Wednesday, August 8, 2012

about HOMESCHOOLING. laying it all out there.

Some big changes are happening around here.
I'm gearing up to start a new home school journey.
I'm embarrassed to admit, it's not something that I have been bragging about.

I've done the home school thing.
And, I discovered that the assumptions, preconceptions, and quick judgments got to me before.
They stung a little.
They felt sort of like being bitten on the ass.

I think I avoid the whole topic because I don't want to have a discussion about it with the people I live around. I am stunned actually. Because the things that people say...
I feel like I can't really win.
SO I don't try to.

My two older kids were homeschooled for a few years.
I did it because it was what was best.
I am glad I did it.
They benefited from it.
When they were ready to go back to school, and join clubs and have lockers, I let them go.

I think I can fairly say I have given them all a fair chance.
I have done public school.
(where we live, it was disappointing)
I have done private school. (it got more and more expensive)
I homeschooled.

I have to be honest.
I think at some point I had a couple of the same thoughts about homeschoolers.
It was never in my plans.
But even the best laid plans change....
I'm going to say what I want to say most of the time here.
Most of the time I nod politely, because I don't want to seem like I know better.
Most of the time, I bite my tongue.
I do know better for me and for my kids,
but I don't know better for you.

Homeschooling moms are crazy, controlling, over religious, out of touch over protective moms.
I have met a lot of women who home school and completely break the mold.
They are rock stars.
As for me, I purposefully try to find  a curriculum, and an approach that is real world based.
I try to find one that is not religion based. Not because I am anti God.
Not because I am anti religious.
I do it because I want to approach school in the most neutral way possible.
I want to teach my kids about all the different religions, holidays, cultures.
I want them to make choices for themselves.
I am teaching them to learn. I am not teaching them how to think.
I do not home school my kids because of my religious beliefs.

1.So, how are your Judaism studies going?
um, what?
I heard you pulled your son out of school because you were studying Judaism.
um, oh. No. We aren't doing that. We are just home schooling now. 

2. Did your son get suspended from a fight? Is that why you are homeschooling?
no. no fight...
{Yep. People said these things to me. People hear random rumors. They decide that YOU MUST be homeschooling for an odd reason.
SOMETHING must have happened....
Nothing really happened. A lot of things weren't working. A lot of things were disappointing. My gut told me it was worth giving a go. My gut told me I wasn't doing my kids any service at that school.

When My son went back to school he was more confident about his brain. He was more sure of what they expected. I knew that he knew basic skills that they had never taken the time to ensure he knew. He was a good kid, so he got a good grade and they moved him along. They didn't care if he had actually learned anything. They didn't care as long as he could take their tests and make their money.
They were doing him and themselves a disservice.

3. OHHH, she'll be fine there. It's just because you have coddled her. It's because you didn't put her in daycare or preschool.
yep. I know she would be fine there. I know it would seem a lot easier to you to just send her off to school every day. But you know what? I also know she will be bored.  She is really advanced for her age. um, wow. even with no preschool.
{just wondering here, why does there have to be something wrong with my kid? WHY does that have to be the reason she is being home schooled? There is nothing wrong with my kid.

SO here's the thing.
I DO NOT think my kids are better than yours.
I DO NOT think you are a bad parent for sending them off to school.
I DO NOT think it is fair for you to judge me OR my kids for being home schooled.
For you to judge why now the older ones are back at school and the younger one is not.
I do not think I have to explain myself.
When you stand there, and act like I am crazy, or that there must be something wrong with my kid, I just nod and smile.
I don't think I should have to explain to you that my older daughter ranked number 5 in the whole country for reading and comprehension. That she tested out of school (past 12th grade). That she is ranked as a "genius" by the sates standards. That her little sister who is starting Kindergarten is just like her. That her little sister will be bored and frustrated. That I have learned from experience and I am being proactive. 
There are no programs in our public school system for her yet.
I don't tell you THAT is why I am home schooling her.
I don't tell you this because I do not want to seem like I am bragging.
I don't tell you this because I do not want my daughters to overhear and think they are better than anyone else.
I don't homeschool because I really want to.
I wish that I could send them to some magical school where learning was fulfilling.
That learning wasn't taught purely for some test.
That learning was for the sole benefit of our children.
It's not.
I do it because it is the best choice I have for them at this point in their lives.

So, if you have made it this far in my post-
I am sorry.
This went way more out there than I meant to go.
As a parent, I am doing my very best to give my kids the very best.
There are so many different versions of the very best based on everyone uniquely.
I learned A LOT on my last homeschool journey.
It makes me feel stronger and more confident about the new one I am about to start.
I write this to encourage you to play by our own rules too.
I am at peace with what we have decided is the very best for our kids.
And if I am at peace, then THAT is really all that should matter.


