It seems like the only thing other moms and I have been talking about lately has been the issue of school and what to do about it. Not only are we sitting ducks for whatever the districts decide, but we also all have our own unique situations in our personal lives. Now, as districts are rolling out their options for the next school year, many of us are feeling torn between a few choices – none of which feel right.
So, after weighing all of the pros and cons unique to our situation, our family, and our district, we have finally made the heavy decision to homeschool our oldest (and only child in school) for the upcoming school year.
Our district has let us know that doing this will mean he loses his spot at his school and will likely not be able to return to his school the following school year.
Yeah, that doesn’t feel good.
My Plans To Homeschool Next Year:
But, I feel strongly that we are in unprecedented times and I need to make the right decision for right now – knowing full well that things will probably change quite a bit in the near future.
Who knows what life will even be like at the start of the school year after this one. You know what I mean?
So, I thought I would start a new series that chronicles a few things about our homeschool plan, since we are completely new to this journey and these are some of the posts I have in mind or have posted already:
Our Homeschool Journey:
- Why we are homeschooling (this post)
- 10 Supplies to organize our home classroom
- How to choose a curriculum (this has been difficult for us)
- Homeschool printables from experienced homeschoolers!
- Teaching tips from a teacher (that’s me – I taught for many years before having my son)
- How to make learning fun (it really shouldn’t be a chore)
- & more….
Today, I’d like to walk you through our decision to homeschool and a little bit about how we are preparing.
I feel like sometimes it is helpful to hear how others are making decisions as we work through similar challenges in our life – so maybe this will be helpful to you.
Why We Will Homeschool Next Year:
1. I am high risk.
Yep, you read that right. As a person diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases and currently taking a low dose immunosuppressant, as well as continuing with my daily natural remedies, pilates, and anti-inflammatory foods, I fall in the high risk category.
I try not to live in a spirit of fear, but I also need to be realistic. I just need to keep a protective bubble around our family for my own health – because if this thing takes me out, that will change the course of my kid’s lives forever.
I’ve been following reputable sites, as well as reading a lot from Amy Myers M.D. (the autoimmune guru) and it’s all pointing me to feel like this is the right decision for us this year.
2. I’m a former teacher.
I realize this not only gives me an advantage, but also, a responsibility. I have the ability and experience to put together a comprehensive, fun curriculum for my son – who is a great student and eager learner.
By offering this to him, I also help reduce the population at our local school for families who have no choice but to send their kids back or just choose that option as the best for their family.
Homeschooling and teaching are not right for everyone, I 100% get that. Since I have the ability and a child who actually does better for me than another teacher, I feel it’s something we need to do.
3. My child prefers it.
Surprised? We were, too. As a former teacher, school is my jam. Sending my child to school for the first time was a big deal. But, school was actually difficult for him on an emotional level. Academically, he was always ahead, but he really struggled with the rigid classroom environment. We have a really relaxed home environment that a friend once called, “Zen Parenting”. We are just very calm parents. When he transferred to school, he just felt like he was being bossed around all the time.
When school was closed, he transitioned very smoothly to being homeschooled and actually really loved it. He has been asking to stay home, so we are going to give it a year and see how we all feel.
4. We have resources.
Let’s just say it: homeschooling costs money. While we don’t have deep pockets, we do have resources available to us – such as local homeschool charter programs that give a stipend that can be used towards curriculum and enrichment programs.
So, while we will definitely still spend out of pocket, a lot of what we will need to homeschool will be covered by the homeschool charter. I applied to three local charters as soon as we started thinking about homeschooling and the process took awhile before he was eventually accepted to one of the three. Budget cuts reduced how many applicants could get in, so I’m glad I did this early on just in case we needed it.
If you are curious about this, look them up in your area. Or, look for programs like K12 and Connections Academy, which offer fully funded virtual programs for home.
For some of my friends, their schools are offering free virtual programs for the next year that will work for their family and lifestyle. Our district’s option was far too aggressive for us, so I will be putting together a personalized curriculum just for him – but again, I have a teaching background which helps me here.
5. I have a homeschool guru.
Yep. I found myself two homeschool gurus. These are women who have successfully homeschooled. One of them, her children are grown and magnificent human beings. The other is still homeschooling and they are all thriving.
They have different teaching philosophies and curriculum preferences, which allows me to get a wider view of the options and how it can work.
I unabashedly ask all the questions, ask for all the ideas, ask all the things – because pride gets me nowhere. I have to figure this out – STAT – an having homeschool gurus helps me do that.
If you don’t know anyone (I didn’t, either), find a Facebook homeschool group in your area and get involved. Or, reach out on a community site like Nextdoor. These people are usually more than willing and happy to share what they’ve done and learned with you.
Because of these 5 reasons, and probably more, we have made the difficult decision to homeschool in the fall. I feel confident that we will make the best of the opportunity and learn a lot in the process.
I also have two very close friends who will be sending their kids back to their respective schools, while adhering to all new policies in place, because that is what is best for their family.
Each of us are approaching this school year with completely different situations and I am 100% respectful of each family as they navigate these strange times.
I hope that sharing our reasons for homeschooling will encourage you as you choose what is right for you and your kids.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts in this new column on our homeschool journey! I’ll be sharing all about how we will set up our homeschool classroom, too. My little office nook is going to have a little transformation!
Also, do you homeschool? Leave your best tip in the comments below:
Have a fabulous day,