I figure I would start off by writing about how we began homeschooling. That is usually the one of the first questions that we are asked, so, I’ll jump ahead and tell you about it so you won’t have to ask. 🙂
The last 6 years has been quite amazing to say the least. Six years ago I could not imagine homeschooling. Six years ago I could not imagine doing several things that I have found myself capable of doing. With being married to a wonderful husband and being blessed with 4 wonderful boys, it is not surprising that I find myself going beyond what I thought was my limit. Each day is a new day. Each day we live and try to learn and grow.
Deciding to homeschool was not a simple and easy decision. Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular within the Jewish community. As with most people, money was an issue with us. However, we thought we should try the best we could and send our children to a religious Jewish school. With insight that many times only a parent can have with their child, we knew that after only having experienced preschool, the schooling had to be changed. One night we sat down trying to come up with a list of options. With public school out of the question, we found the only other option that we could think of was homeschooling. My husband was so excited. I did not quite share the same level of excitement, probably because I would be the one teaching, not him! 😉
To make a long story short, after that one conversation, nothing more was mentioned for 2 months. Then, one afternoon: “Are you still thinking about homeschooling?” “Um, yes. You?” “Yes.” Then nothing more for another 2 months! One afternoon the question was asked again. We both had been researching on our own for 4 months. We then decided we were both serious about it and we should probably start talking to each other about it. It took another two months before I finally got the big answers needed and I felt comfortable with the idea.
I am not going to say that was it. Nor am I going to say we never looked back. What I am going to say is that our decision was the beginning of a long ongoing journey; A journey that has had, and continues to have its ups and its downs. There have been times when we have asked ourselves if we made the right decision. However, when we look back and see how each of our boys have grown, we do believe we have made the right decision.
Have we always made the right choices and taught the things in the right way? Of course not. This is part of being human. It is a learning experience for all. We cannot always know the best way to teach each child, or even the best topics to teach. Sometimes it is just trial and error. There are times when I just want to pull out all my hair. And then, there are the times when you see the sparkle in their eyes as something just clicks inside of them.
I think the biggest help that I have had was belonging to a few different email support groups. It has been extremely helpful to not only have a group of people to ask questions too, but also to just read the questions and answers that others have. You find out that your home is not unique – many other people have the same questions and issues as you. You are not alone. 🙂
What I would like to do is write down some experiences we have had and I hope that others will get some benefit from them.