I’ve been tagged, and so I shall now share with you the story of how we began to Home school in our family.
I had been exposed to Home Schooling very early on. I was born in Bogra, Bangladesh. My parents returned to Canada before my 3rd birthday and then back overseas before my 5th birthday. I lived in B’desh until the day after my 14th birthday.
While in B’desh many of our community would do one of two options for school. After the children had graduated from the small “Christian Primary Education Centre (CPEC)” their children would either go to the very pricey American International School/Dhaka, or to one of two boarding schools. Missionary Children were typically sent the boarding school route. However, someone in the United States paid for my brother and I to be sent to the AIS/D. This drove me crazy to no end, as all my friends went to the Boarding schools. I would do all sorts of crazy things to convince my parents to send me to boarding school.
Anyhow, at some point after my 10th birthday we were first introduced to Home Schoolers. My father says that I was hooked. While I still toted the whole Boarding school thing, which included frequent bribe letters to my parents (If you send me to Boarding School I will make my bed 6 days of the week ~ kind of thing), I now started my campaign to be Home Schooled.
At that point my father started saying that if I ever had children of my own, he could totally see me Home Schooling.
Fast forward a decade and a bit. I have my own children. My father is still saying that I am a Home Schooler. I am fascinated with the whole thing, but am in a very low point in my self-esteem. I had several very serious doubts about my abilites to cook dinner and do the laundry faithfully, much less be responsible enough to Home School.
So our son gets sent to Junior Kindergarden. We live on a farm and there are simply no children around for him to play with. With Dh leaving for work every day at Noon, I can’t use the car to get the boy to play dates. I am now in Post-Partum Depression stage of my life, as complications after my daughter’s birth have left me very weak physically and I am actually just so very happy to have a few hours every other day without my son.
Yet in the back of my head I am not happy with this arrangement. I actually told the school I would pull him out if I suspected that he was at all unhappy. Dh would put him on the bus and he would try and run off, but Dh tells me this is normal.
Dh has his Bachelor’s of Education from Redeemer University. Dh decided he hates teaching. And is very Anti-homeschool at this point. So any whims I had, coupled with my physical state and my extreme unorganized house leave me with no leg on which to stand when it comes to wanting to Homeschool. So while I want to Homeschool, I don’t even discuss my desires.
Turning point: I realize that I am terrified constantly that someone is going to tell on me and that Social Services will take my children. Looking back now, I can tell that I was into a deep Depression. My hubby was in Depression too, as here he was with his two degrees and working in a chicken farm for minimum wage. His wife, who was funny, educated and very much a force, is now a wreak!
Anyhow, I had this moment where I realized I simply had to do something. So I started. For about 5 months I just forced myself to do things. One day in a fit, some time early November, I remember wishing someone would just tell me when to clean my fridge, or my stove, or wash my laundry. So I googled House Cleaning and came across the Flylady. I started with the Flylady and things started to come together amazingly well.
I did the Flylady for about a year and started to bring up the subject of Homeschooling. By this point the boy was on his second school for Senior Kindergarden because of the fact that farming for others meant moving a lot. But DH really didn’t trust me that I could do this, and I was also pushing that we move out of the house we lived in. I hated shoveling snow out of the house after a good storm. Was terrified of the house because one night a whole side of bricks fell of the house while DH was at work. And DS had croup 20 times that winter. Combined with the average of 30 mice a week I caught and killed… I decided my priority was moving.
To move I had to agree to work out. This went against everything we had said when dating, but I was not willing to live in that house any longer than a year and it was just about 12 months at that point. We moved out after exactly 13 months.
So I started working. A lot. Meanwhile I was doing the Fly thing really well. And working a lot. I need to stress that, a lot. DH was working, but not doing the Fly. He was doing the Anti-Fly. Part of me wonders if he was afraid of the changes that the past few years had seen in me and of what that change meant for us.
By this point I was really having problems with the Public School system. The straw for me, was when I had told DS about the real meaning of Christmas and the true story of Santa Claus and St. Nicholas and the teacher than told him that I was incorrect and that St. Nick never died they just got a new one elected every year.
DH was not having any of my Home School desires. I actually did a home study of 6 families that Home Schooled. I got catalogues and was really ready to home school.
Dh’s solution was a Private Christian School. I knew we couldn’t afford it one single bit. But he insisted. It is truly an amazing school. By now DD was in Junior Kindergarden, and DS was on his 3rd school for Grade 1. I sent DD because she is truly social and because it was cheap Daycare. That’s the truth, plain and simple.
But the stress of the bills and the fact that we just took an other huge debt of over $8000, totalling our debt to over $100,000 PLUS all the house stuff since DH was still Anti-fly left me having panic attacks.
DH took a job working in Guelph. He was now leaving later in the day, but having to sleep all day. So nights found me alone, and often crying from the stress.
I simply couldn’t keep it all together any more, and regretfully I decided that my priorities and my actions didn’t work. I said my kids were first, but found my dedication to my job was actually where I spent my time. Much against DH’s wishes I quit my job. To be simply honest again, I knew that another month would likely see me in the Psych ward. The week before I quit I had 3 panic attacks.
In the following months I found myself slipping back again. I found that it had been fairly easy to adjust my Flying to accommodate working, but next to impossible to go back to being a SAHM again!
Not to say the least that my quitting didn’t help the financial side of things one single penny! At least from the words I got from DH. But I did feel that the money I made all went into paying for the sitter, our second car, the additional expensive quick groceries, and that’s just to name a few things.
I began talking to the Principal of the school. DS was spending hours a day in Resource because he was not doing well in the class room. Our talks left me really feeling that Home School was the best thing for our son. And surprisingly the Principal strongly agreed with me.
So he started talking with my DH. The long and short, he convinced my Dh that he should let me try Home schooling the kids.
So in February of that year, I got permission to plan Home School for the kids. So I started in ernest. By about May I had everything in place. The kids were pumped, as was I, but Dh refused to let me pull the kids out. So the kids and I started evening school.
By the end of their year, we simply transitioned into our Home School, and this is actually our first break! We are on our third week of our Mini-Summer Break. For the kids and I, we find we really enjoy school. Often, on Saturday’s when Dh is at work the kids and I eagerly pull out various books and do an extra day of school. There are often Sunday’s that I have to tell them that we will not be doing school today.
Our son has gone from a beginner reading level, to about a grade 3.25 level according to Scholastic levels on the books he reads. Our daughter has started to read, but her writing is phenomenal!
On the whole our first year has been sensational. The only negative is that Dh is now starting to be anti-homeschool again. The interesting thing for me, is that both his and my parents have started to really talk to him about this attitude and are coming to defend what the kids and I have done and encourage him to allow us to continue with the Homeschool.
And to quote my son: “Mommy, do you think you can teach me into University too?”
As for tags… please… just link up and do this too! 🙂