Okay, here it is... I said I would blog about this sometime, so this is my first real blog about this subject:
Of course, the first thing that everyone assumes is that we must have had a problem with public school... MYTH! Quite the opposite. For us homeschooling was difficult decision because we have had a good experience with our school. And yes, our school age kids are still young so that may not have always been the case. My husband is a 7th grade teacher and some of the stories he comes home telling me are frightening to say the least.... children having "relations" in the bathrooms, pre-teen pregnancy, teachers with emotional problems, and the list goes on into infinity. Suprisingly, those are not the reasons we switched to homeschooling either.... although, they do make me think that I am glad I did!! LOL!
The oh-so-simple reason I homeschool my kids is to be with them. I had kids fully on purpose and I always want to be with them. I am just NOT one of those people that is eager to see them going out the door. I just "had kids so I could have kids" and I put that in qoutes because I say that all the time. I did not have kids so the grandparents could have them, or the neighbor, or the school, or anyone else. I wanted them to be near me and still want them near me. It has only been recently that through the overwhelming moments of having four that I have had those days that I feel I need a break... and the truth of that is that I really feel THEY need the break from me. I have the need to feel successful at raising them and teaching them that I sometimes "botch" it.... I know I will relax as time goes on and I am going to start reminding my self daily why I am homeschooling them....I want to be with them!!
Last school year my then 1st grader asked me to homeschool her. I decided to. Then, I got this overwhelmign sense of dread the day I ordered my books. On top of that my daughter's teacher was pleading with me not to do it. I did a test run during the Christmas break, but only for a couple of days. In the end I was too uncertain of what I should do. I felt unqualified to teach her!!
So, time jogs on and I chalk it all up to hormones (I was in my first weeks of pregnancy) or something. We get through the school year. Our sweet Sahara is born in July and I am thrilled that Savannah is going to be at home with her baby sister for several weeks before the school year starts again. Suprisingly, Savannah (7) is excited about school starting, so that is a relief! Sierra (4) is excited about her Pre-K school, so all seems right with the world. Except, by the second day of school Savannah is already not excited any longer... it was just okay... then, the homework started. She was given a list of twenty spelling words to be tested on on Fridays, a textbook to read from and answer questions and turn in on Thursdays, Science vocabulary words to learn for a test on Thursdays, Math homework pages on Tuesdays, and weekly reading was expected out of her library book three times a week. Mix that with church on Sunday, gymnastics on Monday, and church on Wednesday (not to mentioned other events) there is no time left to breathe!! NOW notice something here because this is key... I want to be with my children, but not JUST be with them. I want to have some quality time with them! Not just get up and rush them off to school, pick them up, do homework, have dinner, do the bedtime/bath routine and put them to bed early, so they will have the energy to get up and do it all again the next day!!
So, we live in Southeast Texas and we have been through the eye of Hurricane Rita coming directly over our house (with us evacuated) three years ago. We managed to dodge a tropical depression in July and Hurricane Gustav in late August of 2008. With Gustav they did close school for evacuations. Savannah in her innocence began to pray diligently when Hurricane Ike started forming way, way, way out in the Ocean.... her prayer was that Hurricane Ike would hit our area, so she could be out of school. If you are reading this, please remember she was seven and did not understand the devastation she was asking God to bring just so she could get out of school! She does now carry a burden of severe guilt over it now. As fate would have it that crazy Hurricane came and she did get out of school. No child could have been more thrilled to not have to go to school for those couple of weeks! And that is when my eyes opened! How sad that my daughter would pray for a Hurricane to hit to keep from going to school!
I began to reevaluate the homeschool issue and my children attended public school for their last time on October 31, 2008. (To be continued... I will share more about how this affects my husband as a Teacher, etc)