"I can not promise you it will be easy, BUT I can promise you it will be worth it."
It has been over a month since we made the very difficult decision to pull our five year old out of kindergarten. I know that the time that has passed is short in comparison to what lies ahead, but I feel I have learned so much and wanted to share some thoughts.
What I have learned thus far:
*That pretty little classroom that I obsessively threw together at the last minute? It never gets used. Instead, I ask the children each day where they would like to do their work and allow them to pick the spot where they feel most comfortable.
*The question I ask myself every day: "What in the world was I so worried about?!" I spent years researching the schools in our area, homeschool curriculums, pros vs. cons, homeschool vs. public school vs. private school. Hours upon hours I spent talking to my girlfriends going over the "should I's or shouldn't I's." In all honesty I was too scared to homeschool and felt like I would somehow fail our daughter by doing so. Sending her to school felt like the most secure option at the time and ultimately just ended up giving me a very false sense of security. Now that she is home, I honestly can not imagine our lives any other way.
*To go along with the thought "What was I so worried about?!" Homeschooling has been so incredibly natural for us. I have been home with my children since they were born and they are a part of my everyday life. Having them home with me and teaching them a curriculum is no different than what I have been doing with them all along. Whether we are singing, painting, counting or reading, these are all things that we have been doing together for years. The only difference now is that we have a nifty little manual to help plan our days.
*My relationship with our daughter has done a complete 180, in a wonderful and amazing way. If you know our AG you know that she is just about the brightest, sassiest, toughest little girl you will ever come across and if you don't, take my word for it. She talked at a very early age and has not stopped since. She is very opinionated and very open about how she feels. Our relationship has always been a little combative and we do have our moments when we need to take timeouts from each other, but lately we seem to be more on the same side. She realizes the sacrifice that we made for her to keep her home with us and most importantly, that we listened.
*It hasn't all been rainbows and unicorns. We have our days where AG just isn't into the curriculum and has decided that she has more important things to do, like build a fort or play Doctor. I'm learning that this is ok and to turn off the part of my brain that has been programmed by traditional school and remind myself that there is an opportunity to learn in everything even when you're not following a curriculum.
*We still have a lot to learn and a few kinks to work out, but I think we can all agree that this is the bravest and best decisions we have ever made and I know that it will be worth it!
Are you a homeschooler? I would LOVE to hear about your experiences and what you learned early on. Feel free to comment below!
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