Very recently, Everette and I decided that we will home school at least the two younger boys come the new school year. At this time, our oldest is being given the choice. I have done tons of research, we have talked about it, prayed about it and after much debate finally decided that this is the right move for our family. It feels like such a huge decision, like getting married or deciding to have another child or buy a house. This is our children's future. No longer will we blindly leave their education to virtual strangers or a government that does not know us. This is not something we are taking lightly. This didn't just pop into our minds to do. Rather, it is something we have been discussing for over two years.
This past week I have been researching learning and teaching methods, curriculum, everything. Going into this, I had no idea how broad a statement "homeschooling" is. I am rapidly learning that there is much to decide. Do we want to invest hundreds of dollars for materials or utilize more of the free tools online? Do we stick with just one program or pull from several resources? I haven't even decided how tight a schedule we will keep.
I already feel that a portion of our home will become dedicated to learning. I have a ton of rearranging to do. Need to figure out what should stay in the house and what needs to either be sold or put in the shed. I know it will be a lot of trial and error until we figure even half of this all out. I was afraid that we were going to get a lot of flack for making this decision, but so far most friend and family feedback has been very positive. There has been only one so far that is against it. If there is anyone else who disagrees with our decision, they have kept silent so far.
I want to say that I am not making this decision with the opinion that everyone should home school. I just know that at this time in my life, I want to have more of a say in what and how my children learn. I want the freedom to take the kids out and go explore. Whether that takes place at the library, the park, zoo, museum or even the grocery store. And I don't want to have to plan our lives around their school work. I would rather plan their school work around our lives. There have been some frustrations with the school system. Without a doubt, the STAAR testing plays a big part in all of this. That is a rant for another day though. In the end it comes down to wanting more time with my children. More involvement and say in what goes on in their days, and in their brains.
I know that there are going to be sacrifices. I definitely cannot get a job outside the home now. I can't just go out for coffee while the kids are in school. The biggest one is I will be fully responsible for our children's education. Everette works and will continue to work. At times he will be attending college classes as well. So this does fall solely on my shoulders. I know there will be days I will want to pull my hair out or drop them off at the school and say "you take them". But with God's strength and the support of friends and family and a fairly large homeschooling group, we can do this.