What Led up to Homeschooling My Children
Why Do It?
Why would anyone do it? Why would you want to pull your children out of public school and take on the burden and responsibility to your children’s education? It’s really a lot of trouble and you have to convince yourself about the good reasons to do it if you are to tackle the job seriously. You will have people question your motives so you should have an answer that satisfies them and yourself. You may even have well-meaning members of your own family who challenge you that this isn’t in the best interest of the children. In my case, there were several reasons for our choice to homeschool our children.
I didn’t want to at first. I really didn’t think I liked my children enough to have them underfoot 24/7. I used to LOVE when September came and I had 5 or 6 uninterrupted hours of alone time per day. I could THINK for a while, clean at my leisure, have ice cream in the middle of the day without 4 voices asking for some too. However, the children and their problems came first.
We Thought It Was ADHD
My youngest was having some attention problems that just weren’t going away. We found later that she had ADHD but during her first few years in school, we weren’t sure what the problem was. She was constantly getting time-out and detentions for being out of her chair and disrupting the class. Finally, we pulled her out of public school and paid the exorbitant fees to have her in a private school. That turned out to be no better. There were a couple of boys that had been expelled from public school and had no other recourse but to go to this same private school. They picked on my daughter daily. They were two years older and a full foot taller but when she finally had enough in the hall one day, she turned around, curled up her thin little fist and punched them right in the throat. That’s when she was expelled. The problem here is that no matter how many times I went down to the school, I could not get anyone to stop these boys from harassing my daughter. What is going on in schools?
It took quite a few years but later we found out she was on the Autism spectrum and it wasn't just ADHD. If only we had known what was going on with her it would have helped us deal a little better.
If this had been the only problem, we could have dealt with it. But this wasn’t isolated. The eldest daughter was having some problems also. She was really having no problems academically (that I knew of at the time), but socially, there were several problems. She had been talking to one of her friends about her faith. Eventually, her friend wanted to come to church with us and we were very happy to have her. However later her older cousins found out and threatened my daughter. There were 5 of them who wanted to “jump” my daughter outside the school. She only told me about the incident when I couldn’t get her to go to school for several days. When your 11-year-old child is afraid to go to school, something is wrong.
Then there were the problems facing my son. He has always been a little small for his age. He is 15 months older than the youngest girl but everyone thought he was the youngest because of his size. It was an embarrassment for him. Wouldn’t you know that is the one child that other bigger bullyboys want to beat up on? In the public school he attended, the PE class was grouped with 60 boys in one class. It was no wonder that one teacher was just not able to monitor the 3 bullies hitting my son. We finally went down to the principle’s office about it. The Principal gave us the suggestion that my son should try to punch the boys back. He probably wouldn’t win, 3 against one, and the Principal would have to suspend him for 3 days for trying, but he felt the bullies wouldn’t bully him anymore. This was unacceptable for us. We didn’t want to go home and tell our sweet gentle son he was going to have to try to punch boys they admittedly couldn’t control.
If this wasn’t enough, we had one more problem. The middle girl, who was seemingly doing fine in public school was having a problem with her teacher. It wasn’t a big problem or anything that wouldn’t have worked itself out eventually, but it was one more straw on this camel’s back.
My middle girl has lovely, long dark hair. When she was born, she had so much dark silky hair, the nursery nurses combed it up into a ponytail on top of her head, tied with a bow. She looked like Pebbles Flintstone. On top of that, she had black silky hair on her ears that swept up to a point like some sort of fairy princess, and so much hair on her eyebrows that it looked like one continuous brow across her forehead. I explain all this because even though her eyebrows finally separated into two and she lost the hair on her ears, she did have a tendency to put her brows together when she was mad. She could give you the scariest look from under that brow, which we came to call the Nuke. If she gave you that mean look you felt like you had been reduced to a pile of ash.
The day inevitably had to come when she Nuked her teacher. The poor woman wasn’t a novice teacher, but she had never been Nuked before and she was overcome by my daughter’s anger. The teacher called me in tears over this mean look. I know I seem heartless, but I nearly laughed, probably because it was a mercy to know I wasn’t the only recipient of the Nuke. But this teacher was distraught over it. She had told my daughter that she couldn’t do something in class and had been Nuked for a week. I confronted my girl and she didn’t deny doing it but wasn’t going to easily stop, now that she knew it affected the teacher. Now that’s a problem. She is a little passive-aggressive to be Nuking people with a look but not openly defiant or violent. That look got her what she wanted way too often and I was going to have to put an end to that.
By the way, today she is a police officer and still Nukes people, but mostly those who need it. It is still surprisingly effective.
I'll Try It For ONE Year
All of these incidents together made me very worried about what to do. I didn’t want to keep them home for homeschool but I didn’t want any more of these crazy problems. I knew we didn’t have enough funds to send them all to private school, and it wasn’t even helping for the youngest anyway. I prayed all summer, hoping God would miraculously reveal door number 4; something I hadn’t thought of yet. When September came I finally relented and decided to commit to just one year of homeschool. But I made it known to my husband and kids that if I didn’t like it, there wouldn’t be another year of it.
Would you be willing to homeschool if your children were having serious problems in public school?
Needless to say, it worked for us and I liked it. What is more, the kids learned well and passed two grade levels that year with one-on-one attention. I highly recommend homeschooling for those parents who are committed to working with their children. I'd love to hear your thoughts or questions in the comments below.