I have friends who have children in public school, in charter schools, and of course who also homeschool. If you asked me before I had children if I would ever homeschool, I would have laughed. I, too, thought that the kids who were homeschooled wouldn’t have enough social time.
Sandy Hook did play a big part in my desire to homeschool. Munchie wasn’t even preschool age, but since we were in CT and about 45 minutes away, it was heartbreaking. I knew people from Newtown CT, and many of my friends had connections to the town too. Things changed in Connecticut, but not always in a positive way. My husband, an Army Veteran, was bewildered that this type of violence was happening at home. Laws in CT changed unfavorably to people who legally owned guns. My husband is a responsible owner as well as instructor for proper gun handling and use.
I started my education in college as early elementary education, but soon realized that the politics of education seemed to get in the way of actually teaching and loving the students. While I’m very much a person who is task oriented, I also like to have a lot of freedom while teaching, and I wasn’t even able to do that as a student teacher. I ended up getting a degree in psychology and communication. Since getting out of college, I’ve been dismayed with the way education is going, for both the teachers and the students. I don’t have answers on how to make it better, but I can play with my kids curriculum from day to day to make it work for us.
One of the other reasons I felt compelled to homeschool was that our son was being manipulated or bullied by other students. I know some people feel that the kids have to be able to stand up on their own, and I truly believe some of that. I believe they need to be in an environment that is conducive to standing up on their own and getting support. While “Munchie” is slight of stature, he has a huge heart and just loves others and believes in the good of others. I want to encourage this of course, but when he has an issue, I want my husband or I to be the first person he comes to.
Homeschooling is not easy. Some days the kids don’t want to do anything I ask and are goofing off. Other days, I don’t feel like being task oriented. And some days, as a human, I want a break! But, when Giggles and Dimples ask to do “Schoolwork” (Giggles traces letters and Dimples draws) and Munchie says how much he loves to read or recites his skip numbers without being asked, I feel like I’m headed down the right path.
I know homeschooling is not a possibility for everyone. I do feel that it is getting more popular and that more people are being compelled to figure out their finances in order to do it (my husband and I both have two businesses each!). While social media perpetuates the violence in the schools these days, there is a disconnect between students, schools and our communities.
There are many great outlets for those who are interested in learning more about homeschooling. Arizona has some of the most lenient laws for homeschooling in the country. You can find more at HSLDA.org. There are so many groups available for support and social interaction as well! Please feel free to reach out if you feel compelled to. I am no expert, but if I can help you in your journey, I’d love to.