We did it! The husband and I actually had that uncomfortable talk where you face a topic head on and make a decision! In that moment, we were winning at adulting, even though we were emotionally exhausted. We hashed out the pros and cons, shared our hopes and fears, and made a decision. Which made me realize that:
A huge part of being an adult is making one hard decision after another.
This time around, we forced ourselves to have “the talk” about schooling next year. We genuinely adore the school our kids currently attend–Glen Loch Elementary. The principal is fabulous; the teachers are caring and competent; the class sizes are small; and most importantly, the school population is normal, which is such a glorious gift here in the excessively affluent community of The Woodlands. So to be extra clear:
We aren’t choosing homeschooling because of a negative experience with public school.
If I could keep all the things I love–the awesome school librarian, the extracurricular arts programs, and the P.E. teachers–then I would! And in a way, we kind of will be. The kids will be taking a theater class and a historical handicrafts class respectively at a local co-op. (More details to come!)
So if we didn’t choose homeschooling primarily as a reaction to something negative, why did we choose to homeschool?
1. I miss my children. I did not feel this way 2 years ago. Not even kind of. In fact, when I found out I was pregnant with each child, I quickly did the math and realized that since their birthdays fell in January, they would have to stay home an extra year before starting kindergarten. Cue the sobbing.
But now I genuinely miss them. Does it help that they are advanced readers so can work a bit more independently?? YES.
Does it help that they got to experience the glories and miseries of the morning ride on the school bus? YEP.
And does it help that they are familiar with the traditional flow of school and the positives and negatives of school? All the YES.
2. I feel competent and confident to teach them. I taught at the university level for six years. Which I recognize is not the same as teaching elementary students, but…it’s closer than you might think…. Plus, I genuinely believe I can teach my children as well as or even better than a classroom teacher can because of the one-on-one attention. Not to mention the efficiency of teaching 2 students instead of 20. (Note: I am aware that as a recovering perfectionist–read more here–I need to be on alert for all the ways I will most certainly fail as a teacher. And start giving myself grace now. Lots and lots of preemptive grace.)
3. We want the time freedom and flexibility. Now that Donnie and I are both working from home, we have more flexibility than ever. Even better, he and I can both work from anywhere (with an internet connection). So bring on the long weekend trips to The Farm, traveling during the week, and the ability to basically be Time Lords.
4. I love researching curriculum. The nerdy book-loving teacher in me loves an excuse to research and take notes and compile lists. Because I homeschooled Benjamin for kindergarten, I already know what homeschool methodologies and approaches I like. Which means I get to move right on to the curriculum! Hunting for curriculum deals satisfies 3 of my itches–bargain hunting, retail therapy, and buying books!
So here we are with 2 and a half days left at Glen Loch Elementary School, and I’m feeling all the emotions. Mourning the end and looking forward to a new beginning as a homeschool family!