There are many reasons to home school. If you talk to ten different home school families, you may get ten different answers as to why they chose the home school path of education. Here is the short version of why our family chose to home school.
It all began with a phone call. I was on my way home from work. At the time I was a nurse manager for a local OB/GYN office. My job required my full attention…and I enjoyed it, most of the time. I was having issues balancing my life. When I was home I was constantly thinking about work. Work was taking over my priorities. We knew we had to make some changes, To this day, when I think of that one call, I still feel sick.
I called home just like I did every evening after my work day. The conversation went like this; Me: I’m on the way. My husband: We had some excitement today! Did you forget that our sitter (who happens to be one of my best friends) was on vacation? ME:(panic as I remembered) scream! what?! (how could I forget) MY HUSBAND: yep, our daughter went to someones house she didn’t know and asked to use the phone. ME: (my heart was sinking…the terror of what could have happened, what was my daughter thinking? How could I forget my biggest responsibility? I was so caught up in my work life that I completely forgot about my daughter. I forgot that there was not anyone to care for her after school. I forgot about a precious gift that God had trusted me with…my youngest daughter. Oh, what that did to my momma’s heart. The what if’s went through my mind, to this day I can’t stand the thought of what could have happened. That afternoon I had not given one thought to my daughter getting off the bus. It never crossed my mind that afternoon, was my daughter safe? Did she make it to where she was supposed to be? ….to tell the truth my daughter’s safety had not crossed my mind. I was so caught up with my “position” at work, my daughters safety NEVER crossed my mind.
Something was wrong in my heart, that day made me see it. My work was beginning to become my identity. The staff at work had become more important than my family. Work issues would consume my mind in the evening and weekends. When I was home, I was not really home. My husband would complain about being the last guy on the “totem” pole…and as much as I denied it, he was right.
It was obvious that something had to change. We needed to make some adjustments in our lives, it was time to take charge of my priorities. Home school was not where I ever thought our family was headed.
I began to look at my time at home and time spent with my youngest daughter. I realized that in a normal week I was really only spending a couple of hours with her. The child we had prayed for and my husband had a vasectomy reversal so that we could have her. This was not what we wanted, how did we get here?
Our daughter who is the “ours” in the yours mine and ours has wanted to home school ever since second grade. Two of her dear friends who lived in our neighborhood were home schooled and she loved visiting them. I was employed full time at a doctors office and never ever considered it a option for the usual reasons. I can think of three off the top of my head. All of which we have proved wrong…except number three. Pretty sure are still considered “weird” to some folks. I’m not sure if home schooling has anything to do with that.
1) We couldn’t afford it
2) I couldn’t teach
3) home school families are weird
For our family it was never about what was wrong with public school. For us, it was about what is right with home school. We don’t know how long we will continue the home school journey. The one thing that is for sure, home schooling has benefitted our entire family more than we could have ever imagined.
I’ll never forget when we finally decided that we were going to try home schooling our, at the time our daughter was at the end of her 3rd grad year. Oh the questions: “what about socialization? what about college? how can YOU teach her, you’re a nurse? If the folks questioning me only knew I had the same exact questions and was terrified of messing up.
Clearly our daughter who just finished the 5th grade is excelling. We recently received her standardized testing results for fifth grade. Her lowest performance level was slightly above average and her highest was highest level. Her average for the entire test was a 93. Not all families test, there are good reasons to support testing and not testing. As far as her social skills, they are probably better than mine. Our family unit is tight and we are more of a team than ever before. This is not to say that there are days that are hard, perhaps I’ll write about those kind of days in the future.
For now I know that I know that I know that THIS was indeed God’s will for our family and I wouldn’t change one moment of it for anything else this world has to offer.