There is no right or wrong way to start homeschooling. Sometimes families have had the time to think about the decision ahead of time, do research and plan out what they would like. Sometimes though, families find themselves thrown into homeschooling due to life circumstances, kids needs, or other imminent circumstances. But either way, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself at some point… Are you really ready to start homeschooling? We’re going to look at how to homeschool and where to start in this series of blog posts.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. - William Butler Yeats Click To Tweet
When we first started considering homeschooling, it was just something we talked about in generic terms. We toyed with the idea as our oldest son struggled in school with fitting in and getting his needs met in classrooms that were very full and understaffed.
We had just finished up a rough year at a local public school. He’d had a teacher that was not a good fit for us. Despite trying to connect with the teacher on a regular basis, the communication was just not there. I was so glad when the year ended.
New school years were always hard. My son would get anxious several weeks before school would start, not knowing what class he would be in, what kids he would be with, what teacher he would have. I dreaded this time of year because it was always so hard on him.
This year, we made it to the end of the summer without any anxious tears. We even got to the first day of school without any tears. The school was buzzing when we arrived. There was tension and anxiety in the air and I knew something was up.
Over the summer, without any involvement of the parents, the school had decided to make every class a split class. It was a shock, but I wasn’t totally against this. However, my son’s split class had just over 20 grade 1 students and only a handful of grade 2 students. The older students were all ones who had been labelled as “disruptive” kids from the year before.
I approached the principle of the school to request a classroom switch. I explained the problems that I had with the set up of the classroom and with the teacher we had received. He looked at me and very nicely told me that there had been a lot of work put into assigning kids to the right classes. Furthermore, they knew what the best fit was for my child.
I don’t think I have ever been so angry in all my life. I don’t do well with angry though – I’m a crier. So I beelined it out of there. After a good cry and a long discussion with my hubby and parents, we approached a local private school.
He attended this school for the full year with all the usual hiccups. But, come the start of the next school year, life was a mess again. We had our second son just before the end of the school year. He turned out to be what Dr. Sears would call a high-needs fussy baby.
Izzy is the most amazing kid, but his first year was rough. He cried a LOT! He also barely slept.
My oldest, T, cried all the way to school. So did my wee one (of our 4 boys only T has not cried every second in the car for the first 12 months). I left a crying boy at school and drove home with a crying baby. We didn’t have much time at home before it was time to return for pick-up. (Gotta love those 1/2 days!)
I drove all the way back to school with a crying baby. Then I picked up T, who had had a miserable first day. I drove home again with both boys crying.In that moment, I knew I was done. I couldn't repeat this cycle for the next ten months! Click To Tweet
I wasn’t ready. We hadn’t done any research or preparation. I didn’t actually even know if it was really legal. I had a huge learning curve ahead of me. But I got through it. I researched, read lots, and found support. Now I want to share with you what I learned along the way.
I hope I can help make the start of your journey smoother. There will be a series of posts coming to look at all the steps in getting started with homeschooling. I’ll also answer some of the most common questions that those considering homeschooling (or who are new) have.
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If you would like to share your homeschooling story let me know! I’d love to help you share it. If you have a burning homeschooling question, leave me a comment below so I can address it for you as we move along.
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