Monday, August 6, 2012

Let the Homeschool Adventure Begin

 "I know what you're thinking: home-schooled kids are freaks."

Last week I mailed in our letter of intent to homeschool. Kentucky is pretty chillax about the homeschool laws, but we are required to notify the superintendent of our district about our intentions and to provide some very basic information. So on Friday I went down to the Post Office with my little letter all typed up and sent it via certified mail. And we're off!

When Husband and I first decided that we were going to give homeschooling a shake, I admit I was pretty scared and intimidated. I'm impatient. I value my "me-time". I get frustrated working with Bear on her homework. Not a great recipe, amiright?

But then I began reading. I Googled. I libraried. I turned nouns into verbs all over the place until I began to get a picture in my head of how I could pull this off. Because while Husband will help out wherever he can, it will primarily be me acting as "teacher," and that's a little overwhelming.

But you know what? I got this.

My research showed me that homeschool can literally look like whatever you want it to. It's not about "this is how you teach at home." It's about figuring out your educational philosophy, blending it as well as you can with your children's and family's strengths and needs, and building from there. That's a little intimidating, too, because it's such a broad idea and frankly some parameters can be nice at times. But it's nice to know that there are a whole hell of a lot of "right" ways to do this, and plenty of time to correct any mistakes because it's far easier to catch up a few children than it is to catch up an entire class full.

I worried too about the reactions of my friends and family. Would they judge me? Would they doubt me? Would they think I was crazy?

Not a one of them. If any of them are thinking it, then they're hiding it well, because no one has had anything to say except to offer support and to ask reasonable, curiosity-driven questions. I projected my own initial fears onto my loved ones. I failed to give them their due credit and that's on me.

So here we go. We're planning to begin September tenth, our first act as homeschoolers being to take advantage of our new flexibility and freedom by extending our summer break. I do have plans for that first week, though they are light and not super structured. I have some bigger, more in-depth (but fun!) stuff planned for this fall, too, but again—we're taking it slow and enjoying our flexibility. Nothing too rigid, as I don't want to burn out a month in.

To everyone who will head back to school (whatever that school looks like!) in a few weeks, good luck and enjoy a great year! And thanks for coming along on our journey.


  1. You'll do fine, you're smart. She'll probably be way ahead of the class, when she returns cause she's smart too. Now, don't correct my

    1. I agree, you'll do just fine. Enjoy it! Time with the kids slips by so quickly, you'll be glad you had this extra time with Bear.

  2. I've always liked the idea of homeschooling (my own children), in theory. My children have done well in the local school district, and I know my own faults, so I don't. I enjoy reading blogs of (some) homeschoolers, though - great ideas for continuing learning and all that. Anyway, one of my very favorite bloggers is Heather over at Beauty That Moves
    She is a homeschooler, and she has written for a site called
    Pretty interesting to read, if you're interested.

  3. Yay! I'm getting pretty pumped up at this point, too. Kindergarten was a very light touch, mostly because Anderson is such a strong reader. Adding in a few other basics made it a snap. This year we have to send the letter and suddenly it seems like a totally different and completely overwhelming situation. I know better, in theory, but after all these years of gearing up for it, I suddenly feel incredibly nervous!

    But. I'm also excited, and what a coup for ME that you have opted for the homeschool option this year. ;) It's all about me, Jen. I'm just glad we'll have each other for bouncing around ideas and "wtf" moments.

    I still feel judged by a healthy contingent of the population, but I think I just read too many comments on the internet. ;) In real life, I haven't had many difficult conversations. I think the scariest moments are when someone asks Anderson about school. Since he's never gone, he doesn't really grasp the fact that what he does is not the norm. So he'll be "yes I go to school" and they will ask where and he says "at home" and then people feel it's ok to launch into a million questions with him. Since he is SIX, he doesn't fully understand what they are driving at ("do you have any friends you play with?" "Do you get lonely at home with just mommy and your brother?" etc). People are way ruder with him, lol. I think it's curiosity and true concern based on not really understanding modern homeschooling, but these are the moments that give me the cold sweats. Because of course he'd love to play with friends even more (what kid wouldn't?), and of course he gets bored at home sometimes (though obviously we aren't at home all of the time, and again, what kid doesn't get bored at home, or school, sometimes?). I'm 90% of the way to "I don't care what anybody thinks," but it's a long road for the likes of me.

    Anyway, sorry for ranting in your comments. I should update my homeschool blog.

  4. I'm happy that we have each other too, Sarah. Let's definitely bounce things off of one another. Lesson plans...field trip ideas...cocktail recipes...

    Thanks for the support, everyone. It means a lot. And Dar, I promise to never go over your grammar with a fine-tooth comb unless you've asked me to proofread something for you. lol