We recently made a big decision. I withdrew my son from first grade public school, mid year, to start homeschooling. When it was just an idea, it was scary thinking about. I thought to myself, “can I REALLY teach my kid from home?? Me? The teacher??” But the more research I did, the more statistics I saw, and the more I thought about my reasons why, the more confident and ready I became. I’m going to share with you guys those reasons, statistics, and a bit about the research I did that led me to officially leave public schooling and start homeschooling.
First off, I was not homeschooled.
As a child I went to public school.
And straight up, I hated it.
I was there to socialize and pass tests. That’s it. I didn’t love learning. It wasn’t fun to me.
School could never keep me interested because everything was centered around what the book said you needed to know for the test. And if you don’t know all of this, you wouldn’t be anything in life.
That was made clear very early on.
I never struggled with grades though because I had great memorization skills. Where those skills disappeared to in adulthood, I have no clue. But I suspect they’re gone because I burned em all up during my school years.
I started to see my childhood self in my first grader.
I could see my sweet, kind hearted, sensitive boy slowly slipping away each day. After only a year and a half of school.
At pick up time he was smiling and happy but only because his mama finally picked him up from an 8 hour long day. After a minute in the car and asking how his day was, he quickly become a snappy, butt head.
He was tired. He was drained. He was hungry. He was ready for rest.
You know that feeling we have when we finally leave work after a full 8 hour shift?
That’s how my kid was feeling every single day.
The rest of our afternoon would be spent with the kids arguing, me prepping dinner, baths, and bed. With little time in between to enjoy each other’s company.
Kids are tired.
They work hard.
They’re doing more work and less play. And kids need to play. They need to be kids.
My heart was being drawn closer and closer to homeschooling each day. I’ve always been interested in it, but I was never educated on it.
I didn’t know that homeschool isn’t a one size fits all option.
Did you know that there are several different ways you can homeschool? I definitely didn’t!
I thought homeschool meant you did public school at home with mom and that’s it.
The more I read, the more I learned. All of those homeschool myths in my head were debunked.
Here’s a list of the different types of homeschooling :
1. Classical Education
2. Charlotte Mason Style
3. Montessori Homeschool
4. University Model Homeschool
5. Unit Studies
6. School at home
7. Eclectic Homeschool
This page will help you understand more about each type.
Along with the page above, I started reading tons of homeschooling blogs on Pinterest.
Every mom used a different style and approach. They use their blogs to talk about their day to day life with homeschool and what works for them. They also share TONS of resources.
It really helped me get an idea of what I would like my kids education to look like.
If you’re thinking of homeschooling, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the homeschool laws in your state (thsc.org if you’re in Texas).
By this point I was confident enough to know that I could do it. But what did statistics say about homeschool?
In the United States, there were about 2.5 million homeschoolers in Spring of 2019. The number has steadily increased over the last 20 years.
Home educated students typically score 15-30% higher on standardized tests. They also score above average on college admissions tests like the SATs.
Studies show that adults who were homeschooled volunteer in their community more often and are more likely to vote.
They also go to and succeed with college at a higher rate than the general population.
Educating at home gives me the opportunity to be more responsive to my child’s individual needs.
With homeschooling I will be able to focus more on my kids interests and their learning styles.
Homeschooling also gives kids more of an opportunity to question who they really are and what they truly want in life.
As a family we’ve always used life to learn naturally and now we’ll be able to take more advantage of that.
When my kids have a question, we dive into it and learn more about the subject every single time. We love learning together.
We’ll also now have the opportunity to spend more time as a family. And as you may know, building that strong bond is very important to me. We won’t be tied down to a school schedule. We’ll be able to do school anywhere, anytime.
On top of those reasons, I love knowing that our values and beliefs will be reinforced everyday without outside, negative influence.
Does that mean I’m sheltering or neglecting my child?
No. It means that I’m in control of when they are introduced to things. It means that they will have access to age appropriate things only.
