talking more and more about becoming one of “those” families that home schools.  There are so many wonderful advantages including using her interests are our basic areas of study and learning skills within those studies.  We can move at her pace, spending more time on things she is struggling with, but moving on to more challenging skills as she is ready, not when everyone else is ready.  And we have flexibility to just go out and explore and learn together.  Luckily I have made some great friends who are also either on this journey, or just starting out as well.  So at least I am not all alone on this new path.

Not the road I thought I would take when I was 5, or 15, or even 25, but here I am, almost 37, and ready to begin a whole new adventure with my kids that will not only (hopefully) give them a wonderful start to their education, but will allow their mom and dad to take that journey with them, be a part of their learning, and help to provide them with the skills they need to be who ever and what ever they can dream.

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Responses

  1. I’ve noticed a lot of homeschooling to-reads on your Goodreads updates lately—and grateful for the kick in the pants for my own family/reading ideas!

    As a graduate from one of “those” families, I say Hurray! And, It’s early yet. Lots of time to decide what works (or not) for you.

    I’m most definately an “unschooler” at heart, but struggling with how my own family will evolve. Uncertain still.

  2. Hi, I thought you would enjoy the post below. I’m following this fellow mom’s blog and she lists 100 reasons why she and her husband chose to homeschool their daughter – it’s pretty awesome.

    http://lazyhippiemama.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/weve-made-a-big-decision/


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