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 I watched her change from a bright, happy girl to a sullen, withdrawn one.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!