So the start of a new school year was looming over my head. It was August and I was busy buying backpack, lunch boxes, and everything on the teacher's supply list. I didn't really have time to stop and think about anything. I hadn't considered the impact of what was about to happen. When you enroll your kids in school, it's almost a no brainer, that's what you do, that's what everybody does. You don't really think about how that simple non-decision impacts many years of your and your child's lives. I was blissfully unaware of the impact it would have on me, especially this being my youngest child.
Suddenly one day, it hit me. I will be all alone, all day. What will I do? How will I occupy my time? Do I go back to work? (I knew this wasn't an option because the kids get out at 2:45 and 3:15 respectively and each has their own afterschool activities). At first, I welcomed the idea of "me" time. Time to read a book (I haven't done that in years), organize the house, clean out closets, etc. I had big plans.
But something else happened. I realized that I wouldn't be spending all day with my child. I hated that thought, mainly because I knew she didn't need to spend so many hours at school to get the education she needs and deserves. So I felt cheated and it turns out so did she.
So I started to think about homeschooling. I knew based on prior experience that I could teach her more at home than she would be getting at school. Knowing my child, I also knew the flexibility of homeschooling would be very good for her. But I wasn't convinced. I didn't think those were reasons enough. After all, you're supposed to send your child to school, right?
School started and off we went for the first weeks with high expectations and positive thoughts. But I noticed a change in my daughter right away. The usually happy, outgoing child who loved school, suddenly did not want to go. She cried everyday from the moment she woke up to the moment she got to school. Actually, I heard from her teachers that she cried throughout the day. I had a hard time leaving her at school because she clung on to me. This was breaking my heart but I thought she'd get over it.
In the meantime, the homeschool idea kept nagging at me. My husband and I talked about it constantly. He was all for it. He also knew she'd get a better education at home. I still wasn't convinced. So off to school we go. And it's the same thing everyday. I wanted to be sure I was making this decision for the right reasons. "I'll be lonely" wasn't the right reason.
At the same time, I noticed that the work she was bringing home was very basic and way too easy. She wasn't being challenged. She began to complain that she was bored at school. That was the reason I needed. I told my husband I wanted to go ahead with homeschooling. My next step was to contact the school district. They were very supportive and even shared their curriculum, so I would have a guideline to follow in case I decided to re-integrate her at some point.
It's been 2 months now, and she's a totally different child. She's happier, she's eager to "do school" and she's learning at her pace, pursuing what she likes. I am so glad that I made this decision. Although I gave up "me time", I have gained so much more.