After two Parent Teacher Conferences, one great and one pretty good, I took the first big step and told the teachers we are not coming back after winter break. That's right, I told them I am going to HOMESCHOOL!!!!!! I even went to the secretary Gloria, whom I LOVE and talked to her about it. She gave me withdrawal forms making it feel VERY official.
This has been on my heart BIG TIME since last Christmas and through lots of talk with Chris, research together, advisement from homeschool friends, and LOTS OF PRAYER, I made the decision in my heart at the end of summer. I have "toyed" with the idea of homeschooling for a couple of years but only seriously started thinking about it for about a year. Through lots of research, reading and going back and forth with Chris I feel SOLID in our decision. Do NOT get me wrong, while I'm very excited, I'm also very nervous. It's the "unknown" that gets me. I *know* my children and because of this, I *know* it will be wonderful for them. How much luckier can I be? I get to be with them all day! I get to be the main influence in their lives! I get to watch them grow and learn as individuals without the institutional guidelines and demands based solely on "testing".
Christopher is in 1st grade and is pretty sharp. He LOVES to read and is an advanced reader and problem solver. His handwriting is terrible, LOL, but we will work on that of course! He is my little explorer and I can't wait to see where his curiosity takes us! He loves to draw and "create"! He is thrilled to start homeschooling primarily because we can do LOTS of stuff "outside" he told me.
Adrianna, my sweet angel, struggles. She hates to read. She has major confidence issues and unfortunately has been overlooked during a couple of pretty crucial years of school while I was unaware just how serious it was. She is in 4th grade and behind. She's at a 3rd grade reading level and struggles to grasp math strategies and problem solving. She LOVES to create. She LOVES to work with her hands. She is the girl who wants to paint with her hands and not a brush. She loves to write songs, sing and perform for us. Her mood over the past year has gone a little south. She is stressed and I feel like I'm losing a part of her. THAT I will NOT let happen. She is the primary reason I first thought about homeschool when she was in 2nd grade. I decided to stick it out through 3rd since I knew she would have a wonderful teacher. BUT then came STAR testing and stress and anxiety....she had ENOUGH! I had ENOUGH! She is thrilled to start homeschooling and asks me ALL THE TIME how much longer! I think it's just because she likes to SLEEP IN, LOL. Kidding, well a little, but really I think she is going to love being with ME, learning with ME. She is inspired by ME.
I have nothing negative to say about public school. I hardly know ANYONE that was brought up "homeschooled". For our family, this is our personal choice. I've had lots of people ask me about "socialization", and in fact was discouraged by very close friends when I had this on my heart last year because they thought "I" would not do well being home all day restricted to teaching my children. Worst part is that I believed that and now know that couldn't be farther from the truth.
I CAN'T WAIT to start!!! My "I" personality, the innovative, initiator, people lover along with my "D" personality, likes to be in charge, driven by challenge, great leader . . . . knowing these high points of my personality and how it can be used in a HUGE way to educate and lead my children is a HUGE blessing! I am not antisocial so of course my children won't be either. This is going to be A FUN learning environment. Structured and organized of course, but also FUN! Creativity all around will be a must! We will learn and grow together. I can't wait to see how God uses my 3 most precious gifts to help me grow as well!
I have SO much to say and so many thoughts to share but if I did that I would never get this post up! I'm reading "The Mission of Motherhood" right now by Sally Clarkson with "Free Range Learning" by Amanda Grace Weldon in queue next! Also going to add in "Dumbing us Down" by John Taylor Gatto after I finish with Sally Clarkson.
This past year of INCREDIBLE change, tons of heartbreak and stress has all been for a reason. Our family is moving in a direction, following God's voice, that many people just won't understand. And that's okay. Yes, you heard that right! I said "That's Okay"!!! I am done being Gina, the "People Pleaser". I want to please God, following the direction HE is leading me and for the first time in a long time, I feel in my gut that I am doing just that!
So here's to the beginning of our new Journey . . .