Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: Homechool Diaries: Why Chrissy Does It...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homechool Diaries: Why Chrissy Does It...

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Have you ever found the most adorable pair of shoes that you just have to own? Then, have you ever felt absolute elation when you discovered they were ON SALE? Do you remember that sad moment that you realized they are a half size too small? If you are like me, you bought them anyway because you thought you could make them fit. They would stretch right? After you wore the shoes a few times, you realized that they were never going to fit no matter how much you wanted them to…When we switched to homeschooling, it was because public school was the shoe that wouldn’t fit. There was nothing wrong with the shoe; my children just needed something different. 

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My name is Chrissy and I educate my three children at home. I am a former public school teacher turned stay at home mom. Until a few years ago, I never even considered homeschooling a valid option. I altered my opinion when I saw a change in my children as they attended their neighborhood public school. My oldest daughter, who was in 3rd grade at the time, stopped liking school. She had good grades and friends; she just didn’t enjoy it. My son, a 1st grader at the time, has autism. He attended a regular education classroom and he did well. The main problem was that when he arrived home from school, he had meltdowns all afternoon until bedtime. He wasn’t behaving like this in school so I felt very concerned. Eventually I realized school over stimulated him— so many voices and noises and goings on that it was just TOO much. Add that to the fact that they weren’t meeting his academic needs. My son, who could read ANYTHING and has a genius level IQ, didn’t need to be learning to read words like cat and hat.

Here I was dealing with two unhappy children at the end of every school day. It was heartbreaking and exhausting. My daughter needed a change. My son needed a change. I needed a change. Our family needed a change. For the first time, I started to consider homeschooling…I felt crazy but as the old saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I wasn’t crazy; I was ready for change.

Homechool Diaries: Why Chrissy Does It...

The first thing I did was send out a survey of questions to all my friends and acquaintances that homeschooled. It was a list of 20 questions that I thought would help me research the homeschool option. You can see my questions here on my blog, Homemaker Hobbies. Once I read their responses, I decided I could do it.

Even when choosing to do homeschool, we still had to try on a store full of shoes to find out what fits, looks good, and is practical for us. Some people create their own curriculum, some people purchase complete curriculum sets, others do on-line charter schools, some are part of homeschooling groups, or some people unschool. Some do a combination of several of these options.

I chose to do an on-line school option, Connections Academy. They provide the curriculum (at no cost) and I teach it. They offer speech therapy for my son and have an excellent special education teacher if I need help. For now, it is the shoe that fits. If that changes, I am always willing to try on something new. 

Homechool Diaries: Why Chrissy Does It... 

We are now strutting around in the option we chose. Within a week of starting, my son’s meltdowns had disappeared. He was happier and calmer. My daughter diligently and excitedly flew through her lessons. Here we are starting our 3rd year outside of a traditional brick and mortar school. My son and daughter both participate in a gifted and talented program at Connections Academy. Much of their work is project based which is just the right fit for them. My youngest will be in kindergarten so this year I will be teaching 3 kids at home. I won’t lie—it is not always easy. It is not uncommon for me to dedicate 10 hours a day to the education of my children. My children have an intense and fervent desire to learn; this rigorous schedule is a comfortable fit for our family. As a mom, my children’s health and happiness are my number one concern. If studying and hard work make them happy, I am more than happy to oblige them.

Homechool Diaries: Why Chrissy Does It...

Their happiness hasn’t been the only benefit. For the past two years, my husband worked two or more jobs AND went to school full-time. He was so busy he barely slept. Some days, he would find a little free time during the day and he’d do something fun with the kids. If the kids attended a traditional school, they may have gone days without actually seeing him. Besides spending time with Dad, I discovered that homeschooling strengthened my kids’ relationships with each other. My children really are best friends and that fills my heart with joy! We have also loved having a flexible schedule. We go on vacation when we want. We do field trips or fun days every single Friday. Furthermore, we were pleasantly surprised on how much gas we saved not taking the kids to school every day! I can’t lie—I do not miss that back and forth driving either. The most amazing benefit is that my kids learn at their own pace. We can spend more time on some topics and less time on others, depending on what they need and what interests them.

As a wise person once said, “If the shoe fits, wear it.” Homeschooling fits my little family just right and has been an amazing opportunity. I eagerly await the coming year and all the wonder it will hold!

- Chrissy


Thank you for sharing your story Chrissy. 
You can all find Chrissy on her blog Homemaker Hobbies!

XO Danielle

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