Before I begin, let me make one thing clear. I have nothing against traditional schooling. We all have our own reasons for choosing the style of education that we use for our children. Each child is unique and, therefore, our choice regarding their educations will also be unique. There is no right and wrong, just what’s right for them.
The beauty of it is that we have the ability to make a choice regarding where and how our children are educated.
The “Why” Behind our Choice
The first time homeschooling crossed my mind was after observing what my two eldest children went through in middle school. Things had changed a lot since my own experience at their age. I noticed the rise in the amount of drama, comparison, and peer pressure. This was especially true with the girls.
Being that I’m a big believer in the importance of positive self-perception, it was integral to me to put my children in an environment that best fostered this. Our main job as parents, after all, is to equip our children with positive values and the ability to manifest their best life possible.
Where they are educated is certainly one of the most important places to start.
I had decided that I would consider homeschooling my two youngest once they reached that point, but my thoughts changed once my two younger children were in kindergarten and first grade. My daughter was ahead academically and then my son was diagnosed with dyslexia.
The schools simply did not have the resources to accommodate our daughter’s advanced pace in academia and there were misunderstandings regarding my son’s specific form of dyslexia (there are many). Fast forward to our present situation. My son is 14 years old now and in the ninth grade. He has already taken three high school classes in the eighth grade. My daughter is 12 and also has taken 3 high school classes and is in the 9th grade as well.
How We Do It.
We have always had a tutor due to dyslexia. After they entered 5th grade we have had a tutor for all subjects to answer any questions they may have. For us, it works. If anyone needs more time on a subject or concept they can take it. If they get it and can move ahead, they do.
While we have tried different curriculums in the past, we have used Florida Virtual School since they were in fifth grade. There is a teacher for every subject (besides the tutor) and they speak to the teachers via conference for DBA’s (Discussion Based Assessments) after every section and before exams.
I love the system because we stay on target with the other schools and go a little more in depth. However, we can go at whatever pace works for us and we are not tied down to the rigid schedules of traditional schooling. As I said before, I have no issue with traditional schooling. Homeschooling, for us, was simply the best choice.
FAQ: Are my children social?
Absolutely! Are you kidding me? It’s not like they are held up in our home and they never leave. My children don’t just sit at home locked in front of a tv or a video game. In fact, we don’t have cable or video games in our home.
They play outside with kids their age, they use their minds and are very creative. We go on family trips, to the beach, and are involved with extracurriculars. Both of my children have black belts. They also both have jobs. My 12-year-old daughter babysits for a job and my 14-year-old son works at Publix.
Homeschool is not a breeze all of the time. There are trying times for the children and the parents but I love that we can work through it together. Homeschool curriculum can be very challenging.
- Spending extra time on difficult concepts and moving ahead after mastering a subject or concept.
- Teaching my children my “half glass full” mentality and that they can create their life how they desire to.
- Seriously getting to know my child’s strengths and weaknesses so learning can be tailored to the specific child.
- The flexibility in the schedule that is not possible for children enrolled in traditional school.
- Protection from school violence, drugs, and other negative behaviors.
- We can discuss controversial topics at our discretion.
- Taking my children on vacations or day trips when traditional schools are in session.
- No homework.
- Spending more time as a family.
- And the list goes on for me.
Like I said, homeschooling isn’t for everyone but it works amazing for us! I wouldn’t have it any other way.