I have been asked to write some 'short' articles for a homeschool group/service provider (I don't know how to describe it..but here is the website if anyone is interested http://www.myhomeschoolgroups.com) they provide software services for homeschoolers and homeschool groups. They have a "news" page that I will be writing for, I am starting weekly writing as 1st time homeschoolers...later I will add in another couple articles a week on other topics.
I was wondering if anyone would mind proofreading and giving thoughts/opinions on my first article. I am really excited about this, but also know I need to feel a little more confiedent in my writing skills (and in that people will be interested to read what I have to say!)
Here it is:
Homeschooling was not something my husband and I had decided on before having children or while our children were young. It actually came after years of public school! We followed the "norm" and pushed our kids into preschool, then public kindergarten and elementary school.
When our kids were in 1st and 2nd grades, we had a discussion. Our oldest was not being challenged and was beginning to get in some minor trouble at school. His teacher was not very attentive, and his class was pretty full. We discussed our options, and decided that homeschooling was not one of them. We really didn't feel like we had any option other than to continue with public school and I would supplement after school.
When they hit 3rd and 4th grades, our younger child was having trouble academically and she was being mildly bullied, but enough that it was getting to her. I was reteaching her every day after school so she could do her homework. The discussion came up again, but since I worked in the school district and needed to work, we decided it still was not an option.
The next year, when they were in 4th and 5th grades...the oldest went to middle school and the youngest came home crying every day. The oldest talked about playing on the computer for most of his school day since he finished his work, and the youngest talked about what mean things were said to her that day and how she didn't understand her homework. By January, homeschooling was screaming to us! I was still working in the school district, but had determined that what we were doing just wasn't working for our kids. I had one child that didn't bring home a homework assignment for the entire year, and another child who didn't understand her homework assignments for an entire year.
I was also watching the Common Core State Standards begin to be implemented in the classroom I was in, and I did not like what I was seeing. So, between that, the bullying, the lack of a challenge, the slipping between the cracks, and me feeling as though I wasn't spending enough time with my kids...the decision began to be made (in my mind at least). After meeting with a very supportive and understanding veteran homeschooler, I was even more ready to take the leap. I looked at the laws, reviewed curriculum we couldn't afford, looked up learning styles, teaching methods, homeshooling methods, and felt even more lost than when we were unsure.
I was able to weed through all of the information over a few months, and I was able to begin to feel some confidence in my own skills as a teacher. I tried to prepare myself, I tried to convince myself that this would be best, but it wouldn't be easy. I tried to keep my expectations realistic, this was not going to be all smiles and learning...and it hasn't been! But it was worth a try.
A friend with older kids in public school told me she regretted that she never tried homeschooling, she regretted not spending enough time with her kids and felt it was too late. I didn't want to be saying that a few years down the road. Every blog and book I read written by homeschoolers confirmed that I could not mess my kids up too bad in just one year, and one year could make a good trial period. So that's how we started, one year at a time. We haven't even finished that one year trial period, and I know this will continue for much longer than one year!