I knew I always wanted to be a mother. And not just a mother to one kid. I knew there were going to be MANY kids in our future! I NEVER knew I would be homeschooling them though. I once thought the SAME thing. Homeschooling is for the weirdos. My kids were going to go to school and be the best in their class and have lots of friends. All the "important" things of course. Never for a second would I have thought that I would ever homeschool them. And then I actually tried to have our first of many children. And we tried. And we tried. AND WE TRIED. All of the sudden, I started considering that maybe my dreams of becoming a mom wouldn't come true. What dark days we had considering such. And then after 1.5 LONG years (and some trips to the doctor to fix my thyroid problem), I saw that beautiful 2nd line on a pregnancy test...after seeing SOOOOO many negatives, I couldn't believe it. And I loved this little baby growing inside me so much, that I wanted to keep him/her close to me forever!!! But of course, he/she would still go to school when it was time for that.
As my first (and second...and third) child/ren were born within 2 years, they started growing up too fast on me, I loved them and taught them and raised them and loved every second of it! I got a wee bit sad thinking of the time when I would have to send them off for someone else to love them and teach them, but I knew it was what had to be done after all. Homeschooling was for the weirdos, remember? And as I cherished each subsequent day with my babies, and I watched them grow and learn, I just thought more and more about how I would miss all this. When my oldest was 3, I actually considered homeschooling for a short, fleeting moment, but I brought it up to my husband and he made the point to remind me that homeschooling was for weirdos. Oh yeah, I had forgotten about that. But homeschooling popped in my mind more and more as the months flew by, and I looked at my non-weirdo children and wondered how exactly would we possibly and suddenly turn them INTO weirdos?? And what about all those kids in school that were the weirdos....what was their excuse? I brought this up to my husband and he didn't have much to answer back. And he realied I had a point. And I realized I had a point. And then we thought that maybe we would just *consider* the option of homeschooling.
We got in touch with someone that was homeschooling and attended this homeschooling playgroup that was in a church. We attended it once (mostly bc we had YOUNG children at that point and most of the kids were a bit older) and we met normal moms and normal kids! It really opened up our eyes. Some kids were sitting there reading, others were playing, and yet others were playing games together. I talked to other moms about it and I just knew in my heart that this was the answer to what my heart had been gently but surely guiding us towards! I started researching as soon as we got home and got TONS of homeschool catalogs arriving at our house shortly after. I talked to more homeschoolers, online and in person. And slowly we gained our confidence to choose this option for our children AND announce it to the family.
This went over like a lead balloon for most of MY family. I had aunts telling me "REALLY, what on earth are you thinking Missy" and that they were concerned about my chidren's social well-being. My dad thought/and still thinks, that I am an idiot for not sending them out for their free education by an expert. My sister though/still thinks that I have too many kids to do this. My husband's side of the family was mostly very much for it, especially my mother in law, Doug's gram, and his aunt who had homeschooled her children for a while. Doug's mom knew how much her children had struggled in school bc they hadn't fit the one size fits all mold. Doug was the only one to graduate...and barely at that. Yet Doug is a hard worker, an amazing husband and father, and all those struggles meant nothing in the grand scheme of the success of his life.
Three years after we made that decision, I am still 100% sure and happy that we made the right one. I see my oldest holding one of her twin brothers in her lap as she does something learning related and my heart melts. Would she have as close of a bond with her youngest siblings if she was gone all day at school? I don't know. But I enjoy seeing them playing/learning together each and every day. We have the freedom to do our schooling whenever we want, wherever we want. We have our freedom to include God *GASP* into our education, as we see fit. We can explore whatever we want. If something isn't working (like our current math) we can change it! When my children need additional time/practice to get something, we do just that. If my children need to take a break and go run some energy out for 30 minutes, we can! When we go for a ride, for whatever adventure we are heading to for the day, I look back in the mirror at ALL my babies. And I smile. And my heart is bursting full of happiness, bc we are all together. And we are all learning. And we are all happy. And we haven't turned them into a bunch of weirdos! Well not yet anyways... ;)
I am by NO means an expert in homeschooling and as my children grow and learn, I grow (and not just pregnant wise ;) ). I am still learning along the way and I am sure that won't end anytime soon; as I continue tweaking our curriculum and schedule as I see what works and does not work, my kids continue to grow, thrive and learn!! I just feel so incedibly lucky that we have this opportunity for our kids and our family!! And that we have an amazing group of homeschooling friends that are a valuable resource to us, as well as a fabulous group of friends! And that I have non-homeschooling friends that support us in our endeavor as well-so lucky to have them in our life! And we have the family that loves and supports homeschooling and the family that doesn't...but all in all, homeschooling has been a very positive choice in our lives. It certainly isn't for everyone, but it certainly IS for us!!! :)