Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why I Homeschool

When Ella was born, and I was a new mom of a colicky infant, I used to tell myself "Only a few more years before she goes to school and you get some PEACE!" That's actually what got me through those nights where I walked her up and down the porch area of my mother-in-law's house.

When we left my mother-in-law's and  moved back home to Chicago, part of me still could not wait to ship her off to public school. I had been raised in public school, after all. Never mind the fact that I was bored out of my mind, or that my father had to come yell at teachers for a) discouraging me from using my left hand and b) not challenging me enough. I was a teacher in the Chicago Public School system. It's what was familiar, and what I knew.

My big turning point came when Ella was about nine months old. We were out on a walk and she was poining out the cars to me and naming off the colors.
She was smaaaaaaart. When I started bringing her to work at about a year old, I realized my kid could use the fax machine. This was not your "typical" one year old.

I continued finding things for her to do (let's play with puzzles, let's count the leaves, let's make animal sounds!) and eventually bought her some wipe-off workbooks when she was 3. She amazed me even then. When Ella turned four, I got a Christian curriculum. I knew I wanted her to know God, even though my relationship with Him wasn't that great. On one of our "first" formal homeschooling days, after school, we went on a walk.  She and I talked about Cain and Abel, and I didn't notice the woman behind us listening in. When we stopped in at a store, she said "Excuse me. Your seven year old is SO smart." She was only four!!!

That year went by and she learned SO much. The only problem was I hated that curriculum. I also found myself in church that year, and reading my Bible every day. Ella wanted to read with me. So, we read together, and again, she was learning so much. Somehow, through all of this, I managed to put together a curriculum from a bunch of different resources. (More on all my fun resources another time!)

Ella is now seven. I am more convinced than ever that this is what I need to be doing. A lot of people ask me WHY I am so serious about homeschooling. What about socialization? What about blah blah blah blah? Ella goes to church. She is with kids her age there. She is with kids her age in our neighborhood. She is with kids her age at the park. Everybody who meets her tells me how sweet, well behaved and generally GOOD she is. She knows Jesus. She has better handwriting than most adults. She loves math. She loves reading. She can memorize scripture like nobody's business.
So, WHY do I do this? Because I have that right. Because God put me in charge of educating HIS child. Because I am accountable and responsible for her until she is legally an adult. Because she needs to know that her mother cares about her education, in all ways. I have friends who have children in public school, and that was the right choice and fit for them. This is the right choice and fit for us.

After all, God entrusted me with this amazing, wonderful gift. I am doing what I believe is right to care for her.

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