Well, we officially started homeschooling last Friday. I am happy to say that our first week has gone really well. Even a year ago I would have had no idea we would ever homeschool. In fact, I was so ready to get even my little ones out of the house and off to school so I could move on with MY LIFE. (Ok...so no mom of the year award for me - yes, I was being selfish and quite moody....hey 2 toddlers who gave up naps and a newborn, who can blame me?) Anyway...it had never been my intention to homeschool. Many people consider it for years. We just kind of stumbled on it.
I am so glad I am turning into the person that I NEVER wanted to be. It is amazing how your veiws on things change with time. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom...then I had my twins and that changed real quick. I am even beginning to get the housework part down and I can cook dinner without burning anything, (usually). I never felt I could be a housewife and did not have that desire. I used to think that staying at home and being a housewife and mom was only for THOSE women. Now I am one of THEM and I am so glad. I have been soooo BLESSED!!!
Just another example on how veiws change... Neither my husband or I were not born here, but we both spent most of our childhood years here in Albuquerque. When we met, we had it all planned out. Once we got primary custody of my step-daughter we were out of here and on to the greener grass on the other side. Well, so much for that idea. They don't call it the Land of Entrapment for nothing......ohhh....it's the Land of Enchantment....oh well...whatever. Now, I could not see us living anywhere else. Even though we could move now, we would not want to. AS much as I hate to say it, We love it here.
OK...so I am just babbling now....maybe someone will find this of interest. I guess I should get back to my point. Oh? You did not think I had one? Well, I was going to get to it and kind of got off on a tangent. Well, getting to my point. We never thought homeschooling was for us. I was one of those people that can't imagine how anyone could homeschool. Yes, you know the one I am talking about. The one that responds, "You must be CRAZY....Your'e choosing to keep your kids at home??? I would probably end up killing mine if I could not send them off to school!" when you mention you homeschool. Yes. That was me.
So, how did we end up pulling Jordan out of public school and giving this a try? One day I just felt that I needed to look into homeschooling. To tell you the truth, I don't really think there was any external reason that got me thinking this way. I mentioned this to my husband and amazingly, he agreed that we should consider it. I began researching anything I could find about homeschooling. Little by little I was able to chip away to find what homeschooling was really all about. I am amazed at what I have found. It is nothing like I initially thought. In fact, if I judged this past week based my initial impressions of what homeschooling should be, I would be a complete failure. But, this week has gone so well. I am so EXCITED to continue on this journey!!! I know that this is what we were meant to do and everything has fallen into place so perfectly.
I am so greatful for this group and the role that it has played in making what began as a simple thought into a reality. There are so many wonderful ladies in this group. I am so glad that God placed each of you in my life. THANK YOU!
Also, for those of you considering homeschooling, but that are not sure... Make sure that you really consider this option for your family. I understand that there are many different situations out there and that each family must choose what will work best for them. If I am able to make this work, I think just about anyone could. If this is what you really want...don't let circumstances get you down. It is amazing how things start working themselves out when you are doing what you are meant to be doing.
Well, enough of my rambling. I hope you all do not mind my carrying on. If you do....why are you still reading this??? (oh...so you have insomnia too??? ....hey my rambling helps my husband fall asleep all the time.....you never know - maybe it will work for you) Anyway, I do not know if any of this made sense, but just felt like sharing. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity.
Jess, Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. It's always interesting how things tend to come full circle. I truly beleive, when we do the right things, we end up with immeasurable blessings and happiness.
I had dreams, out of high school (almost 20 yrs ago - gosh, I don't feel that old ), to go off to The Art Institute to become a Comercial/Graphic Artist. It was far away from home, and my Mom discouraged me. So, I gave up, rebelled, and decided to avoid college altogether.
No regrets! Had I done that - I wouldn't be where I am today. I met my wonderful husband, of 16 years, got married, and started our family a year and a half later. I always knew I wanted to be a SAHM (stay at home mom) when we had children. Fortunately, my husband supported me in that. We had two children (now - 14 & 11 - wow!), whom I enjoyed staying home with.
As was the norm, when our kids became of age, we tucked them into school. But, as the years passed, I began to notice the environment they were in. I volunteered a lot, and didn't like what I saw. The final straw was a terrible experience. Our son had been "bullied" - throughout his 3rd grade yr. - by kids referring to themselves as a "gang". Although we had meetings with the Principle to address this issue, she blew it off. About a month before summer break, our son ended up face down, in the dirt of the playground, with these kids kicking him. The the ring leader of this *3rd* grade "gang", jumped on his back, pulled out a short stick, and began to stab at his shoulder (as if he had a knife). The scary thought - he was susspended for two weeks, about a month prior to this incident, for actually having a pocket knife at school. To make a long nightmare short - the stick didn't penetrate our sons flesh, but it left a incredibly nasty bruise. Not to mention emotional scaring.
