Homeschooling wasn’t even on my radar when I became a mother.
Soon after becoming a mom I divorced. Two years after that I remarried and inherited 2 stepkids, and then I was just trying to keep my head above water with two toddlers who were 6 months apart, and a precocious 5 year old. I couldn’t wait “To get my life back when they start school!”
Life is funny, and God has a sense of humor.
My stepson (then 1st) and oldest daughter (then K) attended the same school. I was a classroom mom, spending two days a week at the school. The kids’ classrooms were linked with an open door between. The classes were K-2nd, and the teachers teamed up frequently. I’d float between the classes, reading with kids, making copies for the teachers, doing bulletin boards, and whatnot.
My daughter was really struggling with the classroom situation. She’d never been much for chaos or crowds, and being with a group of kids up through 2nd graders was really tough. She didn’t understand that when the teacher was addressing the class, she meant HER TOO. Then the teacher would discover P hadn’t done anything, just sat there kind of staring around and observing.
We didn’t know at the time she had a learning disability, but we knew there was a problem. She wasn’t a young kindergartner. She turned 6 in February of that school year. She just didn’t “get it”. I had the school test her, and they said she had a language processing disorder but “She’s not bad enough for us to help her.”
Okay, so what to do?
I asked them, point blank, “So she’s just going to fall through the cracks, and that’s it?” They all just kind of shrugged. As I was leaving, the Speech Pathologist pulled me aside. “I’ll tell you what I would do with her if I was able to work with her. Come with me and I’ll give you some exercises and things to work with her on.”
Wow, that was awesome!
We started that very same day. The SLP gave me around 100 language/listening exercise pages, and had told me to come back when we ran out, and she’d give me some more. P did GREAT with these! Not only that, but she THRIVED on the one-on-one. She’d go to Kindergarten in the morning, then come home, eat lunch, and do a little work with me.
She began asking me if she could learn to read.
They were still learning the alphabet in her class, but I thought, why not? I bought Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We did a lesson a day for a month. She became bored with the lessons, but by then she was reading very well!
Around that same time, my stepson’s mom took him out of school to home school him. I wasn’t sure what to make of that, but she lent me a book called The How & Why of Homeschooling by Ray Ballman. I read that book cover to cover over a weekend, and then reread it.
I realized that I’d BEEN HOMESCHOOLING already.
I knew then what I needed to do. I prayed about it, took and deep breath, and asked my husband what he thought about pulling her out of school.
“This is YOUR BABY”, he told me.
In other words, he didn’t want anything to do with it. The school where the kids had been going was year-round, six weeks on and 3 weeks off. The year went through the end of July. I pulled her out of school at Spring Break, the first week of April. I got online, found the Christian Homeschool Fellowship, and learned what I could about curriculum.
I ordered Five in A Row curriculum (the whole set! Everything!) and we got started.
My hubby really did NOT know what to make of this. He was tolerant, and watched and asked a lot of questions. Annoying questions. But he didn’t stop us.
I knew that I’d have to prove to him that this would work, so we actually did school through the summer that first year. By September, there was no question about putting P into school. We were all happy at home, and she was doing very well despite her difficulty, which did NOT go away by coming home. We just worked around it as things came up.
I could write a book about the ups and downs, back and forths we’ve had over the years regarding school.
Read my blog back over the past ten years and you’ll see! We’re 17 years into this and still homeschooling (2014-15) with a 7th and 9th grader. The Lord has shown himself faithful to me as I turn to Him for strength. My husband is a great support also!