The journey of reaffirmation
Reaffirming our reasons to homeschool...
With the end of our academic year right around the corner I find myself recollecting back to when it all began. I donʻt remember the exact day or moment that the idea of homeschool came to me. Nor where it came from. But, I do remember the tears, frustration, struggles, and anger that we felt as a family the year prior to making our decision to homeschool.
4 Reasons we chose to homeschool...
Our 3rd grade daughter at the time was struggling to read. I was struggling to help her. So, I decided to turn to her teacher for support. I distinctly remember having a parent teacher conference in which the teacher basically lumped together all the children in her class as having “less than average” intelligence. I donʻt know how to describe what I felt that day.
My tipping point...
How could someone who is supposed to be helping to shape our future generations have such a narrow minded view? Furthermore, how was I going to rescue my daughter from her teacherʻs warped sense of reality and morality? I believe if I had to pick just one moment that tipped the scales in favor of “something different”, that was the moment.
Then there was our Pre-school aged daughter. I had spent the year with her as a stay at home mom. I learned through our local Tutu and Me program that majority of my childʻs education was done with me at home, not when we went to the center twice a week. Center time did not entail dropping your child off and coming back 8 hours later. It entailed full parent/guardian participation.
I enjoyed our time together as we found new ways to play and learn. I found myself not wanting to give up all that we had gained by sending her off to public school. Let alone the dread I felt after encountering my other daughterʻs teacher (mentioned above).
Our 5th grader at the time had a wonderful teacher. All was going well with her. But, our original plan was to have her attend a private school once she had graduated from elementary. We decided that if she didnʻt get into Kamehameha Schools for 6th grade that we would also homeschool her till she could (if she decided to) test again for 9th grade.
Last but not least was the shift in family rhythm and quality time. Being able to have the freedom to go where we wanted, when we wanted was and still is a huge benefit. With my husbandʻs current schedule we are still free to spend time as a family on his days off without the full constraints of a school schedule (sans the 9th grader). All in all our choice to homeschool was well thought out before we made the leap of faith. I can honestly say at this point in time that it has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.
The reaffirmation happens when I see our 13 yr. old (she was the 3rd grader mentioned above) reading HUGE chapter books, like the Eragon series. She relished every minute of it. Itʻs as if she had never struggled with reading before. Reaffirmation is when she is requesting books through our public libraryʻs online website, for the sole reason that she enjoys reading. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that her love of reading was nurtured because we chose to homeschool. Her love of reading, just to read is a testimony in and of itself.
Wait! Thereʻs more...
However, it doesnʻt stop there. As Iʻve mentioned in previous post, I have three school age keiki. The oldest of the three (now 14) is no longer homeschooled. When we started our homeschooling she was heading into her 6th grade year. She had taken the exam to gain entrance into an exceptional private school here on the Big Island.
Unfortunately and fortunately she was not accepted and was put on the wait list. I mention this here because after 3 years of homeschooling she tested again and was admitted. She is currently finishing up her freshman year and has made the transition from homeschool to private school like a champ. We all agree that those years spent in homeschool helped her on her journey. Has our choice to homeschool been reaffirmed? You betʻcha!
The Private School Path…
Let me state here and now that I fully intended to homeschool our now 9th grader into her high school years. We even planned to help her take college courses to gain credits. But, plans can and do change. Her determination preceded her destiny and she was admitted into Kamehameha Schools. We are truly grateful for this blessing and opportunity.
While Iʻm on the subject I should also share that we will be finding out at the end of this month (April) if our 9 yr. old will also be admitted into the same private school. I would not say that admittance into this private school was the end goal for our homeschool, however it has been a goal of ours (Hubby and I) from before we ever considered homeschooling.
Thus, if our girls are interested in attending this particular private school, I will do everything I can to help them along. I would not be telling the whole story if I leave out the part where I really, really love homeschooling them, but I am willing to let them go so they can achieve their dreams.
So much to be grateful for…
I know for a fact that I never fully understood what we were getting ourselves into. As I recollect on our homeschool journey I am grateful and astonished at all we have learned and gained.
Furthermore, Iʻm profoundly grateful for the gift of time. Time to nurture and teach my keiki, time for family days, and the time to witness our girlsʻ growing and blossoming into beautiful people. Time is such a precious thing. Itʻs not something we can make more of. It can never be brought nor replaced. The sacrifice made by both my AMAZING Hubby and myself was anything but a sacrifice. We have attained so much more then we could have ever realized.
The one thing...
The one thing I would encourage all homeschoolers to cherish and value is your time with them as children. Itʻs not a certain curriculum, or method, or homeschooling style. All of that will pale in comparison to the time you spent with your keiki creating precious memories. Childhood really does go by too fast, so make the most of your time and see the beauty and magic of just being present in their lives. They will remember your presence long after the books, apps, worksheets and what-nots have faded from memory.
Wishing you all the best on your homeschool journey! Until next time!
Aloha & Blessings!!!