July 24, 2012

10 Things about Me and Homeschool

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

1. I told myself and my husband, when I became pregnant with my first child, that I would NEVER homeschool. I wanted my kids to "be normal" and "go through everything that I went through" and "see the real world." Yes, those were my own thoughts and words when thinking about taking my kids to school. My husband then told me "Never say never!" Boy, was he right! And it wasn't like he came from a homeschooling family! I would have never known that my life would consist of an homeschooling journey but I'm happy the way it worked out!

2. I don't think that I am a better person than you because I homeschool. I don't homeschool because I think I'm a better mom or teacher than you. I'm simply doing what I think is best for MY kids. I'm sure you will do what is best for your kids as well. I know every family and child is different. Please don't be intimidated because of the fact that I homeschool.

3. I consider myself very organized.

4. BUT that still doesn't mean that everything always goes my way! I have some "just go with it" kind of days here and there and I'm OKAY with that! Yes, I am okay with not being perfect but I try to improve myself every week.

5. I would love to homeschool my kiddos through high school but I will always follow the Lord as he directs me and my husband on how to parent our children.

6. Why I started homeschooling... When Liberty was 3 years old she was approved for preschool. During her year in preschool there were 4 events that stand out to me.

#1 She would come home with scratches on her hands and tell me that a boy scratched her. She then came home with scratches on her arm. I took pictures of the scratches and asked the teachers where it came from and they didn't know.
#2 Liberty was using a walker at this time to help her walk so she was approved to have a "helper" who followed her around the whole day and helped her do things if it consisted of using two hands or walking. When I went to her school for lunch one day I saw that she wasn't "allowed" to sit with the other kids at the table.
#3 After lunch I followed her back to the class and saw that she also sat in the back corner of the classroom with no other students at her table. When I was told that she was the only one at the table I then knew that my special needs child was being EXCLUDED from the other kids.
#4 IEP meetings. This is when the parents, teachers, therapists and principal all come together to put an Individualized Education Plan together for the special needs child. I felt that the teachers were judging my parenting (when I know I'm a good mom, if anything). I also disagreed with their decision to incorporate a keyboard for Liberty's handwriting. Let me get this straight... the staff did NOT want Liberty to WRITE! They wanted her to use a keyboard and they were underestimating her ability to write! She can use her left hand perfectly fine and since 15 months old that has been her dominate hand. Before her stroke she used both hands. This made no sense to me whatsoever.

So, let's just say that I had enough and I knew that I could teach Liberty her letters and numbers and engage her in more things that what they were allowing her to do. So, I prayed about it and read about 5 homeschooling books before pulling her out of the school. I will never regret my decision. I knew I did what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I knew I did what was best for my daughter. Before I knew it, my son started learning right along side Liberty and as I had two more children they too started learning.

7. I have become burnt out and put my kids back into public school for a few months. This happened during a time when I wasn't living righteously or praying. I followed my own gut without asking Heavenly Father. I also believe that is why I became burnt out. I went against the "calling" that was given to me as a teacher to my kids and decided to try to make money for our family as a pet sitter. How funny that word "pet sitter" sounds, they do make good money. So, three of my four kids went to public school. Liberty was back and Noah and Harmony were experiencing it for the first time. Noah kept telling me how completely bored he was. I was afraid he would start acting dumb just to fit into his class. The staff would not allow him to move forward a grade even though his teacher wanted him to also! Harmony was also bored. She was ready to read and just learning her letters in kindergarten. She also told me that they never do math. Liberty was happy but her teacher was completely clueless. I am very glad that they were able to experience both worlds, but after we moved and came to Arizona, I asked if they wanted to be homeschooled or go to public school and they chose homeschool for many different reasons. As I started living righteously and praying again, I too knew that their decision was the right one.

8. Homeschool has blessed our family. Our relationships are stronger. My kids seem more calm and well behaved. Our lives aren't so stressed from homework and busy mornings. Our home is a lot more peaceful. My kids are able to learn more and learn about what they want. When the doctors told us that Liberty would never speak again, she is now talking AND reading! This journey has been wonderful to us!

9. I should do better with recording what we do everyday.

10. Because I homeschool, housework sometimes comes in last...

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