Do you know what that is?
It's homeschool material.
Yeah, I said homeschool. Way back when, it was something that was very much the center of my focus. My son, Caleb, has complained about school nearly everyday since 3 year old preschool. That's no exaggeration.
So for 6.5 years I've listened to my son tell me how unhappy he was at school. I've listened to my son beg me to take him out and homeschool him. I've listened to him complain. I've listened to him cry. I've listened. But I didn't act.
I should have taken him out last year in third grade. He had the world's most discouraging teacher. But, I didn't. I was then determined to take him out in fourth grade because I could not handle a repeat of third grade. But my husband and I figured we'd let him meet his teacher first. We all fell in love with her. So he went to school. His fourth grade teacher turned out to be the kindest, most nicest teacher I have ever come across. She was encouraging, she was specific with criticism, she was supportive, we had struck gold with her.
Imagine my surprise when he still wanted to be homeschooled. As much as he loved his teacher and enjoyed his friends, he still wanted out. This time I said yes.
Today was our first day of Dutchman Academy. (I wanted to all it Dutchman Academy of Excellence, but I didn't want it to sound snobby. I wish I had picked it though now.) I think it went well. We are learning Anatomy and Physiology, we're studying NC history and American history, we're working through math, spelling, vocabulary, poetry, dictation, we'll hit art and music, and all that good stuff.
I know that a lot of people are against homeschooling. That the kids turn out weird. Honestly, I felt the same way until a year ago. I think both homeschooling and public schooling can be great options when done right and when the scenario is beneficial for the children. My daughter is still in first grade at school. We adore her teacher (we really lucked out this year!) and she's worked with us to challenge our daughter who's working above most of her classmates. My little girl loves school!
I may take her out next year or I may not. I may send my son back next year or I may not. We have some people in our family who are, um, less than supportive of our decision. And that's their opinion. We also have some who are supportive and know what a difficult decision this was for us. Most importantly, though, my husband and I are on the same side. I wouldn't be able to take this on without his support! I like knowing he's behind me and believes in me, I'm a lucky girl.
I strongly believe that God has a plan for each of my children. Their plans are different from each others, they will take different pathways in life. They will face and encounter different joys, different challenges, different sadness than anyone else. Homeschooling my son just might be the pathway he needs to take. Learning at home might be the path he needs to take to become the man God wants him to be. I believe I would be failing my son if I didn't give this a chance.
I'm confident I can teach him.
I'm scared I will go insane.
I'm curious to what I will learn.
I'm nervous he will feel lonely.
I'm worried that I'll fail him.
I'm excited about spending this time with him.
My son and I both are a mix of emotions. I wrote him a letter telling him how proud I am for taking this step. So many adults are too scared to try something new. They're terrified to take the first step towards a goal they've dreamed about for a long time. Often adults will not step outside of their comfort level. They won't challenge themselves. They are too afraid of making mistakes so they don't go after their goals.
It's just the beginning and I'm already inspired by his courage. How awesome is that?!
tried it. And that's more than a lot of people will be able to say.
I can guarantee you one thing though, I will not start wearing denim jumpers.