I have mixed feelings today as many in my county start school today. (Yes already!) We have chosen to start homeschooling our daughter this year. She will be in sixth grade and while I look at the many pictures of her friends being shared all over Facebook, I’m not sure how I feel about it. She, of course, is completely fine with the idea.
I remember starting middle school and all three years of it. It was the worst time of my life. My brother’s life, too. And my sister’s. And my friends’. You’re at that weird age, that “tween” age, where you are too young to do certain things and too old for certain things. There’s really nothing in the middle for kids of that age around here. There was so much homework in middle school I rarely got any sleep. So many tests. Now there even more tests to worry about with the SOL testing and everything else that’s out there. I’m glad she will be missing out on all the stress. And I’m happy to be missing out on all that paper work!
I’m thankful my daughter will not have to go through middle school witnessing the acts of bullies. Or falling into the trap of accidentally becoming one herself because she is quite a follower-er and wants to impress others.
I’m thankful my daughter will not have to witness the immaturity and hatefulness of a few teachers that are just after a paycheck.
I’m thankful my daughter will not have to suffer through the first week’s anxiety of finding her locker, getting lost while rushing to a class, and not being able to see her friends since the entire county goes to the same school. (There’s about 60,000 people in our county alone and only one middle school and only one high school.)
I’m thankful that my daughter will be able to learn at her own pace. She will be able to learn necessary life skills, such as cooking and sewing and budgeting and grocery shopping and writing in cursive so she will be able to actually sign her name appropriately. (No, they do not teach cursive in our schools any more.)
I guess the thing that gives me the mixed feelings is her having the actual overall experience that I had in school. The friends. The laughing at lunch time. The bus ride home. I am kind of sad I do not have first-day-of-school pictures. Crazy, I know! The things that make me sad these days…
But as far as all those small things in between – I’m thankful I get to be my child’s teacher. I’m thankful I get to teach her the real things – not just the things she’ll need in case she’s ever on Jeopardy.
For all those who have judged my choice, shame on you. I have had a few people make me feel like I am not going to be able to do this. Family, mostly. Friends have been very positive and applaud my decision. It’s hurtful every time someone says anything negative about this.
Some things I’ve heard so far:
“You know how she (my daughter) can be sometimes. What if she doesn’t want to have school one day?”
I’m pretty sure I can handle it. If she’s having a hard day, we can start school outside at the park or hiking on a trail. Bird watching. Leaf hunting. School shouldn’t be just sitting at a desk all day reading a book.
“Home school kids get depressed faster.” (This coming from her pediatrician.)
How is this possible? They get to go outside more. More field trips. Park play dates. No stressful testing every week. Please show me the proof of this.
There’s so much more, but you get the point. People question what they don’t understand and that’s fine with me. What is not fine with me is when they continue to put me down and judge me simply because I want my child to have a good education and be safe while doing it.
What are your thoughts? Are you a homeschool mom? What did people say when you first started?
Have a blessed day!!