Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How it All Started

So a big question I get, a lot, is why do you home-school? Sometimes I wonder this myself.  Its not like I woke up one day and said I'm bored guess I'll home-school my kids.  It was more of a process or series of events that lead to Engineering Dad and I making this decision. So f here is how we ended up where we are.

When my first child turned three I began looking at pre-schools.  After all I am an engineer and according to all the mommy magazines it seems like the thing to do is to give your kids the best start in learning by making sure they have all those pre-school classes before they get to kindergarten. As an engineer my brain just seems to want to follow all the steps so that's what I did.  I choose a tuition based pre-school through our local school system, figuring that would have the best program for reading my child for school, since they were the school.  All sound logic right? Well as it turns out, in our case anyway, not so much.

You see I had in my head this idea of what my child would be learning, things like letters and numbers.  That bubble was busted during orientation, before we ever had our first day of classes.  That's the day I learned that three year old's learn shapes and colors.  It didn't matter that my daughter already knew these things that's what they would be learning and I was ok with that.  So I sent my child to a whole year of pre-school in which I came away wondering what she was learning, but figured oh well its just the first year and I enrolled her again the next year.  This year I thought for sure she would learn letters.  After all she would be going to kindergarten the following year.  Well  again I was wrong she learned all the letter sounds and she learned these cute little hand movements for them  and she associated all of them with an animal.  The animals even had names.  But she couldn't recognize the letter A. Well ok maybe the B, since A is in her name and I had taught her to write her name over the summer. So I did what any good engineer does when they feel their project is behind schedule, you work overtime to get it back on track.  In this case we did an hour or two of school at home after we got home from school.  In which we did all those things I thought she should have been doing in school, like letter and number worksheets, matching and counting activities.  My kids loved it too.  That's right kids, my middle child is 15 months younger than my daughter, he was three but couldn't go to school because he wasn't three in time to meet the deadline, however he was ready to learn just as much as his sister.  Added bonus!

So here we were at the point where I was teaching two kids more than the school I was paying money to every month to teach one child. The final factor came though when I helped in my daughter's classroom during Valentine's Day.  The kids started their party day by coloring a place mat.  Nine kids came in scribbled for  few minutes and went off for free play. One child sat and colored by herself  for a half and hour.  Now it could be her engineering blood that won't let her color outside the lines or it could have been that she had learned to concentrate and take her time and complete her picture, but in any case I was impressed that she showed a desire to learn and create over play. So imagine my surprise when the teacher suggested I place her in pre-k the following year, not because she wasn't ready to learn but because she was so small for her age.  That my friends clinched it for me.  My child would not be coming back for another year, I was going to be the teacher because it had become apparent to me that I was the one who cared the most about what my child was learning and making sure she was continually learning.  Now I am not advocating home schooling just because you don't like a teacher or the way schools teach, you have to be committed and want to do it yourself for it to work, and that's what I had learned during my daughters years in pre-school, that I could do this and do it well.

Now I know my experience may have been extreme and I am sure some of you love your children's teachers.  So I am curious what do you love and hate about schools and what would you love to change if you could? Have you ever been frustrated by what they are or aren't learning?



  1. Following! :)

    Wanted to let you know that when you're ready Weird, Unsocialezed Homeschoolers does a weekly (every Friday) elementary aged link up that you might be interested in. Doing a couple different link ups is how I got most of my followers. Here is the link to her blog. Visit a recent Friday to see all the blogs that link up to her link party:

    You are going to do great, and I bet your littles will love this type of learning. It is much more hands on than traditional, but it can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. :)

    Welcome to blog world!

  2. Oh, I wanted to ask if you decided to go with a specific curriculum or if you are piecing things together?

  3. Thanks Jess. I have a few posts planned for my curriculum this year. I am piecing together a lot of the it this year and do want to share but since we are not starting till September I am not quite ready yet. The next few weeks could be interesting, lol.