Shh!!! Don’t Tell Anyone I Homeschool!!
My first child, Natalie, started talking before her first birthday. I was home with her all day and I wanted to do something a little more stimulating than traditional child’s play. As a result, I started teaching her. First, I used a lot of flash cards to teach shapes, numbers, and letters. Then, I moved on to letter sounds and writing. Just before her third birthday she was blending letters to read.
I have a college degree in Finance, but I don’t have any formal teaching background. I read books like The Well Trained Mind and How to Multiply your Baby’s Intelligence. I was (am) convinced that a critical time to teach your children is before the age of six because their minds are like little sponges. People around Natalie could tell that she was more advanced than others her age, but because she was so young I didn’t have to fess up to being a homeschooling mom.
Why did I phrase it like that? Because I did not want to be judged for homeschooling. I did not want people to try to talk me out of it. I didn’t want to be labeled as a weird person. I did not want to engage in a debate about why I was homeschooling with others who were sending their children to a Christian School, Public School or Charter school (because it seems like you can’t tell people why you chose your option without seeming like you are putting their choice down or making them defensive).
Eventually, my husband told me that I needed claim being a Homeschooling Mom.
This may sound weird, but it was hard at first. I shared my feelings with a friend who had been homeschooling for a couple of years, and she told me that before public school most well-to-do families had tutors at home. That helped. I was a “well-to-do” family that could afford to teach my child at home, not a socially backward, sheltered, out-of-style family that played in my mind as a stereotype. (Is it really that important to be “trendy”?)
So, Why Do I Homeschool?
I homeschool because I believe it’s what’s best for my daughter. Because I started teaching her so early, she doesn’t fit into a school grade that matches her emotional maturity. Individualized learning simply cannot be beat. If I come across a chapter she already knows, like telling time in Math, I briefly quiz her on the subject and move on. This allows her to be challenged and engaged.
I love to be able to take off somewhere for a week and not get sighs from a teacher about how long we’ll be gone and getting her class work together.
I have a history of teaching year round. I really enjoy having something more structured to add to the kids schedules. Yes, we do take time off, but definitely not the entire summer.
I absolutely love seeing my children learn. I love seeing the light bulb moments. I love how excited she gets when she’s finished a chapter or has done well on a test.
Today more and more families are choosing to homeschool for a variety of reasons. I simply cannot believe how many families I encounter who homeschool. I have yet to meet a mom that says it’s easy, but we all believe it’s worth while.