Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home Education Week: Looking Back

Dana at Principled Discovery is hosting Home Education Week from March 30-April 5. Everyday there will be a writing prompt and a real world activity to help "bring the deserved appreciation to homeschooling." I think this sounds like lots of fun and am excited about joining in. Today's topic is Looking Back; Share your personal history…before you were a home educator. What was life like? Think about things you miss and things you and your family have gained.

Well, dh and I were newly engaged, he was entering Air Force bootcamp, and I was a junior in college working for my degree in English. We had planned on getting married after I graduated, but his first assignment turned out to be England...we got married while he was on leave between school and going overseas and I followed him over 3 months later. Ds1 was born 2 years later, still in England. After completing dh's tour we came home and I finished my degree with my toddler in tow. Ds2 arrived shortly after I graduated and I dived head-long into blessed Mommyhood. We reluctantly enrolled ds1 in a public kindergarten which happened to be 30 minutes away from our house...the school and our home were on opposite sides of the district, but both still in the same district. The experience was awful! He had a wonderful and experienced teacher, but a class full of children who had little home support and came so unprepared that many could not only not write their own names but not even recognize them on paper. Only one other parent besides me ever showed up to help out in the classroom. Dh and I continued to "teach" ds1 in the evenings at home...just informal reading and writing lessons.

We decided to enroll him in the private school that dh and I had both attended as children. Unfortunately that meant I had to work evenings to pay the tuition. This actually worked out well for two years...I was home during the day to drive ds to and from school, help out in the classroom, and take care of ds2 and we made ends meet with my evening earnings. Then in third grade ds1 began bringing home C's. I know that there is nothing wrong with that, but when we are working so hard to send him to this school, I want him to come away from it with the best education he can. We had meetings with his teacher and she assured us all was well, and still he came home with poor grades. We found out the teacher was using some strange methods in the classroom, such as using only handouts and no textbook for math. We also had some "run-ins" with the administration over some of their policies. We were anguished for most of that year until we began researching the notion of homeschooling. I can't even remember where we got the idea, but I attended a seminar given by the school board about it and we decided to dive in. We haven't looked back since lol.

Every day when I see reports about the troubles our local schools are having I thank the Lord that we made that decision and have been blessed enough to follow through with homeschooling for 9 years now. Ds1 is now 18 and will graduate high school this May. Ds2 is 12 and in 7th grade. Ds3 is 7 and in 1st grade and ds4 is 3 and already doing preschool work. I really enjoy the lesson planning and seeing our children every day (although it would be nice to get to go to the bathroom alone every once in a while lol.) Our family is close, our children are thriving and I am still loving every minute of this blessed Mommyhood. My life as wife and mommy didn't start out exactly as planned, but I can't imagine it any other way.

Our real world activity today is to make an e-card to celebrate our Home Education Week. Looks like a lot of fun! Can't wait to visit everyone's post and get to know you all better.



  1. I am Julie too.

    Starting your married life in England, must have been exciting. I considered sending my daughter to a private school, but they looked at her education needs and just said no.

    Homeschooling really has been a blessing!

  2. Thanks for sharing your story and for visiting my blog. It's been neat to meet other homeschoolers this Home Education Week.

  3. Enjoyed your post! And envy you your time in England!

  4. I know what you mean about not getting to go to the bathroom. My sister had a similar experience with a private grade school. She was paying thousands a year and the teachers said that they were going to fail both of her boys. My sister had to teach the boys at night, after school. She finally realized that as long as she was having to teach them, she didn't need them to go to school too. Both boys are doing great now that they are homeschooling full time.

  5. Thank you for stopping by AND posting a comment! It's nice to meet you :-)

    I've enjoyed reading all the "before homeschool" journeys today and yours is no exception! What an interesting path you've traveled and I'm wondering if you are surprised at how fast that time had passed and that you now have an 18yo almost ready to graduate?!

    Tammy ~@~

  6. LOVED reading how you got to homeschooling your boys. I am grateful to be with my children all day as well-- even if sometimes I don't fully behave that way!

    Thanks for stopping by, Julie!


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