Hi! I’m Meg. I’m a Christian, a wife, a mother and a homeschool teacher. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. We have three children: our oldest son is 12, our daughter is 8, and our youngest son is 4. We have just started our 8th year of homeschooling… and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I didn’t always have that frame of mind.
I’m what you might call an accidental homeschooler. I never intended to homeschool. I didn’t even want to be a stay at home mom. I had plans to finish up college to get a Bachelors degree in biology and to go on and get a single subject teaching credential. However my transfer request to a state school fell through because of some strange circumstances. Then I got pregnant with our 2nd child. After some prayer I realized that God had other plans for me. After finishing up my last semester at a community college, I became a stay at home mom to our son, and shortly thereafter our daughter.
When my oldest son was four years old he started attending the local Head Start program (a public preschool). He loved being around the other kids and his teachers seemed nice. However things were not all sunshine and lollipops. Behavior started becoming an issue. My son had told me how he got to be the teacher’s special helper at lunchtime. In reality, this meant he had been talking too much during lunch and needed to sit next to the teacher in order to be controlled. Several times his teacher informed me about fights he would get into on the playground. Fights? At four years old? What? Apparently a friend taught him to say, “You want a piece of me.” Yes, that’s just what I want him to be saying. Then one evening I sent our son to his room for a time out. He got upset and started yelling profanities at me. What!? My baby is cussing me out? I was shocked to say the least. We don’t use that kind of language, and I’m pretty sure PBS doesn’t either. I knew it had to have come from his school. My husband had talked with his teachers, and they said they would try to be more aware of what the kids were saying.....So comforting. Then one day that spring my husband went to the preschool to pick up our son. He witnessed another boy doing something…well… quite inappropriate with our son. That was it. That was the last straw. We were done with all of the negative influences. We pulled him out of the public preschool that very instant.
When my husband came home he told me that he had decided that we should homeschool. What? Homeschool? I didn’t want to do that! That would ruin all my hopes and dreams of going back to school. Surely private school would be better. The church we were attending at the time had a wonderful private school. Some of my friends had kids that attended there and they all loved it. The only problem is that it was expensive. But surely God would provide, right? My husband’s heart was stuck on homeschooling. Mine was stuck on private school. So, I prayed for God to either change his heart, or change my heart. He ended up changing mine.
I knew it was what the Lord wanted us to do. Once I started looking into our options for homeschooling online I started to get more and more excited about it. I had spent countless hours online researching the ins and outs of homeschooling. Curriculum options. Co-ops. State Laws. Everything. Although I was really excited about homeschooling, it was making my head spin. Then I found a charter school. It was run by the California State Department of Education. The way it worked was I was under the direction of a certified teacher and we would use the curriculum that the school provided. They did the all the record keeping, I did all the teaching. There were even on site classes the students could attend. And best of all, it was free. I received all the resources I could ever need. Once a month we met with our teacher to turn in work samples and to get advice and guidance. It was a match made in heaven.
In the first years of homeschooling I loved that the materials were just handed over and I was basically told what to teach. I was new to homeschooling and I loved the direction and support that the school provided. But as the years moved on I started to see how their curriculum choices weren’t necessarily the best for my son. He was bored with the Language Arts, he was struggling with the math, and Social Studies wasn’t working out either.
Just about this time we ended up moving to a different county and we had to change things up. But in no time, I found another charter school that I like even more. With our new charter school I can pick the curriculum that I want! Sure, there was a list of vendors I have to choose from, and we can’t order any religious materials, but there is still freedom of choice.
Even though a large portion of my family has worked in the public school system, I had my reservations. After all, I was publicly educated and I turned out alright. Sadly, public schools today just aren’t what they used to be. We didn’t like the bad influences our son was getting, even at the age of only four. I love the freedom of homeschooling. I get to choose the curriculum my kids use. I get to choose the speed at which we go through the material. Learning isn’t cookie cutter. What works for one child, won’t always work for the next. I have even seen that in my own kids. Throughout most of the year my husband works from home. This gives us incredible flexibility with our schedules. We can do day trips and midweek trips on a whim. We have even enjoyed taking our school with us on vacations.
For us, homeschooling is about freedom. Freedom to study what we want to and the way we want to. Freedom to choose who we socialize with. Freedom to choose when and where we do school on any particular day. Freedom to be us.
I have always liked this quote by Stephen Moitozo:
“Because homeschooling is not…
The same kids
In the same room
Doing the same thing,
…at the same time,
In the same way,
To achieve the same results
Because they are the same age.”
Thank you for reading, I hope you have enjoyed our story. I don’t have my own blog…yet. However, I do have about a bazillion Pinterest boards, you can check them out here: http://www.pinterest.com/shanksalatte/