Making the Decision to Homeschool

Deciding to Homeschool

Deciding to homeschool (or not) is such a personal decision. I certainly never saw myself homeschooling my kids. In fact, as a public school teacher, the idea of homeschooling was pretty foreign and a little laughable. I enjoyed teaching other people’s children, but I had no desire to teach my own. Until, that is, my daughter was ready for kindergarten. My oldest son was in public school. He had just completed second grade and was a great student. I was happy with his teachers, he did well academically and socially, and I truly had no complaints. By then I had “retired” from teaching and was staying home with the kids.  I was enjoying the time I had alone each day with my sweet girl, and was looking forward to her being in kindergarten in the fall. Alone time, at last! I had big ideas about what I’d do once both kids were in school. It all sounded so wonderful. My daughter completed kindergarten screening and we got her all registered to begin. Only something didn’t feel right. All summer I wrestled with this staggering feeling that I was missing something. Slowly, the idea of homeschooling began to enter my mind. Very slowly. Every time I allowed myself to think about it, I brushed it off. I didn’t want to homeschool. Period. Suddenly, though, it seemed like everyone around me was homeschooling or thinking about doing it. This nagging thought I kept ignoring just got louder and louder until I finally broached the topic with my husband. He was intrigued and definitely interested in what homeschooling could do for our family. At the time, he travelled quite often for work and homeschooling would allow us to go with him. More family time plus travel experience for the children seemed like an ideal plan. However, I was still digging in my heels. I just wasn’t that into the whole thing. It seemed overwhelming and scary and like such a BIG commitment. So instead of making any decisions, I just kept praying. I talked to homeschooling friends. I debated with my husband. And one day, just like that, I suddenly knew that I had to give it a try. I felt in my heart that if I could do it, why wouldn’t I? I was certainly qualified. I already stayed home. My husband supported the idea. We all valued family time. There was nothing stopping me from homeschooling except me.

With the decision made, I had to get serious about figuring out how to start homeschooling.  I had to learn the laws of North Carolina to make sure I was getting us started on the right foot. I had to register as an official homeschool. I had to research curriculum. I had to create a learning space in our home. And I had to prepare myself for being fully responsible for the education of my children. It was a lot to take in and a lot to do, especially as someone who still didn’t really want to do any of it. I did all of it, though, and we’re now in the fifth year of this journey. People ask me all the time how long I plan to homeschool, and the truth is, I don’t know. I think my son will probably go to public school fairly soon. He’s aging out of youth sports and he desperately needs that competitive outlet. His only choice to continue playing is to enroll in school, and he’s ok with doing that. I’m just not sure I am. I can see my daughter staying home through high school, but I wouldn’t be shocked if she wanted to go to school one day. A lot will depend on what her big brother does. As far as the baby goes, I’m very glad I have plenty of time to worry about him.

Deciding to homeschool is huge. It’s a decision that impacts every aspect of your life. Especially for the reluctant homeschooler, like me, it’s important to make sure you know why you’re thinking of homeschooling in the first place. Knowing your why can be the difference between enjoying the journey, and wishing it were over.

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Jennifer Fox

One Comment

  1. Homeschooling is a beautiful thing.
    Except on the hard days. Then it sucks. And you wonder if you haven’t completely destroyed your children’s future lives by keeping them home.
    That’s when you have to stop, breathe, and remember why you are doing it in the first place! It helps ground you and reminds you.
    Good luck as you keep going.
    Also, my oldest went to high school last year, and has done beautifully with the transition! =)

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