Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homeschooling

After much thought & prayer, we have decided to embark in a great new adventure. Homeschooling. Before you gasp and think, "oh those poor kids, they are going to be so sheltered and what about socialization?" here me out.

The thought first entered our minds back before Jordan was going to start Kindergarten and we were still traveling in our RV for Ryan's work. Then we were settled at the time Jordan would start kindergarten so we just had him go to public school. He loved school and did very well. Kindergarten was a great school year. This year he is in 1st grade. He is still doing VERY well academically. He has been on the honor roll every grading period. He is reading a grade level ahead of his class. However, he is bored with school. He can't stay focused on is work therefore getting in "trouble" for not being able to stay on task. He is such a "hands on" learner that I know he struggles doing so much "seat work." He is the last one getting his work done every day. He misses his recess because his work isn't done. Which only adds to his problem of having too much energy and causes him to not be able to focus even more. At his parent/teacher conference his teacher told me that he just "fell between the cracks" when it came to a reading game they do (they read books and get points for answering questions on the computer about the book and at the end of the year get to attend a party if they meet their reading goal). His teacher said that she was so busy encouraging the readers that were behind to take the quizzes that she didn't realize Jordan hadn't taken any. That right there upset me. I wasn't upset at his teacher. I'm sure it's difficult to keep up with all the students. But it upset me that my child is going to "fall between the cracks" because he IS smart. That is only going to cause him to be bored with school and eventually fall behind. So we got to thinking how he would benefit greatly from homeschooling. I could see right where he was at and work on what he needs to work on. I could keep his interest. The more I thought, the more excited I got. The more I wanted to be that one right there when my child learned a concept for the first time. To see the excitement on their faces. After thinking about all this is when I really began to research it. Do you know that in MOST cases it's been proven that homeschooled children actually do the exact opposite as most people think?!?! They are the ones that actually go on to the best colleges, become leaders and are much more self confident than others. They are not misfits nor are they sheltered. After reading all the statistics I was amazed at how wonderful this truly could be. Ryan & I were on the same page. We both were thinking that Jordan could really benefit from it greatly. He (well, not only him, but all of our children) is our greatest priority so we only want what is best for him. Still we didn't make a decision when to start this. Jordan had been coming home saying he was unhappy at school. That kids teased him for being the last one done with his work. That just broke my heart. Then a few more days passed. He had said a few things to me that were NOT something a 6 yr old should say. (I won't say what he said, but it had my jaw on the floor). He was picking up on this stuff from other kids. THEN I went to his class Christmas party and one of his "friends" came up to me and said, "My mom told me not to hang out with Jordan because he was a bad influence". I was like "Oh" but in my head I was screaming?!?! WHAT?!?!? I wanted to call up his mom right then and say, "Well, my jordan came home and said.......this and I know for SURE he didn't learn that at our house so how dare you say that my child is a bad influence! He probably learned it from YOUR son since they hang out all the time". Now of course I didn't say that. Now I know, Jordan isn't the perfect angel by any means. BUT I do know he isn't taught to say bad things or talk about inappropriate things here at home. So why would I want him to spend 7 hrs a day around that? He would NOT hear that stuff at home.
So far all these reasons we have decided to give homeschooling a try. Of course this is just a trial. If at ANY time it is not working for us, he'll go back to school. Ryan & I both talked with Jordan about this and he was MORE than excited about it. I made sure he understood that he will still be "going" to school but it will be at home. We have decided to start this semester. Then end of his 1st semester was today BUT he is going to school until next Friday Jan 29th. With us moving and all, we will start out slow as this won't be our normal homeschool routine. But Jordan is such a fast learner and has such a joy for learning I know he will be fine. Once we are moved and settled again, then we will come up with a "real" school routine and also get the kids plugged into in church again as well as other activities. I'm not worried about my kids having problems socializing. They LOVE being involved in stuff. There isn't a time that my kids aren't in stuff. Whether it's soccer, t-ball, dance, golf, etc. We are always on the go going to activities.
I do know that this isn't going to all be perfect. I know there will be some days that I just want to scream. I'm praying for God to give me extra doses of patience. I'm sure I'll need them at times. As well as extra organization skills and time management skills :) I'm also praying for wisdom and creativity. I know God will equipt me to be the teacher my kids need. I went to college for 5 yrs for teaching. What better children to teach than my very own, right?!?! I was able to talk to a mom at Mya's dance class who homeschools her 4 kids. She said it's the BEST thing she could ever have done. She said it's SO rewarding. but it's also the hardest thing she's ever done. I'm so excited to get started on this.
A quick funny story about how excited Jordan is about it. The other night he was working on some homework and we were having a few issues with him doing it. I told him that if this continues and this is how he acts with homeschooling then it's never going to work. He looked at me and said, "mom, it HAS to work. I'm not going back to that school! You WILL BE my teacher!" That was the end of him throwing his little fit and he got his work done! :) Sounds to me like he's excited.

4 comments:

denise said...

So proud of you for making such a difficult decision!!!

Anonymous said...

We are now in our 6th year of homeschooling our 3 children. We have been very blessed, of course there are good days and bad. They are all above grade level. I laugh when I read about "lack of socialization", my kids get more socialization being homeschooled then they were getting in a school. Those individuals that are critical of your decision to homeschool will quickly see your children flourish. Strongly encourage you to get plugged into a support group in your area. Also, don't get overwhelmed by the amount of curriculum that is available. God Bless you and congratulations on one of the best decisions you could make for your family.

Shawna Beers said...

Denise--thanks! :)

Anonymous--thank you for commenting on this. It's encouraging to me to hear stories like this. As you know this is a difficult decision to make and I only want what is best. So I appreciate hearing how well it's going for other homeschoolers. So thank you and May God bless you too! :)

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