It means that my kids won’t be begging to do/watch/play certain things just because everyone else is doing it.
It means that I’ll be able to do my job of raising a kind, well mannered, good human being.
Kids should be kids for as long as they can. I know I grew up way too fast and I don’t want that for my kids.
So, here’s the approach I’m taking.
First, we are starting with “deschooling”.
This is the process of unlearning everything we know about school. And I’m not gonna lie, we’re only day 3 and it’s HARD.
I’m still stuck in the mindset that he has to be doing papers all day to be learning.
We have an idea in our head of what education and school has to look like.
Deschooling means that we take it easy without focusing on workbooks, textbooks, or anything public school related.
We’re supposed to focus on having fun and relaxing.
I’m able to use this time to learn about my child and their interests as well as their learning techniques.
My oldest will use this time to rediscover play and natural curiosity.
We will let learning come naturally.
Which isn’t difficult because daily I hear, “mom how does _____ work”.
This usually happens a few times each day and every time we google the answer to learn more about it.
This article on deschooling is one of my favorites. I keep going back to re-read it and remind myself to take it easy.
So far we’ve been waking up naturally, having a bit of iPad time, doing morning yoga, and having breakfast together.
Then the kids will ask to do schoolwork so we color, draw, write a story, or pick out a book.
I’m not forcing or rushing anything. And for me, that’s HUGE. Because I have little patience and I love to make things happen quickly.
What’s after deschooling?
For each family this answer will be different. And you’re allowed to try different styles to see what does or doesn’t work for your family.
I personally plan on doing a little bit of eclectic homeschooling. Meaning we’ll be doing a mix of different things.
I’m really drawn to the Charlotte Mason style because we love reading a good book.
But then again I like the Unit Studies idea because we love diving into something. This style will also be great for us because my kids are in different age groups and levels. They can both be learning about the same subject but with different age appropriate activities.
I also like the idea of unschooling. My kids are naturally curious and enjoy learning on their own. I would love to let them lead and focus on what their interested in at the time.
I also plan to do a lot of exploring. We’ll visit the parks and walking trails often. I plan on buying yearly memberships to the zoo and our local children’s museum.
We’ll also visit the public library frequently and get involved with their clubs. Our local library offers a lego club and I’m really excited about that for my oldest. It’ll give him the opportunity to be involved with kids his age who have the same interests.
We’ll also join a few extra curricular activities like soccer or karate or whatever else they become interested in.
I found a local homeschool group that gets together a few times a week also.
So we will have plenty of socialization and opportunities to make new friends.
I followed my heart and I’m glad I did.
Since before we ever enrolled in public school, I wanted to be a homeschool family.
I love my kids and I love spending time with them. I love being mom 24/7.
But I wasn’t ever confident in my ability or knowledgeable when it came to how to actually homeschool.
I am grateful for our experience with public school and I’m so thankful for the two awesome teachers that my oldest had.
I’m even more grateful that I now have the opportunity and resources to follow my heart and homeschool my children.
If you’ve ever been drawn to homeschool, I highly recommend you to dive more into it and do what’s best for your family.
Book Recommendations :
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. – Aristotle
Expecting all children the same age to learn from the same materials is like expecting all children the same age to wear the same size clothing. – Madeline Hunter
Before I talk about what I think unschooling is, I must talk about what it isn’t. Unschooling isn’t a recipe, and therefore it can’t be explained in recipe terms. It is impossible to give unschooling directions for people to follow so that it can be tried for a week or so to see if it works. Unschooling isn’t a method, it is a way of looking at children and at life. It is based on trust that parents and children will find the paths that work best for them—without depending on educational institutions, publishing companies, or experts to tell them what to do. – Earl Stevens
I believe it would be much better for everyone if children were given their start in education at home. No one understands a child as well as his mother, and children are so different that they need individual training and study. A teacher with a roomful of pupils cannot do this. At home, too, they are in their mothers care. – Laura Ingalls Wilder from “Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks”