Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Why We Homeschool

The how we homeschool has been written about here but the why is a a story all by itself.

When we returned from living overseas Grace was 5 years old. We put her into our local public school while I got a job teaching preschool at a church preschool. Sophia, then 3 years old, was in my class and Luke, one and a half years old, was in a class for teacher's babies.

It was a good situation for us at first. We were in a new state with no family or friends and having school and work meant that we were plugged in right away. Grace started kindergarten reading at a second grade level which we knew could be an issue, but decided that the benefits out weighed the risks.

Several months in we had a parent teacher conference. When we inquired about additional work for Grace in lieu of the year long sight word program the school did (which Grace had passed in the first few weeks,) the teacher told us that they wouldn't ask her to do any work. The teacher told us that we would just need to "wait until her classmates caught up with her."

It bothered us but Grace's behavior was good, she loved school, and I could supplement with things at home enough to keep her moving forward.

When she started first grade we went to the open house night and were handed a multi page packet with the sight words for the year. I handed it to Grace on the drive home from school, and in less than ten minutes, she had read with accuracy the entire packet.

Again I asked what could be done to keep her challenged in the classroom and I received the same answer- there were no strategies to teach any child who was testing above the average mark.

Grace started crying about reading books. She wanted to read "easy" readers like everyone else in her class but hated how easy and boring they were for her. 

At this point we knew homeschooling was next in line for us. We wanted our kids to be excited about learning. We knew that they could achieve more and at a faster pace than our local public schools could offer. Plus, we wanted Christ at the center of their education.

Then, near the end of the year, Grace had brought home a novel study packet from her reading group. It was practically empty and when asked, she told me she never finished her work. When I looked into it, I found out that Grace would get bored with her work and the teacher wouldn't ask her to finish work OR contact me to let me know that this behavior had been going on since the beginning of the year. Somehow the papers never came home either (I had no idea this reading group had been even happening.) 

I was done! We had put up with "the system" for two years but I felt like we had failed Grace. She was showing many of the signs of being a gifted learner, or, at the very least, advanced. She was bored with school but she loved the social side of things.

To top it all off, Sophia, who was months away from starting kindergarten at that very same school, was already reading at a first to second grade level. We were bracing ourselves for another two years of waiting until all of her peers caught up.

I was expecting our fourth child, Ben, and we finally made the call. I let the director of the preschool know that I wouldn't be returning and we began our research into styles and curriculum.

It may not have been the most classic start to our homeschooling journey but it did make us feel the most confident in our decision. We know that what we are giving all of them is most tailored to their needs, styles, interests, and abilities.

1 comment:

Callie said...

That’s one of the best parts of homeschooling, being able to fit things to each kid! That must have been so frustrating to feel like she wasn’t being challenged or learning anything new.