My daughters, like all children, started their education at home. They went to daycare, and even head start for a while. Then they transitioned into public school. The first year for Skye was great, but things went downhill from there and I ended up taking both girls out of public school and started teaching them from home. They were only at that school a few years before I had had enough.
In all honesty, I hated sending them to school when kindergarten rolled around. But that was what you did. You sent your children off to school. Violence on buses and in school yards. It happens, I know. But couple that with a messed up school system that puts a child who can read into a special reading group, and a mom just has to do something.
At that point, I’d wished I’d just never sent them to public school at all.
Not that it was all bad. Zowie’s experiences educationally were much better, and she would have done just fine if she had stayed in public school, though she may not have had all the same opportunities later. And they both made friends and had wonderful experiences with them over the years. They both also had a good time while at school.
But mom was too frustrated for words and, when the special reading group teacher said to me at the Halloween party that she already had Skye signed up for the special reading program at the next school for the next year, I looked at her and said that she could take Skye right off that list because I was going to be homeschooling the next year.
I think she was shocked. I did not care.
I hadn’t even planned to actually do it, though the thought had crossed my mind. I didn’t know if I would be a good enough teacher for them. But this momma got very upset that day and, rather than throw a fit, I just said I’d be homeschooling. Then I spent the remainder of the year figuring out what I was supposed to do.
As it turned out, my sisters daycare providers homeschooled their children. I talked with the mom, and she suggested some meetings. My boyfriend drove me to those meetings and hung out with the girls while I attended them, and I asked so many questions while I was there. I bought books, and read them thoroughly. I was as ready as I was ever going to be by the time the next summer rolled around. And that is when I tested the girls to determine where they were.
Skye was not where should have been. This little girl who when I sent her to school was so smart. The little girl who loved workbooks when she was three and wanted to know what mommy was learning about. We had talked about taxes and interest, and other business things because she wanted to know all about what I was studying. She had a large vocabulary at such a young age. And now she didn’t even like school and was so behind and frustrated. I cried for her.
At the end of that school year, the special reading teacher asked for a meeting with me. Skye and I walked to the school to speak with her and, along the way, I asked Skye what she thought of the books the teacher had her read. She said she was bored with them. There weren’t many words.
The teacher had asked me the year before not to have Skye read book unless they were books that she sent home with her. She rarely ever sent a book home with Skye and, when she did, it was a little kids book. Granted, Skye was a little kid.
But I’m rebellious by nature so, the minute that teacher told me not to let her read anything she hadn’t sent home, you know my mind clicked and I knew she’d keep reading what she wanted.
While the teacher was not wanting Skye to read anything but those little books with big pictures and only one sentence per page, telling me that Skye could not comprehend what she was reading, I was letting Skye read whatever she wanted at home. The year that the teacher had already set Skye up with the special reading teacher for the next year, Skye read Little House on the Prairie, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and she just loved The Babysitters Club series. That was the year she learned about hyphenated words, because she was reading a book from that series and came across one, and asked her aunt and I about it while we were in the car one day.
At that last meeting, the teacher offered to still help Skye with her reading even though she wouldn’t still be attending the school. I declined. And here’s why.
She could read and comprehend just fine. She just needed books she was interested in. She would read to herself, to me and her sister, and she could answer any question I posed to her about what she was reading.
During our first homeschool review, a certified teacher told me that Skye should never had been in a special reading group. I had brought in all her previous report cards from each year at public school. It was explained to be that schools needed funding to keep programs open and, while those programs helped many children, it did a great disservice to the ones who didn’t really need help.
It wasn’t long after that I learned other parents in the area had taken their children out of the school system for the same reason. What a sad thing.
By the way. I was blessed to have been able to homeschool the girls for so long. I loved spending that extra time with them, watching them grow and learn.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. You need to have a real good relationship with your children, so that you actually want them around a lot. No sending them back to school after summer vacation. But is you get along well, it isn’t bad at all. Homeschooling is a completely rewarding experience.
Do you or have you homeschooled your children? I’d love to hear why, and how, and for how long. share with us here. My email is email@example.com, and I always answer emails and comments.