My husband and I both attended public schools growing up, we thought that was the norm. So, when our kids were old enough, we sent them to public school. Little did we know at the time that God had other plans for our family.
My oldest ended up attending a public school for 7 years, my middle child ended up attending public school for 4 years and my youngest ended up attending public school for 1 year before we withdrew all three kids to homeschool.
I remember the first year I ever thought about homeschooling. It was the 2009-2010 school year…my oldest was in second grade and my middle child was in Pre-K. Still to this day I wish I would have began our Homeschooling Journey in the summer of 2010. I honestly believe our son would be sooooo much further along if we had.
You see, my son had ended his first grade year with a 3.7 reading level (that’s an upper third grade level) and straight “S’s” (aka A’s), but by the time his second grade year was half over his reading level had dropped tremendously, down to a 1.7 level. His teacher claimed it must be too much T.V. time and that we needed to read to him at home. What she didn’t realize is that everything we did at home was the same as the year before, when he was excelling. He didn’t watch much T.V., he still doesn’t, because he prefers to play outside. And as far as reading to him, we read to all of our kiddos at least 30 minutes each day. We just couldn’t figure out where we had gone wrong.
When my Mom & I went to the parent/teacher meetings following the third 9 weeks, I realized it wasn’t our parenting skills that were lacking…it was the teacher and/or the public school system. My son’s teacher told me that he was lazy and that he needed to be held back. I quickly disagreed since I had started my son late (he has a late summer birthday), his grades were not bad at all and he excelled the year before. She then changed her mind and agreed with me to pass him on to third grade…since he was so tall. It was strange to say the least.
So, that summer is when I decided to research the curriculum that Oklahoma Public Schools used. Come to find out, the vote for Common Core had passed (summer 2010) and that is what Oklahoma Public Schools was going to be implementing. My research almost consumed me. I remember researching on the weekends into the early morning hours. I remember taking notes of everything and anything I found. Then homeschooling popped up in my search. I wondered if that might be just the answer I was looking for.
The more I researched about Common Core and homeschooling, the more I chose homeschooling over Common Core. I wrote out the pros and cons of each. I began looking into different curriculums and online courses. I prayed for God to show me his will. Every day a new homeschooling website would pop up into my search…no matter if I was searching Common Core or homeschooling. It seemed like that is what God wanted me to do. So I talked to my husband about it.
I ended up “talking to my husband” and researching for the next 2 years! He was so scared that the kiddos wouldn’t learn as well at home and he worried about the “socialization” the kiddos wouldn’t be getting. Finally, during that third year of “talking” and researching, I finally got him to agree on homeschooling. He wasn’t 100% positive about the idea of homeschooling, but he knew I wasn’t going to ever back down. Especially since I knew it was God’s will…my prayers about homeschooling never stopped during those 3 years.
In May 2013 it was time. Time to type up 3 letters of intent, time to take the letters up to the public school and time to free my kiddos of their institutionalized way of learning. So that is exactly what I did.
Before our Homeschooling Journey began, I decided to give each kid a placement test for reading/vocabulary and math. I will never forget that day. My youngest exceled on both tests, ready to move on to Kindergarten. My middle child exceled on the reading/vocabulary but was behind on her math, so she would need 2nd grade curriculum with 1st grade math books. My oldest, poor little feller, exceled in reading/vocabulary (the subject the public school said he was lacking in) and FAILED math completely. I ended up going down on the grade level for the math placement test until he scored a 50%. He was on a SECOND GRADE math level. I was angry. I was sad. I was livid. That is a subject he had difficulty with, but he was PASSING fifth grade math according to the public school! How could this be? I cried and cried and cried that night. I felt absolutely horrible for keeping him in public school for so long. I should have pulled him out after his second grade year.
Needless to say we got busy ordering our curriculum from Sonlight with the help of their awesome customer service specialist…to ensure I didn’t have anything that was aligned with Common Core. I love how I can customize the curriculum for each kid! Then we patiently waited for it all to arrive. We were so excited to dig in!
Our Homeschool Journey finally began on September 2nd, 2013.