Raise your hand if you have ever heard any of these statements:
- “Good” Christian homeschool moms (i.e. me) don’t send their kids to public school.
- A bad homeschool day is still better than a good day at public school.
- I’m the only one who cares enough about my kids to be their teacher.
- The Common Core is ruining our school system.
Up until last fall, I, as a homeschool mom, believed most of these statements (some more than others, and on some days more than other days). But despite my concerns, my husband and I made a change. It was a change I never thought we’d make.
We quit homeschooling and sent our kids to school.
If you’ve never homeschooled, you might think I was crazy for buying into these statements. On the other hand, if you do homeschool, you might be nodding your head in understanding.
Yep. Public school.
We had been a homeschool family for 9 years. We even had the dream homeschool room! But last fall, we decided to quit homeschooling and to give public school a try.
I’ll attempt to preserve my kids’ privacy and focus mainly on my own reasons for this dramatic change.
When I told my best (homeschool mom) friend of our decision, she was speechless. See, I don’t tend to have a speed other than “100% – totally gung ho.” When I’m budgeting, that’s all I think about. When I’m decluttering, do not get in my way or you might just get reorganized with the rest of the house! (My poor husband – he’s so patient with me and my projects.)
So it was the same with homeschooling. Homeschooling was pretty much an all-consuming activity for me. And when you have 4 kids, there’s not much room for anything else.
Why homeschooling just wasn’t working for us any more.
Last year we moved to a new house and the kids had a hard time connecting with other kids because those kids were all in school. My sweet but demanding toddler had turned into a sweet and demanding preschooler.
The other kids were tired of me being the teacher (although I don’t think they’d admit that). I was overwhelmed trying to teach 4 different grades. We tried a few online courses but were left disappointed.
And then there was the dreaded “S” word – socialization.
A lot of homeschoolers will tell you they have plenty of opportunities for socialization. And we did too – violin lessons, karate class, church, homeschool co-op. But for us, it wasn’t the same as seeing your friends every day. In our neighborhood and having 4 kids, this just wasn’t realistic for me.
So because of these and a bunch of other reasons, my husband and I signed them up for school. I was terrified. None of them had ever spent a day in a school! But I had also resolved not to let fear control my decision (2 Timothy 1:7). I knew God had bigger plans for us than to stay in a situation that just wasn’t working.
So off to school they went.
To be continued….
Come back next Tuesday Read the rest of the story to find out how it all went, what surprised me the most about this drastic change, and how I feel about homeschooling now.
I’m going to close comments on this post as I think everything that needs to be said has been said and I don’t want this to turn into anything other that what it was originally intended to be. That is, an encouragement to parents prayerfully seeking the best educational situation for their children.