I Tripped and Fell Into Homeschooling
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
How We Accidentally Ended Up Homeschooling, And LOVE It!
Oh, the thoughts I am eating now! (They are thoughts you see, because I never said anything out loud so there are no actual words to eat.) The number of times I silently judged women who chose to homeschool their children.
Never, NOT EVER, did I ever consider the benefit or the fun of homeschooling. I though it to be some far-fetched thing that very religious people do to keep their religion at the center of their children’s education. It just wasn’t part of my parenting DNA, or so I thought.
But the stars aligned more differently than I ever could have imagined and here I am, mostly loving it and learning to appreciate this time and create fun throughout this experience.
I was kind of cornered into making the choice to homeschool. It was either homeschool or fork out even more money for an even more expensive, but better equipped, private school than the one we were already attending.
We are in the realm of parents who have a special learner on their hands. My oldest was diagnosed early with Asperger’s Syndrome just before the world of psychology stopped assigning that specific diagnosis. It was this diagnosis that lead us on the search for a school that would help us to help him to thrive. There were some cool schools in our area that would have been a beautiful solution…if only we had a bunch of extra cash lying around to justify the cost!
So, halfway through his kindergarten year and after a difficult situation with a teacher who couldn’t find any love or patience to deal with him, we decided that we’d give this homeschooling thing a try.
Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it.
I was pretty sure this would just be a short-term solution to our dilemma. I was even embarrassed to tell people, always adding the tagline that I wasn’t really a homeschooler, this was just temporary.
But it worked for him and it worked really well! So, hundreds of hours of research and planning, a lot of tears, and almost 7 years later, and I finally feel like I am doing it well (or well enough).
I have learned to disconnect from the desire to compare my kids’ intelligence with my friends’ kids. I have learned that my state of mind echoes through our school day, so I have the power to direct our school day any way I choose – here’s hoping I always remember to choose calm and patience!
And most importantly, I have learned that education through living, traveling and reading is a very powerful way to educate.
If you are still struggling with your understanding of “why does she?” and “how do they?”, let me leave you with a few words of explanation from this accidental homeschooler:
I’m not rigid with bedtime and wake time, but we still follow a schedule
I don’t try to act like a real school, instead I incorporate many fun opportunities throughout the day so learning happens at every turn and gives them more hours of planned learning than most kids receive
It allows much freedom in our schedule for practical learning:
Not being rushed through dinner preparations teaches my kids to cook
Traveling teaches my kids how to navigate roads and airports, how to tip or exchange currency, and teaches the beauty of cultural differences
Using (I meant) teaching kids to clean the house or do laundry is helpful to me and good for them (and their future wives)
Online classes give them access to learning from teachers all across the globe on topics as vast as there are interests
The family business is custom home and van building, so math is a real and necessary part of life
I struggle with patience and the need for alone time, so I constantly remind myself how they grow up in a blink and how deeply grateful I am for the opportunity to learn and grow with my handsome little dudes (then I lock myself in the bathroom for just 10 minutes of listening to True Crime podcasts in peace!)
Cheers to anyone that now better understand our reasons and desire for homeschooling. Cheers to anyone that is encouraged to homeschool. Cheers to anyone that knows a homeschooler and supports instead of judges them.