We start school here in our household... But today was the day most of the area public schools started... It also starts the day when perfect strangers feel the need to ask me Why my kids aren't in school if we happen to be out in public during normal school hours? Then when we reply we home school! I sometimes get a look like you are not doing it right and they ask the girls "Did you do your school today?"or I get a smile and a nod of approval... When we get asked the "Did you do your school today?" I some times want to get real sarcastic and say "No we slept till 2pm, had ice cream for breakfast and then decided to cruise town".. Lol.. Truth is we are usually up by 6:30-7am and get chores done and then start school by 9am.. We do keep a flexible schedule though. It is what works the best for us..
We tried the public school thing. Let me say this first! I am NOT Totally Against Public schools! You don't have to defend your decisions to me. Some people the first thing they say after I say we home school is I could never do that. And that's just Fine!! The main thing is being there for your kids and helping them no matter what your choices are. I am not defending our decisions here just sharing it..
My girls went in to school in the 80th percentile in preschool knowing everything they needed to know plus some came out of preschool at a high average to go into a kindergarten class that almost ruined them.. I was told how my kids were struggling in school. I asked for things to help them.. I was told they will catch it later.. They passed my oldest on to 1st grade and the other 2 entered Kindergarten.. They put my oldest in a special reading class were the teacher would get angry and smack the kid's desk. That teacher got angry when I removed Candice from the reading class. It wasn't working and the teacher was very hateful and angry. The teacher was also convinced we did nothing at home. That ticked me off because we would spend an hour every night struggling through what she sent home. I didn't know about the smacking the desk thing and other stuff till much later..
Candice 1st grade
My daughter Who Loved to read and be read too now Hated it! With a passion! She also hated school and was so nervous she had chewed all her fingernails down till they were raw. She always had dark circle under her eyes and didn't eat much. I was really worried about her.. She was also acting out big time. Looking back it breaks my heart to see what she went through.
Her 1st grade teacher worked with her and another student together. She truly cared about my daughter.. In the mean time my other 2 started having problems( same kindergarten teacher as my oldest).. I started thinking about homeschooling.. My first thoughts were I can't do that!!.. I don't have the patience and what about socialization?? and many, many other questions.. So I started researching.. I read every book I could find on teaching my kids to read as this seemed to be one of our big problems. Looked up homeschooling online.. There wasn't near as much at the time as there is now.. The biggest help was The Homeschool Legal Defense Association website.
So then after much discussion with my husband who wasn't really for it to begin with but was willing to let me try. Especially seeing how unhappy our kids were and how stressed our family was at the time.. It was miserable.. So then to make the curriculum decision.. Coming out of public school and having trouble already I wasn't quite sure what to do.. So I bought a curriculum I was familiar with having been in christian school for about 5 yrs as a kid myself. I decided that is what I was going to use...
The best piece of advice I got was Do Not Base You Entire Opinion On Your First Year!!! Boy was that true! Things were rough! I loved my kids but I felt like I was beating my head against a brick wall.. Back to the internet and more curriculum researching... Found another curriculum and it worked okay then I added some unit studies.. That was even better.. Finally about 4 yrs later my oldest didn't see school as so much of a chore and the other 2 liked it as well. We were still struggling with reading with 2 out of the 3 kids. Even now its a chore for them. But if they find something they like they make more of an effort.. One kid likes to read! They still have issues but things are improved.
I don't have a problem with Public schools! The way some of them are managed and some of the teachers in the way they manage the kids. I know several Really good teachers! I still pay my taxes that support them. Not everyone is cut out to be a homeschooling family. Not everyone is meant to be a Public school family. My major pet peeve with the public schools is they want to put out Cookie cutter kids. Everyone scoring high in all subjects and showing no real individuality at all.
My experience with school was this started out in public then to a christian school for 5 years then back to public.. I did NOT like school But I loved learning.. I still do! Junior High and High school I was almost sick sometimes with nerves. If you got hung up in the wrong crowd you were pretty much stuck there till you graduated! If you tried to get away then you were still classified as being with that "crowd"! I did have friends and I did learn. But My grades A-B were average because I would get bored and slack off by the end of the year.. I think I could have done more but I preferred to fly below radar with most teachers and Lets face it the middle of the road kids get less attention than say one with "problems" or a High achiever!
All this went into our decision to homeschool. Along with my husband's experiences. We are extremely happy with our decision. Even Kyle who wasn't really for it at the beginning says it was the best decision. He supports the girls and I in it. He is active in our daily life as much as he can with working outside the home.. He can teach them things I can't. The best kind of learning comes from experience and that is one of the things we focus on. Yes we still have our book work because it all adds up. This year we are completely tossing our strict curriculum. We have added bits and pieces to make up a whole....With all subjects covered in various forms of education. All you extremely organized people reading this probably just had a "some one walking over your grave" type shudder! But that's okay! Just be glad its me and not you. lol
Some people don't agree with how we are doing things but I have never been one to do something for other people's approval. It is working for our family. One day I am hopeful that we will launch productive, responsible Christian women into the world. Right now we just have to get through the teen years!