Welcome to The "Why Homeschool?" Guest Post Series on Teach Beside Me. Each week I feature different homeschool families. They share their stories with us~ their reasons for homeschooling as well as some great tips and advice. To participate in the series, or see some of the past entries, check the Guest Post page.
This week, we have a wonderful post from Eddie (or Erin) who blogs over at The Usual Mayhem.
Well, our reasons have changed over the almost 9 years we’ve been doing this.
Our first child, now twenty, went to elementary school from kindergarten until grade 7. We knew from the first month of kindergarten that it was going to be a nightmare; in fact, we pulled him out of school in March of that first year, but because we didn’t know that homeschooling was legal here, we instead spent the next several years in a quest for the right fit. For three years (grade 3, 4, and 5), it was….well, semi-tolerable for him, although his anxiety climbed steadily, we were forced to give him Ritalin (not knocking it for everyone, just that it wasn’t what he needed), and by the time he hit his last school he was a painfully thin, terrified of everything, emotionally devastated boy.
That final school, I won’t go, but suffice to say that when my wonderful sister in law listened patiently to my ranting and let me know that homeschooling was in fact legal in our province, we had him out the next day and never looked back. Within months, we saw dramatic changes, and we got back the happy, imaginative, and healthy child we had known as a preschooler. SOLD! We removed our then-4 year old from preschool, and have never looked back. We now have one graduate, one grade 6 student, and one kindergarten sidekick, and despite a pile of learning challenges between the three it is the most fun, rewarding, and bonding experience we could ever have imagined.
What homeschooling style do we use? I am a huge fan of the Charlotte Mason style of learning, although because of provincial requirements we have had to make some adjustments. We also love a good unit study, although we always try to apply Miss Mason’s techniques to them. And we notebook, because it’s so rewarding for them to look at again later.
Some resources I couldn’t live without? Hmmm….if I were going to the proverbial desert island, I would take a laptop (because I’m sure this island would have internet!), lots of paper and drawing supplies. But since I live in the real world and not on Gilligan’s
What would I tell a new homeschooler?
RELAX!!!! When you first start homeschooling, you’re so worried about doing it right that you either spend way more money than you need to on things that won’t work for your child, or you spend way more time than you need to trying to fit in every single subject every single day. Know that every education has gaps, that you probably will forget something, and that your child will be able to find that information when and if they need it. You will do a great job anyway, because nobody knows and cares about this child more than you.