Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's Happening, People! Oh, It's Happening...

I recently mentioned that I've been considering homeschooling.  Again.  Not that I've done it before, but I've certainly considered it before!

You may remember when I struggled with this idea back in April. Going back even farther than that, I originally mentioned it back in 2009.  Then I got the bug to make a school room last month. (all of those links are to catch you up, in case you wonder how I got to this point.  The comments in each post, specifically on the 2009 post, are interesting reads, if you're on the fence, like I've been.)

All of this discussion came about again while Mike was laid off and job searching in September.  This time, I really felt called to homeschool.  I'm ready.  They're ready.  It's time.

When I approached Mike and asked him to pray about it, his first response was, "Can I get a job first?"  The day he got a job, I reminded him to pray about it and he obviously said, "Can I get used to this new company, first?" 

But it's happening.  It's finally official.  We're going to homeschool!!! 

Until the other night, Mike still had his hesitations, but after begging him to let me do this (yes, that's how I would characterize my end of our conversation: "Please, honey.  Please?  Can I pu-LEASE just try this?  I know you have a lot on your mind, but this is ALL I've had on my mind for WEEKS and I feel very strongly about it.  Please.  Please?  Seriously.  What's the worst that could happen?") he said I'd be on a "very short leash."  If we don't see dramatic improvements in Ryan in the first nine months, he's going back to public school. 

I kind of panicked. I mean literally...I had trouble breathing and realized later that I was having an anxiety attack.  I've heard that it takes about a year for everyone (the parent, the child, the household) to adjust to homeschooling.  Yet, I only have nine months. 

Oh wait, did I not mention?  We're pulling Ryan out of school at Christmas. 

Why so early?  I had completely intended to let him finish out his 2nd grade year, until I spoke with a friend who recently started homeschooling her 2nd grader.  Her only regret about homeschooling is that she didn't pull her daughter out of school mid-year last year, like she'd originally wanted to. 

That got me thinking: why wait?  Why let him continue learning methods that our school system plans to use when the curriculum I choose might take a completely different path?  And, in fact, many of the manuals I've read suggest that students start way back at the beginning, breezing through facts that the may already know, to make sure all of the bases are covered before he's "caught up" to his current grade level.

So I'm sure some of you are wondering what made me want to homeschool?  It's a million little things, but the main thing is that I don't feel like I have enough time to teach my kids the things that I want them to know.  There's no extra time to do daily Bible lessons when we're spending over an hour and a half doing homework each night at the WORST part of the day.  There's no time to slow down and redirect my kids' attitudes or to address heart issues when they're nasty with each other (which is A LOT when they're in school).  There's not enough time for extra curricular activities; I'm sick of rushing around to get Ryan to football or Kaylin to gymnastics. 

Speaking of, I don't like the tone of our home when we're rushed.  I don't like the pressure of being on someone else's time schedule - catching the bus in the morning or dropping off during a 10 minute window, having a ridiculous 90 minute, "half" half-day Kindergarten just so the district can get funding for each student, forcing Ryan to finish a math worksheet when I know he's overwhelmed and checking out mentally and certainly isn't actually learning the intended material, just to name a few.

A friend forwarded me this post about "Why I Homeschool" from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I just love so many of the things she had to say and found myself nodding along throughout the explanation.  I couldn't have summed it up better myself!

So it's happening.  Around Christmas break, I will begin homeschooling Ryan.  Kaylin will get some schooling in the morning, then we'll send her off to afternoon Kindergarten and while she's away and Jason's napping, I'll spend a little quality time catching up my 7 year old on good old reading, writing and arithmetic.  By summer, I'm hoping to have a nice little system down and we'll slide Kaylin right in to begin learning 1st grade material. 

The morning after Mike gave me the "thumbs up," I woke up with such intense butterflies that I was actually a little nauseous.  I had been gearing myself up for this for weeks, but hadn't let myself get too excited, just in case Mike shot me down. 

But it's happening.  I'm so eager that I seriously want to start tomorrow.  Instead, I'll enjoy my last few weeks of having the afternoons to myself...because, if things go as planned, it's going to be a long, long time before I get the house back to myself again!
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Clare said...

Good for you! Homeschooling is one of the most challenging things I have ever done, but when I compare my children's behavior towards our family and others, I know I have done the right thing. I want them to be well-educated, but most importantly, I want them to love the Lord with all their minds, souls and strength. I know that is happening, so it makes it all worth while!

Mindy G. said...

Congratulations! We decided to homeschool our oldest son last year and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. It does take some time to adjust to a new routine but once you get in the groove it is great! Good luck and have fun!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and good luck! I am very excited for you, and can't wait to see what happens.

Julie said...

Awesome! All kinds of support for you here!

SPKarenO said...

Katie, I know you don't know me, but I think you're going to be a great homeschooling mom. I've been around here long enough to have followed your story. I have a second grade girl and we've homeschooled since Kindergarten.
Two words of advice: 1: Give yourself some slack. There will be adjustment. But that's okay! Part of what I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to find what works for my kids and our family. If something isn't working, we do something else!
2. Find some other home school mamas locally. I know you already know some, which is good! I love the support of the online community, the blog you mentioned is one of my favorites. But you're going to need mamas to look at and talk with and your kids will need their kids too. We love our park day group which isn't faith based because it exposes us to the whole variety of homeschooling thought and practice and is a HUGE resource for me.
I'm adding one more in: 3. PRAY!
You can do this. Take a deep breath. Pray. And take one step at a time.

BethAnne Countrymen said...

I think it's awesome that you are doing this! I can't wait to follow your journey online. :)


DutchMac said...

Wow, you're a better mom than me. I love my kids to pieces, but I love having them OUT of the house almost as much! ;-) I'm so excited for you, because I know how much you want this. Yippee for everything falling into place for you on your new venture!


dawn said...

This is great news, you are going to do great. Just by reading your blog and seeing your patience and doing things right for your kids makes me admire you. These comments from everyone are perfect and so true. Take the time to breath and for adjustments, your giving up a lot of yourself and your time for this. I look forward to reading more about it on your blog.

Rachael P. said...

Congratulations, Girl! I can't wait to follow along on your journey (who knows, maybe I'll get the courage one day)!!

P.S. It was so fun meeting you at the Children's Museum -- so glad we got to meet! :)

Nat said...

How exciting! I can't wait to see how it all goes! I'm friends with lots of Homeschooling moms and they all LOVE it!!! At times I wish i could join them! Best of luck to you.

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