Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To homeschool or not to homeschool? Part 1

The decision to homeschool a child is very personal. Everyone has different opinions on the subject and there are equally as many reasons to do it or not. For me, it was both simple and complicated.
Here's my story. I have two daughters and they were born 10 years apart. When I had my first daughter, I was a single parent. I struggled to make ends meet and had no choice but to work to earn a salary. As a consequence, my daughter had no choice but to go to daycare full time. Then when she reached school age, she spent her entire day at school including after school care. Since I worked full time, I could only pick her up around 6:30 pm. This lifestyle was devastating for me as a parent. I hated the idea of spending so much time away from my young child. I often cried from the time I dropped her off at daycare until I arrived at work. I'm sure I wasn't a very good worker, since I had a hard time focusing on work. I was riddled with guilt. I know a lot of moms can't wait to go back to work after having children. But I was never one of those moms. The minute I decided to have children, I decided that I would devote myself to them, raising them myself, taking care of them, etc. I vowed not to leave my children in the hands of others. So being forced to do just that felt like punishment. But we got through it. Eventually I married a wonderful man and had another daughter. I finally became the stay at home mom I always dreamed of. (I know people dream of winning the lottery or having a big mansion, but not me. I just wanted to be a mom.)

My youngest is very bright and loves to learn. When she was 3, I put her in preschool for socialization. I had no expectations that she would do anything of value academically. She loved it and had a great time. The following year, we decided to keep her home. At that time, I hadn't made a conscious decision to homeschool, but looking back we did just that. We spent our days reading, playing, going on adventures, and all the while my daughter was becoming brighter and brighter. She was a sponge, soaking in everything around her. Her preschool teacher had noticed that quality in my daughter and advised me to really challenge her. Her teacher was so wonderful and even gave me some guidance since I had never taught preschool before. By the time my daughter was at the right age for kindergarten, we enrolled her in public school. She got a wonderful kindergarten teacher and had a great time that year as well. It was such a gift. I truly believe that teacher made all the difference in the world for my child. By the end of kindergarten my 5 year old was reading. We enrolled her in first grade and that is when trouble started.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Alessandra for commenting on Food on Friday: Salads. This series runs every week and deals with a different ingredient or category of recipe each time. You can see the ones we have already done in the sidebar to the right. Next week's one is on bananas. Feel free to link in then - or now to one of the ones that are running - none of them are closed to new links.

    Have a great week.