We always considered homeschooling as an option, and suddenly it became our only choice - for the sake of our children's well being. Kids should not have to fear the environment they're supposed to be learning in. So we began our wonderful journey of homeschooling. Looking back - it WAS definitely the right choice. My only regret was that I had not done it all along - from the beginning.
Now, as we go into our 6th year of learning at home, I'm actually doing what I wanted to begin with. Through the homeschool resource guide I'm publishing, I'm getting to do Commercial & Graphic Art, and I'm loving every minute of it! Amazing!! My childeren are old enough that I can do this. In the process, they're learning some of the "ins & outs" of owning a business and being your own boss. Entrepreneurship at its finest! Well, actually I'm flying by the seat of my pants, but it's still a good lesson. I hope to turn this into a thriving family business, which they can eventually participate in, all while continuing to do what I love - being with my kids, teaching them, and learning together. Motherhood - the ultimate job!
I'm so glad you both shared your thoughts because it is times like this -- public school back in school and us homeschoolers either back already or at least thinking about it (wink), that we as homeschool moms start second guessing our decisions and our reasons for doing this. It was nice to hear about both of your transition in thought (and circumstance) that probably all of us go through at some point -- from are you crazy?!##! - HOMESCHOOL? me? to YES!!!! I can, I am and I SHOULD be homeschooling my kids. That is the kind of encouragement we all need to remember. Thanks for sharing! Jacque
Thank you so much for sharing your stories. They are both inspirational. Those are the kind of stories you want to be able to read again later...on the bad days when you are wondering why you ever wanted to homeschool.
P.S. I prefer the term Fulltime Mother as opposed to SAHM, since we all know that none of us ever get a chance to stay at home.
"Land of Entrapment".....ROFL! Jess, you are too funny!
I enjoyed your spiel very much. I'm so glad you are finding enrichment in home schooling......you encourage me to keep going. We started up again last Monday, and it has been slow going. The reason for that, however, is because we need ink for our printer so I can print Lydia's school work for her. I've had to improvise for the last two weeks. I guess I could have waited for the ink, but I wanted to get started up again. (We've been schooling off and on since February.) Anyway, I'm glad things are going so well for you.
You inspire me to get off my duff and finally officially join the co-op. I've been meaning to forever, but haven't done it yet.
I came to homeschooling by an unusual route, and one so different from yours, Jessica, that it makes me laugh to think of it. Isn't it great how we can start in such different directions to end up in a similar place to be friends? I met my husband when we were in college -- it will be 26 years ago (not a typo!) next month. We stayed together over so many years, with graduate school, working at high tech jobs in several states, living in a great apt in Boston just a few doors uphill from Senator Kerry, and traveling a lot. We thought we had it all, and needless to say, no thoughts of babies at all, until I had Eric when I was 38.
I'm sure if I thought about it at all before then, I'd have figured on putting my child in daycare asap and getting on with my life. Well, you all know how that can change. The idea certainly horrifies me now. My life turned completely around, and incidentally somewhat divided me from many of my childless, 40-something, career-oriented friends. We had little in common anymore. I researched childbirth stuff when I was pregnant, decided on a homebirth (thereby shocking most of my family), did the family bed thing, the baby wearing, homemade baby food, extended breastfeeding, etc, etc. After my conversion from high tech consulting to granola motherhood, homeschooling just made sense.
And like Barbara, I find that I can still do that other thing that I love, computer work, because I get to set up and host this web site and message board. Who says you can't have it all (or at least most of it)?
I have to say our first week of homeschooling hasn't been quite what I had hoped, but I'm working on changing my expectations. I just remind myself that this is a learning experience for the whole family.
Years ago I thought 'homeschooling!' are you kidding me? Why would you do that to your children? Why keep them from the school experience? After I had my daughter I never wanted her out of my sight. Adjusting to motherhood and the type of mother that I had become I felt uncomfortable with the idea of ever sending her to public school, and turning her well being over to complete strangers. It was just a very uneasy feeling. I considered private school, well before she was school age, but that is very expensive and not always much better than public school in many aspects. So she was maybe 2 when I was leaning towards homeschooling. I figured it is my job to teach her everything else, why not also educate her as well? I spent hours and hours researching homeschooling. I felt strongly that it was the best choice for my children, and that I could teach them as good if not better than a teacher with 30 students.
We had everything set up and planned last year, our first formal year of home schooling, in Arizona and then moved here before the school year started. My husband was not fond of the idea of homeschooling, but with the programs available in AZ he was willing to give it a try. The family school program here is nothing like what we had available to us in AZ. We laid it all back on the table last year and seriously considered putting our daughter in public school. It just didn't feel right to me. I was no where near comfortable with even considering it. We went ahead and homeschooled her last year. It was a great experience, a learning experience for our whole family. It is something I am so glad we did, and my husband has finally come to see how wonderful it is as well. It's definitely been the right choice for us, and something that has been a blessing in our lives.