  1. Girl amen to you for posting this! I am going to be home school Jay for pre-k and maybe sending him to public school for kindergarten. But it's to soon to tell. I just know right now he's not ready to leave me for that long and I'm not ready to leave him. I think I can teach his little brain better right now one on one then in a classroom full of kids where he will get easily distracted. I do plan on putting him in outdoor activities, football for sure so he get's that social interaction - but for school right now. I'm homeschooling him.

    love you!!

    1. thank you for your sweet words today.
      I am sure he's going to do great and you don't have to decide about Kindergarten until it comes.

  2. Your whys are your whys.
    You know what I've never done? I've never asked some random mom why she sends her kids to public school. " Really, aren't you worried about......." ???
    Nope. Never done it.
    Do you know how many people have asked me why I homeschool? Don't get me wrong. If you are asking because you are generally interested then that's lovely. But, 99% of the time it's " Aren't you worried about...." and " Oh, I would just worry that......"
    You are doing what's right for your family based on what you believe. Maybe in 10 years it'll be different but right now it's right.
    I am here for you if you ever want to bounce some of those negative people my way. I'll give em a what for. Yup.

    1. watch out, I just might send them your way ;))
      You said it exactly.
      No, I have never ever asked someone why they send their kids to a certain school.
      I just wouldn't.

  3. I love this post - since I don't have kids homeschooling is something that rarely crosses my mind but this gave me a lot to think about. I don't personally know any homeschooled kids (at least to my knowledge) but i fully support the idea of you doing what is best for your kids. you are their mother because God knew when he gave them to you that is exactly what you'd do. do what you do girl. ;)

    1. "you are their mother because God knew when he gave them to you that is exactly what you'd do."
      I love this.
      thank you.

  4. love this post! I have a 3 year old and it seems all of my friends with 3 year olds are sending them off to pre-k and I am trying things at home. I want to do whats best for her, but dont know how to go about curriculums and the rest. I think homeschooling is the way we are going to go.

    1. Hi there!
      I replied to you but it got sent back! But I wanted to say thanks for your sweet note, and thanks so much for stopping by today!
      I remember being a brand new momma and questioning myself constantly because people all said that's what you "should" do! send them to preschool!
      BUT, I am now on baby number 3 and know better than to second guess myself ;)
      It's hard not to though!
      I think is an awesome place to start.
      Also, has lots of fun stuff to do with books.
      But honestly, at that age just playing and cooking and coloring is all they need!
      Don't stress about it too much, and don't let anyone else stress you either! ;)
      all the best,

  5. You rock and you go with you bad ass self :) if Ant worked well with me I may have followed that road but we all know him lol L is gonna do great!!

  6. Aubrey, this hit home for me, and I apologize if I seem to ramble on about the subject.
    I am with you, and I know that you are doing this for your kids. You are giving them the opportunity of a lifetime by making sure they learn and absorb everything around them, isn't that what parents are supposed to do anyways?
    I was fortunate enough to have parents who sent me to a private school {Montessori to be exact} since I was 2 1/2 yrs old until I was 12 {6th grade}. We moved from Mexico to Tx when it was time for me to start middle school. I was given an assessment test on math on my first day of school, and tested at a high school level. I might have gone off on a tangent, but it goes to show how public school curriculums in this country are outdated. I thought kids in the US had more advanced curriculums than a third world country, but I was wrong.
    I continued through public school, made it through middle school taking AP classes, went to high school, and decided to get out at the beginning of my junior year...I decided to go to homeschool. My main reason for doing homeschool was that I got tired of the "class clown" wasting my time. I was going to school to learn, not to have my time wasted by kids who were there for a lunch. Granted, I missed out on some high school activities, but I truly wasn't into all that HS stuff anyways. I was able to homeschool myself, and finish high school a year before I was supposed to.
    I think what you are doing shows your dedication and love you have for your kids. Let the other parents judge, smile and keep on rocking!! You are doing something that is not easy, and you are doing it for your kids. I applaude any parent who does this for their kids.
    Ok, glad to get that off my chest! Keep on rocking it to the max, you are awesome!!!

    1. I love that you shared this! Never feel bad for getting anything off your chest as far as I'm concerned!

  7. A to the freaking MEN. And I never say that. ;) Friend, YOU are your children's mama. YOU (and hubby) make the decisions for what is best for your family. If it's homeschooling, then so be it! No one has the right to judge, question, or start rumors. The only thing that's important in this decision is that you're doing it for their good and for the quality of their education. If you change your mind, so what? YOU ARE THE MAMA. (hear you roar)

    Love ya. Thanks for being real and raw about this. <3


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