In the Beginning…

March 30, 2008

It’s Home Education Week over at Principled Discovery and Dana’s asked us to share some personal history… life before homeschooling.  

In the beginning there was my husband.  Of course, back in 9th grade he wasn’t my husband yet.  We were friends.  I enjoyed bugging him while he worked in study hall.  I sat next to him in almost every class.  But neither of us was romantically interested in the other.

Until 10th grade.  Suddenly we looked at each other and thought, “Wait a minute… you’re the one!”  We dated through 10th grade and by the end had a solid relationship.  Which was good since he and his family moved an hour away the summer before our junior year.  We carried on a long distance relationship for the final two years of high school. 

College time came and although we both looked at private schools, we both ended up at the same, much cheaper, state school.  I went into college with the idea that I would become a math teacher.  I hated the math department so I switched to computer science.  It didn’t really matter.  I think I knew all the while I was just killing time waiting for a proposal. 

I think I finally convinced him we didn’t have to wait till we finished school to get married.  So with a year still to go we finally tied the knot.  Then I convinced him we didn’t have to wait for our degrees to have a baby.  We timed it perfectly, the baby was due just as my last semester was scheduled to end.

Thus I began my career in my chosen profession.    For years I worked at part time jobs. Both for the much needed cash and the chance to be productive, the opposite of my full time Mom job.  But when Adrian was diagnosed with autism at 2 years old, I realized that I was going to need to make being Mom my only job.  I gave up the part time job and have been putting all my energy into my career as Mom ever since.

Adrian started at a special preschool as soon as he was diagnosed.  That was a no-brainer given the amount of educational intervention required and my inability to provide it while caring for 6 month old twins.  School is still the best option for him for many reasons.

The girls went to preschool at 4.  The teacher had some concerns and suggested we hold off on sending them to kindergarten.  But we sent them.  In my mind I figured if it didn’t work out I could always homeschool them.  They had a rough time in kindergarten.  Bee had a rough time in first grade too.  But we muddled through all right. 

Then we got to second.  Bee wasn’t muddling through anymore.  She had some ADHDish tendencies and the school was pushing towards diagnosis, medication and educational interventions.  We didn’t think she needed any of those.  She just needed the right learning environment.  The time had come to homeschool.

Hubby wasn’t fully on board back then.  He wasn’t sure I could handle it with a toddler running around too.  I didn’t have time to think about that.  I had to make it work.  And I did.

So here we are, homeschoolers.  What do we miss?  Absolutely NOTHING.  I wouldn’t go back to the school nights full of stress and homework and chaos for anything.  You couldn’t ever convince me to go through school supply shopping, unproductive meetings with teachers and making my kids do work I know is pointless.  Fortunately, the girls and the hubby all feel the same.

What have we gained?  EVERYTHING.  It’s the ultimate freedom to do what works for us as individuals and as a family.  It’s the chance for the kids to learn and grow without labels, medication, boundaries or boxes.  It’s the chance for us to be together and enjoy our family time – all the time. 

3 Responses to “In the Beginning…”

  1. Renae Says:

    I’m so glad you have the tenacity to do what is best for your children. I look forward to reading more about your journey.

  2. Dana Says:

    What a great story! That freedom without boundaries is an incredible thing. Before I started, I always viewed homeschooling as something with a lot of boundaries and a lot of pushing children to excel. Now I realize what freedom in can have!

  3. Cammie Says:

    I am a teacher and I whole-heartedly agree with you. Schools cannot provide the vast opportunities that you as a parent can. Schools, by their nature, have to pigeon-hole kids, and so many kids get lost in the cracks. Now, I just have to convince my hubbie of that 😉

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