So Why Homeschooling, You Ask?

A year ago, while wrapping up a challenging 4th grade year, we made the HUGE decision for our daughters to learn at home for 5th grade.  It wasn’t the first time we had considered it, but instead of feeling anxious about the radicalness of it and its consequences, this time it felt like a relief, like the right thing to do.

Both of my daughters had survived well enough in an academic-based school setting.  Each one has the ability to take in information in different ways, can process that information, take a test and regurgitate it, and sometimes, if the information is interesting to her, engage in multi-layered and meaningful discussions about it.  And yet each, in her own way, was not thriving. The love of learning was slowly and distinctly drifting away.

It took a barn door-sized catalyst to prompt us to reconsider homeschooling.  It began with the school district we are in deciding to close the school they had been attending, because of drastic state cuts to their budget, and move the K-5 program onto the middle school campus.

I really can’t speak to the pros and cons of Kindergarten through 8th grade on the same campus, I’ve never experienced that, but I was very clear that, for at least one of my daughters, 5th grade was way too young for 8th grade girl exposure.  Ever since she was a preschooler she has observed bigger girls and tried to emulate them.  All I could think was, “I know what happens on a middle school campus.  I was there once.”  I had to keep the cocoon around her just a bit longer.

The reasoning was completely different for my other daughter whose impatience with the school day had been building in earnest since 1st grade.  Her regular comments about school went like this, “If everyone paid attention, and we skipped recess, we could be out of school by noon and then I could go do something I really want to do.”

So, in November of my daughters’ 4th grade year I began to read every book on homeschooling that I could get from our county library and I also read many, many  homeschooling blogs.  I joined the Homeschool Association of California (HSC), and our local Sonoma County Homeschool Nonprofit (SCHN) and joined their respective Yahoo groups.  I contacted local families who were homeschooling and asked lots of questions.  My daughters and I visited the enrichment classes for our local independent study charter school and applied there for the following school year.  (Though eventually we decided to go it alone…more on that in the future)

I pored over all the information and I started to get excited.  It became startlingly apparent to me that if we were to take this road it could be rich in possibilities I had no way of imagining from where I stood at the time, but it rang of something forgotten and true.  I knew homeschooling was about to blow anything I thought I knew about education and learning out of the water.

And so, with all parties in agreement – my husband, my wasband (my daughters’ father), and both my daughters – we made the decision to give this new venture a try.

24 Replies to “So Why Homeschooling, You Ask?”

  1. Great blog and great decision! As a former K-6 teacher in California’s public school, I can only say, “Cheers for you and for your daughters!” I will share this blog with my many teacher pals and with the many parents I know who struggle with some of the very same issues! You go, blog mom!

  2. Nice Angela! I’m so pleased to have been included in your announcement about your blog. Your girls are missed at Meredith’s and I hope we cross paths again soon!
    Jamie

    1. Thanks for reading Jamie. We miss going to Meredith’s too! We hope to fit it into the schedule again. So many choices!

  3. I can’t wait to read more about your learning adventures! This will be a great resource for people considering home schooling! Congratulations, amazing woman!!

  4. Wow! You are such an amazing woman and I feel so blessed to be part of your creating and love of life. And…I now get updates on the education and process of my two lovely granddaughters.

    The blog is wonderful, from the title to the last paragraph. Love from us Mid-Westers…

  5. Angela, this is great! I’m so inspired by your leap of faith – both in the homeschooling decision AND the launching of this blog. I look forward to hearing more from you. Love, Susan

  6. Great job Angela!! You are such an inspiring woman I am so lucky to have you in my life! Can’t wait to check back in with your blog!

  7. Yahoo Dragonfly woman!It’s clean, concise, interesting and I love that you are diving headfirst into a new venture. And lucky us that we get to come along for the ride. Brilliant is right!

  8. So great! Wonderful to see parents willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their children are in the best environment and enrich their lives!

    1. Thanks for reading Jim! We’re all just trying to find the best path for our children…it’s a big experiment!

  9. This series and endeavor is clearly a meld of heart, mind and family. I burst with pride at your dedication to all three, you are truly an angel of our new age.
    PS …the writing by itself is magnificent!

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