I never wanted to home school. I was a powerhouse contractor with a business to run and I have six kids, and was taking care of my beloved Mom. Home school? Fifteen years ago I would laughed my head off and probably did, and guess what happened? Yep. Home schooled my four left at home. Why?
My hubs and I are products of public school but neither of us have a college education, although I am almost there!! All of the children were in public school, and it was fine with a few little speed bumps a long the way, but nothing Too Bad, except for #1, and that was His Fault, not the school’s.
We moved one county away in 2002. We lived in a nice neighborhood, nice home, blah blah blah….county lines were changed and we were ‘slotted’ to a ‘town elementary school’. Still, no worries. The hubs and I went to look at the school, meet the principal, show the kids around, thinking it would be fine. Upon our arrival, the school looked like any other school, perhaps not shiny and new, but fine. We met the principal and he took us on a tour, and showed us a Padded Room. Seriously. A Padded Room. My hubs and I looked at each other, neither of us understanding. Then the principal told us this is where the Bad Kids Go. I couldn’t quite understand why he was telling us about kids having Detention in this Room. My kids did not go to detention; maybe a few times for something silly they had done, but they weren’t criminals or druggies or anything. They were little kids in elementary school for crying out loud. He then proceeded to tell us that there were Fights, Gangs, Drugs, Knives and Bad Behavior Constantly in this school. How odd for a principal to say these things….Maybe they had too many kids in each classroom and I had a tribe, so maybe he was trying to discourage us….I still was not too worried because I knew that my kids did well in school and respected their teachers and there would be no Giant Problems.
I am the one that Falls Apart at the drop of a hat. But in this case, my hubs was Quite Upset and announced that the Children Were Not Going to that School. I called the school board and wanted to see if we could pay tuition for them to go to the school Closer to our House that had a Great Reputation. (in those days we had money) I was told No. Then we looked into private schools. Too Much Money. I drove a mini van, the other moms drove beemers. So my hubs Announced that we were going to Home School. I cackled at him like a Hen. Not Happening. Too Busy. No Way. Not in my Lifetime. Home Schooling is Weird. He was Weird. He was Crazy. The rant went on for days. I lost. I called the school board again and talked to a wonderful lady who is charge of Home Schooling for our county. She said that this county was ‘home school friendly’…Whatever That Meant. I had no idea.
So the Journey began….I asked her to tell me about the Hardest Curriculum possible. Some home schoolers choose books and teach their kids and I did not want to do that. I wanted a State Approved Curriculum in case they ever went to public school (which I knew I was going to finagle by the next year–Wrong again)….So I chose a Catholic Based Curriculum that Cost Money. Some home schoolers teach with their own books because they do not want To Pay. This curriculum is tough. They send detailed information that must be taught and use many books that are not Catholic, but Catholic teaching is intertwined. My hubs is Catholic, though not practicing so I thought it was a good idea. It was. They also do their own grading which I love.
When the children were younger, it was fun. I just ran my schedule around school, which we had everyday just like the public schools do. The difference being that they could lounge in their pjs and eat ice cream while completing their assignments. They did very well. It was Not Good Enough for Me. I became a Fierce Home Schooler. I had to have a Reason for Doing This because I Did Not Want to Do it. For the first year, I would stay up late and spend my weekends pouring over the curriculum, reading their books so I could relearn everything that they had to learn. I don’t do that any longer. Finally I Had a Purpose of my own to Home school. They would graduate their classes through the tenth grade, get their G.E.D. and enroll in community college and get a Two Year Degree and then transfer to University if they chose. At least they would be semi formally Educated. The first two went on to University. One is graduating with a Bachelors this May, the other already has her Bachelors and is graduating with a Masters’. Win! #3 was my guinea pig. She entered community college at just 15. She did so well and even Still has her Name on a Plaque above the Library which drives the other ones Nuts. #4 is graduating with a Major and a Minor. Win!! They have both studied Abroad. Win!!
This is incredible to me and I tell everyone I know. Many home schooled children have done the same, and it is commonplace for young teens to be enrolled in community college. #3 convinced Me to go to school, which I have been doing for a while. So that is the Home School Story….I did not want them to end up like me.
In a recession with No Education, at least they will have that, and no one can take it Away…