We Are Starting a New Adventure… with Homeschooling!

Yes.  I know.  The amount of people who have registered to homeschool or chosen to do distance learning in their schools this year is astronomical.  We aren’t one of those people.  Not that there is anything wrong with those people.  I support a parent’s right to choose.  But, we had made this decision almost a year ago that we were going to homeschool starting this year.  And honestly this COVID nightmare was just another affirmation to me that we made the right decision for OUR family.  Now that that’s out of the way…  keep reading to find out why.

Why would I choose to homeschool after being against it most of my life?

I’m not going to get into the exact details.  Let’s be honest, those reasons are between my husband, my child, and me.  But, I can tell you that it wasn’t a decision that we made lightly.  This has been a process that we have been going through and discussing for the past 3 years.

When Ashtyn entered school it was a disaster.  He cried for his entire first year of Kindergarten.  And not once did I consider pulling him out and homeschooling him (I wasn’t working at the time so I could have easily done it).  First grade got a little better and by second grade we only had a few tummy problems every now and then.  By the time he was in 3rd grade he started really developing friendships and I thought we were home free.  And this is when he started asking to be homeschooled.

Now don’t get me wrong.  His teachers were all AMAZING.  They were honestly the only thing that probably kept him going to school in the first place.  He loved every single one of them (and so do I).  But traditional school wasn’t working for him.  It’s just the way the educational system is built. And it’s not the teachers faults.  I actually had discussions with a couple of Ashtyn’s teachers about our decision to possibly homeschool and each one of them said that he would flourish with it!

We are Homeschooling

Some of my family members are very upset with us for the reasons below:

I was prepared for this.  5 years ago I was on the same page as them.  Until I started talking to more homeschool families, doing more research, and praying EVERY NIGHT.  I knew that when I finally told them about our decision that I would get backlash.  But it didn’t make it any easier.  Especially with my “I want everyone to approve of me” personality, which I’ve been working on a lot this year.  I listened to a podcast this morning (suggested by a friend) and it actually helped change my perspective a lot.  I know that I can’t change their mind, just like no one could have changed mine all those years ago.  Hopefully they will stay opened minded and see that Ashtyn’s not going to become a creep who can’t function in the real world just because he’s homeschooled.  Only time will tell on that one.

Kids need socialization.

THIS.  DRIVES.  ME.  CRAZY.

Everyone has this idea that all homeschool kids are awkward and weird.  But I’ve got something to tell you.  I’ve seen kids in the public school systems who’ve been in there their whole life who are just as weird, if not weirder than any homeschool kid I’ve known.  True story.  Some kids are weird.  Kids are awkward.  Some kids grow up to be adults who are also awkward.  And they have gone to public school their whole life!

I’m not going to get into a whole discussion on this because there are PLENTY of articles on it.  Educate yourself:

But, you went to school to be a teacher!

Yeah.  I know.  Trust me…  it was a shocker to me too.  I spent the last 5 years working in grades K-5 in a public school.  At first I was so excited and motivated that I was going to go back and take the tests to get my certification reinstated so that I could get a job teaching full time.  And then a couple years passed and I realized that the education system was NOT what I thought it was.  Many people had said “things have changed a lot since you got your degree” and they weren’t kidding.

Now listen.  I am NOT saying that the schools are horrible and that you should take your kids out.  There are AMAZING teachers in the trenches that are trying their best every day to make sure that your kids are getting the best education that they can.  But these teachers are tired.  They are working 2 jobs.  They can only do so much.

Some kids thrive in public school.  Some kids NEED it.  But I don’t think all kids do.

If you homeschool him he will most definitely fail in college (if he even gets in to one).

This is so false that it’s funny.  Actually there are many studies that show that homeschoolers actually tend to do better in college!  Not to mention there are many very successful people in this world that have been homeschooled.  I’m not gonna lie.  This is probably what gets me worried the most.  Those little voices in my head that tell me that I’m not good enough to homeschool him or smart enough (even though I had a 4.0 GPA in college myself).  He’s always been in the top of his classes and I surely don’t want him to get dumber under my watch!

I’ve talked to a few homeschoolers who have gone off to college who are doing extremely well.  Ashtyn has dreams and ambitions.  He’s very goal oriented and focused.  I see him doing amazing things as an adult.  And let’s be honest…  is college really the be all end all anyway?  I’m in SERIOUS college debt and look at where I am!

Ashtyn is going to be fine.  Actually he’s going to be AMAZING.

We had a chance to test out homeschooling before we had to fully commit thanks to COVID.  I guess there was a positive thing!  And we both got really excited about it.  Is it going to be fun and games every day?  Heck no.  The kid is addicted to video games and the withdrawal is going to go into effect starting on the first day of school I’m sure.  But we are going to learn together.  He’s going to have time to learn about things that HE wants to learn about.  I will have time to teach him REAL life things like cooking and budgeting.  He’s going to pick an instrument this year to learn.  And we are going to work out together every day (hopefully)!  And of course he will be learning about all the boring stuff he has to learn about too.

But he also will be SOCIALIZING with people.  He has other friends from school who are homeschooling this year and he spends a lot of time with his cousins who are all different ages and personalities.  Most importantly, he will be going out into the real world and experiencing LIFE.  There is no doubt in my mind that we were brought to this decision for the right reasons.  And he knows that at any time if he wants to go back to public school he can.  We aren’t locking him up in a basement or anything.

I’m excited to see where this year takes us!

There will always be those in our lives who don’t agree with everything we say or do.  That’s something that I need to get over worrying about.  We are very lucky to have a whole community of homeschool parents who GET IT in our lives!  Ashtyn is lucky that he has friends and family who are excited for him to start this new adventure.  And we are all excited to see where this new adventure takes us!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Becky

    I think this is great! I don’t have kids yet but if we do I would very strongly lean towards homeschooling. (You also make a good point that all children are different, so I suppose if it seemed like my child would do well in a public school setting I would still be open to it, but I’m much more in favor of homeschooling). Mostly this is because like you, I have my teaching degree and worked in schools for a bit and was very unhappy with all of the politics, hoops to jump through, and general lack of support outside of the school community from government, etc. that really hinders what teachers are trying to do. And I definitely wouldn’t worry about the socialization aspect – there are so many ways to still do activities and things with other kids. I now work as a children’s librarian at a public library and we have all sorts of book clubs, science programs, trivia nights, etc., for kids of all ages. Many of the kids who attend my programs are homeschooled and they are some of the brightest, nicest kids I’ve ever met!

    1. Taryn

      Thank you for these kind words! I completely agree with you. There are SO many opportunities for homeschooled kids to get involved in activities and groups now then ever before!

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