How I never thought I would be saying the words “We are in our 5th year of homeschooling! and we LOVE it!”
Nope never saw myself as the homeschooling mama I am.
But if you have followed our journey over the last 5 years you’ll know we started it for “just a year to reboot” and ended up finding it really “fit” our family perfectly.
Last year Adam announced he wanted to go back to school for 6th grade…we knew Adam well enough to know that traditional school may not be all he was thinking it was in his mind so we opted to send him for the last 9 weeks of 5th grade.
A chance to get his feet wet and back in the swing of traditional learning.
Long story short…he loved the school.
Loved his friends…
Loved the teachers…
BUT decided that a traditional education is something that doesn’t fit his deep need for learning freedom/creativity.
He jumped in the van one day after school and announced within a month of going:
“I know exactly why everyone in school is miserable. The kids are miserable and bored, the teachers aren’t happy either….the parents and kids are even fighting with each other all the time. You know why mom?”
Of course at this point I am sitting there thinking “Is this my 11 year old? When did he get so grown up?”
So I asked the obvious “Why do you think?”
His answer made my heart sing just a bit…cause he put into words what I have been feeling for years.
Why I have given up so much of my own life to do this for them.
Why Daryl has worked his butt off so we could do this….
He nailed it..
“Because no one has any freedom. The teachers don’t have the freedom to teach anything other than what is in the book most days and the kids don’t have an opportunity to learn what they are interested in and want to find out more about. The kids are all more worried about what the other kids think about them than actually learning anything anyway. Wanting to learn just isn’t “cool”.
Mom! Most don’t even know what they want to do when they grow up…they have no goals or dreams. I have things I want to learn and I know I will never learn them in school.”
After I picked my jaw up off the floor at how intelligently he had just made his argument I of course told him he could “of course” homeschool again and for as long as he wants. If you ask him he will tell you he NEVER wants to go back. He just wants to skip straight to college in a few years.
Right now, I totally believe him.
But the door is always open to him if he changes his mind. After all he really did enjoy his friends and teachers.
That part he loved.
We finished out the year and I have to say a few things about our experience.
First off...The school was amazing! They truly were. I love them and wouldn’t hesitate to send any one of these kids back there if ever they wanted to go back to traditional school.
Second...If these two had never homeschooled…had never known any other way BUT traditional school than I am sure they would find homeschooling a strange way to learn the same way he felt traditional education didn’t fit his learning style.
Basically how you are taught to learn is how you are taught to learn.
It becomes your “norm” after this many years.
Our kids are so used to homeschooling it is the only way they know…the way they love.
I don’t fool myself into thinking that homeschooling is “the best method” out there for all children just that it is “the best method” for our own family and children.
It fits us.
I have many a friend I have told this would NOT be a good fit for them. Being with your children day in and day out every single day…
Not for everyone.
One only has to read their Facebook newsfeed this week with all the posts with :
“Thank God they are back in school! FREEDOM!”
To understand that many mothers/fathers out there need that break. That time to go to work and pay the bills etc….
I get that. I really do.
Now to all the folks who think homeschooling is a bad thing…
That these kids don’t learn..blah blah blah
I am still floored that people have this feeling actually.
After all, homeschooling has come so far just in the 5 years we have been doing it.
Homeschooling used to be out of the norm but really, where we live at least, homeschooling is a new “norm” of sorts.
Most everyone knows at least one homeschooling family these days. Our kids blend though so you may not realize that your child’s bff in swim, dance, karate, baseball etc…. maybe a homeschooler.
You may not know that the adult friend you have was actually homeschooled.
It has gone a bit mainstream.
Grades? Yep he did fine….clearly homeschooling has yet to hinder his actual education.
The only reason I can come up with that people still have such strong feelings against it would have to be the fear that by us choosing to homeschool our children we are somehow saying that they are bad parents for sending their children to regular school?
Totally ridiculous. Nothing could be further from the truth for us.
Personally I have no opinion one way or the other in where you send your child to school…this is simply “our fit” for our family.
Our choice to do this has NOTHING to do with what your family does.
Now that all of that is out of the way….
Back to Adam.
He did great. It was a great experience for him to go and see “the other side” of the education coin.
I typically do not post about the older kids much because I believe in letting them keep their own lives private…
I only share what they “green light”.
But I did ask him if I could share his story and he said “yes”.
He understands that many homeschooling kids, at one time or another, feel like they must be missing out on something.
He said he is fine with sharing his story with them and next week or so he and I will be sitting down one day for a Q&A blog post.
If your kiddos have any questions they would like to ask him about going back into the system feel free to drop them my way and I will ask him.
I think he learned a very good lesson those last 9 weeks…the main one being:
“The grass is always greener on the other side.”
And that homeschooling is pretty darn awesome when done in the Mccuiston house