Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The "H" Word

There is one thing, and mostly one big thing, that Steve and I said we would NEVER, never, never ever do concerning our children. It involves the "H" word.

We said we would never homeschool our kids. Ever.

Steve and I were both homeschooled (cue jokes about denim jumpers, socially awkward, whatever, whatever. We've heard all the jokes, we've made all the jokes ourselves, go ahead, try one. I bet I've heard it or said it myself already. Haha!) and we both didn't want to homeschool for various reasons.

So, it is with great confusion that I find myself as a homeschooling mother this year. What?! Yes, you heard me right. I am homeschooling Tryn and Berlin.

I'm not really confused, but sometimes it's still hard to say it out loud. Yes, I really am teaching the kids at home and there is no way to get around that fact. We are a homeschooling family. (I'm still mentally saying, "What?!" to myself. WHAT?! I'm HOMESCHOOLING?! Yes, I really am.)

How did this happen? So many reasons, lots of evaluation, and the realization that for this year (and this year only, one year at a time commitment to this craziness) homeschooling was the best option for the girls and our family as a whole. A big factor was that Tryn would have been getting on the bus at 8:39am and getting off at 4:09pm Monday through Friday. Steve works almost every Saturday and Sunday. We were starting to feel like, "What's family time? Is that going to exist anymore? Will we ever have a "Saturday" day all year long?" Whoa. Depressing. And that does not hold true to our values as a family at all. Also, the school that we really wanted Tryn to go to was full. She got put on a waiting list and never got in and so our first choice (performing arts magnet school where they have piano lab every day and can be in band/orchestra/choir etc. starting in first grade!!!!) for schools was out for this year.

We waited until the last minute to commit to something that we never thought we would commit to and every morning now I don my denim jumper, ahem, and teach my children.

I am pleased to say that so far it is going quite well. I think that quality time speaks love strongly to both of my girls and so school time is just one big bundle of love for them. It's also nice for me because I get to spend time with the girls not coloring (activity of choice 99.9% of the time otherwise) but doing other things that I find interesting as well.

I was also able to start Berlin in kindergarten this year. If we were doing the public school thing she wouldn't have been able to start until next year and she really wanted to start school with her big sister. So here is our first day of school picture for Tryn in first grade and Berlin in kindergarten. I let them pick out a new first day of school outfit and they picked the most sparkly dresses that were available. And they have worn them almost every day since. I have to steal Berlin's while she is sleeping to wash it. But, hey, they can wear the dresses every day for the rest of the year without getting teased if they want to...because we are a homeschooling family. :)


Beth Hautala said...

I love this so much.
WE opted not to homeschool this year—though two weeks in to kindergarten for Caleb and preschool for Ella (leave the house by 7:15—drive 40 minutes to Baxter) has me a little breathless. But due to work schedules, this was our best and most feasible option. But like you, we are taking one year at a time. So who knows, next year I may find myself where you are at today—and I'll probably be calling you for mental/emotional support! :)

Amy Roberts said...

I really respect this statement: "And that doesn't hold true to our values as a family at all." I read an awesome book this year that challenged me on this subject and it really made me change my priorities based on my values. I hear people all the time saying things like, "I wish I could do xyz because I know it's really important." But they don't do it and their reasons are really dumb, lazy (IMHO) and just prove they don't REALLY think it's important at all. A++ to you guys taking a hard look at what is important to you and making changes and not just because you chose homeschooling, cause I am proud of Beth too because I believe she and Aaron really took a look at it too and chose what was right for them even if it was a hard choice. Anyway for what it's worth, I give you guys the nod, not that you need anyone's approval but you have mine just the same.