I’ve been thinking about homeschool since we moved to the city. Coming from a suburban district into a financially strapped urban district has been quite the experience. I have gone through every emotion from anger, to sadness, to frustration, to disgust, to resolve, to determined and back around again. It’s mind blowing and heartbreaking and blood boiling, truly, to see the disparities between the two so up close and personal like this. And it’s super discouraging to not see a light at the end of the tunnel or a way to really set things right. From the moment I had my first encounter with the school district, my mind has wandered into the realms of homeschool.
And let me be clear, it’s not just this particular district that has me rethinking everything I’ve learned about school and education. It’s definitely been a combination of things that have pushed me towards this consideration, our current public school experience being the lightbulb that set off all the other thoughts. Coming here, I was forced to become more active in my kids schooling than ever before. Whereas in our other district, along with working full time, less flexibility, and having a different mindset and outlook on life in general, I took a much more relaxed approach. That not being an option anymore…combined with general life and soul awakenings, I’ve been able to see things through a different lens. And that lens has had me considering homeschool more and more.
What Homeschool Might Look Like for Our Family
One thing that I’ve been really intentional with is, instead of looking at it through a family lens, we focus on each child individually when it comes to the homeschool conversation. Especially with the two older boys solidly in school routines. I’ve been looking to them to see really what their needs are, their preferences, my abilities, and if homeschool would be a good option for them–my feelings on public school aside. I feel like, for our oldest son (N) who’s going into 7th grade, traditional school is best for him right now. For one, we’ve asked him and he heavily prefers traditional school. And two, his personality is such that works best with a lot of structure, routines, and explicit directions. He does really well in traditional school and we worked really hard to get him into a really good one in our city–even if it is 30 minutes away because our local middle school closed. Le sigh…
Our middle son (S) is going into the 3rd grade and I think he would do well with homeschool. For one, he’s told me he wanted to. His personality is super focused on whatever it is he’s feeling at the time and also he’s really good at just doing really good work and getting it done. He’s super independent, has crazy attention to detail, and is very vocal about his needs. He does exceptionally well in traditional school but, I do feel like with homeschool, he could really flourish. The thing is, I’m not even close to prepared to do so, there are many things I need to research to make sure I’m going about it in the right way (state laws and what not) AND I want to make sure I’m actually able to give him the support he needs for homeschool. I’ve decided to take this school year to prepare and educate myself and revisit the discussion in late winter/early spring. I’m heavily involved in his school, current President of the parent organization, and have done a great job supporting and supplementing so far. We’ll continue on that path…for now.
And Jr. Our wildcard. He’s of pre-K age and only attended a few months of a preschool program last year. He wasn’t a fan. He’s almost 5–in October–and is extremely smart. He’s also really creative, free spirited, and isn’t really a structured, routine kind of kid. This is a probably just a result of his life experience so far. At just months old he was traveling the east coast to see Daddy perform, attending hip hop classes by one year old, and performing on stages and in shows by two. He’s been surrounded by the arts and exploration his whole life so the traditional school classroom is sort of a struggle for him. And I don’t want learning to be a struggle. Especially because he’s so bright. Case in point, last year, I tried the traditional sit here for 15 minutes let’s go over these words approach to reading that they teach in you in school. It was a battle every minute. This year, after seeing how much he loved Pokemon cards (shout out to the big bros) and how he’ll carry them around with him wherever he goes, I bought flash cards to go over his sight words. SUCCESS. He’s reading 10 – 15 sight words on his own and we really just started. And yes, he takes them with him and practices wherever he goes. We’ll be doing homeschool pre-K for Jr this year.
I’m using this time while there are still no real restraints or rules, to really figure out homeschool. To find the co-ops in our area. To get familiar with the resources. To see what works and what doesn’t. To research curriculums and all of that good stuff. By next year when we have to fill out the paperwork that either enrolls him or opts them (Jr. and S) out…I’ll be ready. ~xoxo
Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.