It was about this time of year seven years ago when we decided that public school was not working for my daughter. There were many things that contributed to the decision to begin homeschooling but there were two things that were the proverbial straws that broke the camel’s back.
My daughter had been sick a lot the first semester of the 1st grade. She had missed more school than they wanted her to, and I was notified that she could miss no more school without being reported to the school board. At that point an investigation would be initiated. That just irritated me. Didn’t I have the right to keep my child home when she was sick? In fact, if other people had kept their sick children home, my child might not have been catching everything that came down the pike.
So, the week before Thanksgiving she missed most of the week because she was snotty sick, coughing, fever…
I went to school on Friday to pick up her school work for the week, and to see if we could get some extra work to do over the Thanksgiving holiday to make sure she didn’t get behind. I was handed a thick manila envelope and reminded that my daughter was missing too much school. Hefting the envelope I thought that perhaps with that much work it really might be a problem that she was missing so much school…there were lots of papers in that envelope.
That weekend my daughter was feeling better, so I thought that I would get her to start on the work she had missed. I pulled out the papers thinking that it was going to be spelling sheets, math sheets, maybe some penmanship and reading. What I pulled out were pilgrim pieces. Yes, there was a sheet with a boy pilgrim head, a sheet with boy pilgrim arms, a sheet with boy pilgrim torso, a sheet with boy pilgrim legs, and two sheets with boy pilgrim clothes (hat, shirt, pants, boots complete with buckles). In all, six pages of black line boy pilgrim pieces parts to be colored and glued together. And another six pages for the girl pilgrim. This was 12 out of a total of 20 sheets for the week.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against pilgrims but that left only 8 pages of school work, real school work, for an entire week. That is just a little over a page a day of school work. Now remember that I said they had issued a warning about her missing too much school.
I got unreasonably angry about this. My daughter was always in trouble in school because she was bored out of her gourd. She complained constantly that she already knew all the school they were teaching. And they wanted to turn me in for my daughter missing school and school work, school work that was limited to only 8 pages over the course of a week. Does this make sense?
The combination of these two things finally caused me to go ahead and make the decision to try homeschool. There were really many, many other things, but these two were the two that pushed me over the edge.
I signed up my daughter for an online curriculum, Time4Learning, and she diligently worked on the lessons all week. I had her do puzzle games, and math games. My daughter giggled, and had to be forced to get off of the computer. She was happy and making huge progress. She told me that she was finally being able to do school as fast as she wanted to. Her high mark was 40 lessons in one day!!
After Thanksgiving, we told her she did not have to do any “real school” homework. We told her that she could work on her “computer school” instead. She continued to make huge progress. After making the decision to homeschool, the only reason we left her in until Christmas break was to let her enjoy the celebrations that were happening in school. On the last day of “real school” when I told her that was it, she was going to be homeschooled after Christmas, she jumped up and down and clapped her hands.
Her joy of learning returned, she made huge progress in school. In fact, she finished 1st grade AND 2nd grade by the end of May. If you find your family in a similar situation, I can’t promise your children will complete 2 grades in a year, but I can tell you that for our family choosing to homeschool was absolutely the right choice. Consider starting homeschool in the New Year. You might be pleasantly surprised at the progress your children show.
I guess it is a little late, but I am very thankful that I can homeschool my daughter. It is absolutely the right choice for us!!