Let me start out by saying, I am NOT a seasoned home schooler, in fact I have never home schooled a day in my life. So why am I writing this blog? Because like (I am guessing) many beginner homeschool Mom’s out there, I basically have no idea where to start! And I am kinda freaking out to be honest! So this is me, going through the motions of becoming a homeschool Mom!
I really never thought I would homeschool. Here’s why: I respect the public school system; I have very limited education experience, (I did complete a Early Childhood Class when I was in high school (12 years ago!)); I have Type 1 diabetes and anxiety disorder, and this time last year I could barely function to complete normal daily necessities; I have a very busy and needy 3 year old; I have a small house, and a VERY limited budget; oh and I SUCK at math and am not wonderful with writing mechanics (which you may notice).
That being said, sometimes I have a moment of “WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I THINKING!??”
BUT, here are the reasons I have decided to homeschool, my 6 yr old, K.T. (well actually both children) have strabismus (commonly known as crossed-eyes) and despite our very best efforts to minimize the effects of this on K.T.’s school work, she is still falling behind in reading. This became apparent during our parent-teacher conferences in the fall. She went from being in the green (yay) last year, to the yellow when she started in 1st grade, to red mid-year (yikes).
Let me back up and tell you a little about this diagnosis, in short, she was diagnosed at 3.5 yrs old, has worn glasses since (which do provide a great deal of correction), went through a 3 month session of vision therapy last year and had tremendous improvement (albeit her tracking abilities for reading are still less then stellar).
SO after getting the news that she was indeed behind in reading, and signing a state mandated paper saying we as parents will do what we can to ensure she comes up a level, we decided to put her into another 3 month vision therapy session. What is vision therapy? It’s basically exercises to strengthen both muscles, and brain connections for better tracking and eye teaming…etc. We do exercises, 6x a day, and visit the office (40 mins away) twice a week. Although it is SO worth it, and will hopefully prevent her from losing her sight in one eye (amblyopia) it is EXHAUSTING! Not to mention she is missing A LOT of school. So although it is (hopefully) going to help her by leaps and bounds in the future, it isn’t exactly helping in the moment with her school progress…
In order to remedy the fact that she has missed so much in school and is already behind, we decided we would hold her back for the year, I mean we would rather do it now than later. However, we can hold her back for 3 years and she still will not get individual attention at school… I think there are 28 kids in her class! Several with special needs, there is just not enough help to go around for someone to sit and go over every word with her, which is what she needs at this point (visual memory (ex. sight words) is also another issue we are facing).
For now, we are looking at homeschooling for her “repeat” year, to get her caught up, and then send her back to public school, I tend to plan our life a year at a time, but we will see how it goes.
Like I said, I have little, to no experience in homeschooling, other then one conversation with another homeschooling Mom. So I started looking into it, researching (I am a big information person!) and the more I did, the more I realized how much sense it makes for our family! Here are some of the things that have appealed to me.
I love the idea that our days can be flexible, like we can start at 9 or 10 if we want, and cut down on the rushing around of getting ready, out the door and pickup and drop-off…every-single-day. We waste so much time on these actions alone! (And it is STRESSFUL!)
I love that I get to choose what, when and how my kids learn! And watch them learn it!
I love that I can pay special attention to the subjects that need work, like reading, which to me is the most important subject in grade 1, because not being able to read causes difficulties in every area of school work.
I love that I can also involve my 3 yr old in the learning, and get her excited too (I plan on a little pre-school for her as well)
I love that we can spend the day at the museum, and call it school! (living history is calling our name!)
I love that if we need to visit family at an unexpected time, or have appointments, I don’t feel like a horrible Mom, wrecked with dread of what the office ladies and teachers think of me for her missing school!
I love that I can teach her about Canada, where I’m from, and prime her for lessons there (we plan to move back there in a little over a year)
I also look forward to being able to help her through worksheets, instead of her coming home with piles of unfinished work, and trying to cram in homework along with dinner, Daddy time and bed time routine…
and many other reasons that have faded into the background at the moment…
Do I think it is going to be a walk in the park? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
But for now, I’m excited, researching curriculums, lesson planning and waiting for the days where we can decide how we learn in our house!
Check out how I got started choosing our curriculum on my next post Choosing a Curriculum.
Be kind, this is my first blog post, that’s if anyone reads it!