I must apologize in advance; this is a long one... :)
So for those of you who don't already know, my husband and I decided that we would start home schooling this year. And so the craziness ensued!;)
It's really weird how life works sometimes. A year ago I couldn't have imagined that I would have what it takes to be a teacher. I never could have believed I was capable. Fast forward a few months and we found out that more then likely, because of Tyson's health issues he would HAVE to be homeschooled. The minute the doctor said this I felt sick to my stomach! Honestly so many thoughts came pouring into my head, not one of them positive. All I could think about was my own failures when I was in school. How could I possibly teach my child/ren what I once lacked or struggled in? So, I started doing research on home schooling in my province. Turns out we live in a great home schooling province. Lot's of choices in school boards and resources. And lots of families near where we live who home school. Some for 20+ years!
Then I took a BIG step back. We have 3 wonderful children. We don't know if it makes sense to send 2 to public school, and keep one home? And while I started thinking about the public school my children were going to attend (our oldest already attending) I started realizing some startling facts about our school. Between larger class sizes and lay offs, things were going to be changing. Boy oh boy did it get me thinking about the type of education I want my children to receive. And more importantly, what type of character we want our children to have.
In 2009 when Tyson was born, our oldest, Ryan was in grade one. After Tyson joined the world he had many health issues and spent a long time in the hospital. He also was air lifted to another city for surgery, so as you can imagine our family life was upside down to say the least. During this time Ryan began to have problems in school. He would disrupt the class and the teacher, and had very little patience for the repetitive lessons. This earned him a pretty quick diagnosis to having ADHD. And because of everything going on, I will be honest I just listened to what the school said and trust that they would know better then we would. I was very vulnerable because of so many things being out of my control.
Ryan ended up being labeled at the school he was in, and was being bullied everyday. So at the schools recommendation we sent Ryan to a different school in town that offered a program for kids with a variety of mental and/or emotional needs, where they could focus on those and not just the educational stuff. As well as a regular public program that they intergrade back into whenever the time is right. This was a great program, and the teachers were amazing in this program. I can't say enough good about them. However, looking back Ryan did not need this program. What he needed was the attention and focus to help him get through the rough family time that had initially started the new behavior. Unfortunately due to oversized classrooms, and his class being a grade 1/2 split the teacher didn't have the time to understand WHY Ryan was acting up. And because we were consumed in what Tyson was going through and in a different city, while the other boys stayed with grandparents we didn't take the time to realize what the truth beneath the surface was. It started to become apparent in the last few months of grade 3 that Ryan doesn't seem to have ADHD. He can focus on a task for a long period of time. He can focus on more then one thing at a time. And his outbursts seemed to be no different then other frustrated 8 year old boys. The only other thing that hasn't seemed to change is that he hates to sit down, but in looking at my own dad and brother they are no different and tend to prefer standing to sitting and might pace every now and again.
During Ryan's time in his program he learned it was sort of an easy way out of doing school. If a student was having a bad day they were encouraged to express themselves through an art project, or to go sit in the "quiet room" that boast a big comfortable chair, books, and Lego. Well, Ryan learned very quickly that if he could pretend his day wasn't so great he wouldn't have to go to his math class with the rest of the grade 3's, he could have a hot chocolate in the quiet room instead. Needless to say, educationally speaking he didn't progress at all in grade 3. This was very frustrating for us because Ryan is very smart. In fact he scored "superior level" on most of his IQ test, and was reading over 3 grade levels higher then his own. We realized something had to change. Over the summer my husband and I had many long talks about what is right for our children’s education. And we had many long talks about their character development and who their peers are. After many, many long conversations, and a whole lot of praying it became very obvious that it was time (past due even) for us to take control over our children’s education.
I contacted wonderful women who is a local home-schooler and is also our area's home school support person and she really helped me see home schooling in a whole new light. I never had a problem with home schooling before, just a problem with the confidence of being able to home school my kids. I really began to dive in after that. After lots of research, and prayer, about how and what I want to teach our kids. How it will affect our household, and how will we achieve our goals. I'm still a newbie and learning new ideas and techniques everyday, but so far - I LOVE HOME SCHOOLING!! We're around 3 weeks in, and it's going so much better then I imagined it could. I fully anticipate rough times ahead, and know that it won’t always run so smooth... But in the meantime, WOW! This is great! And what I felt was already a wonderfully strong bond between my boys and I, has seemed to double! What a blessing! OH- and by the way. All those negative thoughts that bombarded me with the initial suggestion of home school have been replaced with whispers from God telling me how capable I am of teaching and training my children to become everything they are supposed to be!
So THANK YOU to everybody who has supported our decision to home school our kids. Most everyone has been wonderfully understanding and we are so greatful!
And another big THANK YOU to all the awesome bloggers who take the time to blog everything from their day-to-day routines, ideas, blunders, and awesome printables! You have all been a great resource and have kept me inspired by how awesome you all are doing! I appreciate YOU!
"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck." -Proverbs 1:8-9