Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 4-Homeschooling

Today I am thankful that I live in a country where I am free to school my children at home, my way.

We haven't always homeschooled. Our oldest daughter was in public school until sixth grade. From her first day of kindergarten she struggled. With the teachers. With learning. In second grade (seven years old) I got a call saying they thought she had ADHD. We did the meetings. And the rounds of tests. They gave her an IEP, and while saying they couldn't suggest medication, they suggested medication.

The next few years passed. She continued to struggle. She didn't like school, her grades were mediocre. I watched her change from a bright, happy girl to a sullen, withdrawn one. Her friends changed. She started having behavior problems.

Meanwhile, I'd started having conversations with my neighbor who homeschools. My husband and I talked and talked and talked about it. Could we do it? Is it what the Lord was calling us to do? I went back and forth, convinced I wasn't capable. We'd since had another daughter, and I didn't want to see the same things happen with her. Even if Sam had been a model student who loved school, there were many other things that bothered me about her experiences in public school.

After much conversation, research, and prayer we finally decided to take the plunge and just do it. Our first year was hard. Acclimating to being home was a challenge for her. She missed her friends. I wasn't her teacher, I was her mom. She hated everything and fought me constantly. I wasn't sure how on earth we were going to get through it.

But here we are three years later, and I've got my girl back. Some days are still a struggle, because she is a teenager after all, but what an amazing transformation! Not only does she do well, she enjoys what she's learning. What a difference it has made putting her in an environment conducive to learning and having the freedom to tailor her education to her specific learning style. AND she is an excellent student with outstanding grades without having to use medication to control her "ADHD". Imagine that.

Since making the decision to homeschool came before our younger two daughters were old enough for school, their educations have been at home from the beginning. Katie, our six year old, has scored years and years above her grade level for the past two years. Francesca, our four year old, is writing and reading and is also advanced beyond her years. But more important than the obvious benefits of homeschooling is that we're able to instill a love for learning in them. We're giving them a foundation full of love, family values, and morals that is just so different than what they would learn if they were out exposed to worldly lessons every day. My family, and future generations to come, will be stronger and closer because we answered our call to homeschool!


Lynn said...

thanks for stopping by my blog. It was great to read about how you started homeschooling.

SisterTipster said...

Love that you found a great path that works!! Teens are a challenge no matter~but oh soo worth it ;-)) Thanks for sharing your homeschool start story~woot! hugs!

Prairiemaid said...

Your comment about you family being stronger for generations to come....HOW TRUE!!!

Excellent post!


Our Village is a Little Different said...

We began as public schoolers as well. My boys with Asperger Syndrome have also thrived at home. I'm so glad it is working so well for your family, too.

Jill said...

We began with our oldest in public school as well. And don't worry teen years are challenging, but rewarding too

Vickie said...

Bringing mine home from public school, especially the "struggler", has been one of the best decisions God has led us to do.

And remember, grandkids are the rewards we get for not giving up on our teens :)

Heidi... said...

Thanks for sharing your journey to homeschooling... a great post!

I, too, am grateful for the opportunity to teach my children at home.


Wonder Mom said...

I always find it interesting how different families end up in the wild and wonderful world of homeschooling. Sounds like it was the best "fit" for your kiddos-wonderful!

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