Friday, August 12, 2016

Davis Academy Weekly Wrap Up - Homeschool Encouragement


Weekly Wrap Up - 2016-17 #1
Happy Friday All!

I am going to link up with Kris @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for Weekly Wrap Up. Go read the posts, SO GOOD!



Our school year has not officially started, and I was going to speak about curriculum today, but I think, instead I will share some homeschool encouragement.  There may be a new mom/parent out there that has committed to trying homeschool this year and they might need to read my thoughts.

If you look in the blogosphere you will find all kinds of reasons that people homeschool. If I had to list my top reasons, they'd be:

  • Lack of morality in public (and 
  • some parochial) schools. 
  • Lack of make sense, good education in public (and some parochial) schools.
For our family, everything that happened in his three years of Public School boiled down to the above.  My child was exposed to vulgar words, bullied (by two students AND his teacher), and was way above the average intelligence level of his peers.  In short, we knew that I could do better at home.

If I am being honest, I am still one of the most reluctant homeschoolers I know. I fear failure and not doing enough for him. He's a boy and I'm not. I don't dissect things, he wants to. LOL The list of "why I can't do this successfully" can be so long sometimes. But, what I have found over the past five years is immeasurable support and confidence.

This is what my list of negatives or reasons I should not homeschool used to look like:
  • Will I do enough to get him ready for college some day?
  • He's a boy and he loves math and science - I don't (ok, it's not because he's a boy, but their minds do work differently).
  • We are too much alike - both perfectionist, panicked when we think we own't live up to our own ridiculous standards, etc.
  • Losing my income is hard, we will have to struggle.
  • How will he make friends?
  • Will I fit in with homeschool moms?
  • Will I be able to teach him?
All of those - ALL have dissipated. I know that I am doing the right thing for my child. Over this past year, as I took a year off Co-Ops and women's groups, I gained perspective about ME. Armed with more confidence, I have to say that homeschooling my child is NOT about ME!  It's about him - and he's a pretty awesome kiddo. Maybe no one else has an ego as big as mine, or cares like I do about what others think.... but if you do, you're going to need to fix that - because what you give up is directly proportional to what you are going to get out of it. Get ready to be humbled a million different ways and love it!

Recently in a local homeschool group, a newcomer was sharing how overwhelmed she was. I remember that feeling. I offered this:

SO to all you NEW Homeschool Mamas...
I thought I'd share a little about how I felt about homeschooling before I started, when I started, and now.
Before I started, our school situation was not great in Public School. Long story short, they couldn't handle my kiddo because he didn't fit their norm. He's bright and they were catering (I totally understand it, overwhelmed as they are) to the children who needed more help. There was bullying, there were inappropriate words he brought home. I could go on.  Towards the end of Kindergarten, I thought, "I can do better than this, he's so bored". But my husband was not interested. In 1st grade, he was bullied, etc... and by 2nd Grade, I knew it would be his last year, and I found CATH.
I asked on the Yahoo group about curriculum and got 78 fairly different replies. I was like - Dear Lord, I'm not qualified to decipher these answers, much less decide which curriculum to use. But I went to the various websites. MODG, Seton, Kolbe, Catholic Heritage, etc. and I read their backgrounds, their info, their "statement about how they approached education" and decided on a school. I have gone back and forth twice, and am confident we are in the right school, which for us is Seton, supplemented with the OLGC Co-Op @ St. Patrick Cathedral.
Why am I saying all this? Because a more experienced homeschooler, actually probably several, told me "it's ok to start in one place and change your mind. It's ok to swap things out. Learn to enjoy it."
I was a business woman and very organized. My mind does not do "not organized". In short, I had no confidence in my staying home skills much less homeschooling. And to some degree, am way out of my comfort zone even as we head into our 5th year of Homeschooling.
What I want you to take from this is - YES there are lots of choices. NO - you don't have to do what everyone else is doing. But whatever you do will be better for your children than any public school ever could be. It just will. You will have days that you think "I CAN NOT DO THIS!" but you can. You will smile, cry, yell, freak out... but you will learn so much.
There are so many homeschool families that offer such a wide variety of expertise and I know they are all here to help you.
Ask pointed questions. You will get answers. Truly.
I wish I'd taken that to heart when I first started, I think my experiences would have been better. All in all, it is the single most fantastical thing I've done for my child.

I offer these reasons to homeschool:
  • More time for Religious Ed/Faith building/Family Prayer
    • Liturgical Calendar, Prayer Memorization, etc.
  • Fantastic Education.
    • You can take your time if your student doesn't understand, or accelerate if they learn quickly.
  • The "RIGHT" kind of friends.
    • No need to explain, right?
  • Flexible Schedule.
    • We can go on local business trips with Marque and enjoy a dip in the hotel pool on a school day or a trip to a Civil War Park. You know, whatever. LOL
  • Less crowded vacation or public spots (beaches, zoo, art gallery, etc)
Listen, no matter what you do, people will ask questions or tell you how to do things differently. I was asked a couple months ago, by a family member, why I keep homeschooling my child, "I mean don't you want him to have friends?" Sigh - he has friends. "Don't you want him to play sports?" - um you mean like Baseball and Karate? LOL My point.... make your decision, armed with facts and reasons.... and don't look back. Pray on it every day!

I hope in some small way, this has encouraged you. Next Friday, I will post the Curriculum Post.

Hugs & Blessings,

Em

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Em