Our Story of How We Got Started Homeschooling

Elvis Elvis

Here is the story of how we got started homeschooling.

Like many people, my first inkling to homeschool came out of my dissatisfaction with the public school system.

Sometime during the first grade, my oldest son began to have issues. He would get distracted and not finish his work in class. Then the teacher would put more pressure on him to complete his work. Then he would forget about his homework and get distracted by something at home. As his schoolwork deteriorated, so did his relationships with his peers. In the second grade, his teacher commissioned something called a Student Study Team or SST. The thing wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Nothing changed for my son the rest of the year.

Third grade was slightly better for him as he found a teacher who understood his differences and worked with him. However, I have come to find out that teachers like this are few and far in between. This made an impact on how we got started homeschooling because I knew that we may not find another teacher like this for my children.

Our Story of How We Got Started Homeschooling

Finally, when my son Quintin hit the fourth grade, I began to intervene at an increasing rate with the teacher, the school and even the administration. Quintin was now behind in his school work and acting out at school. I put Quintin on all kinds of supplements to help him focus (they helped a little), I took my son to a psychologist for an evalution (he was fine), I asked for an IEP (he was not only a normal student, but tested above grade level too), I made a schedule for him at school and at home, and I spent as much time in his classroom as my schedule allowed. My time in the classroom helped how we got started homeschooling by showing me that I could teach my child just as easily as others.

That’s where I finally bit the bullet. It was in the classroom. One day the children were splitting into new reading groups. I was hanging out watching. As they formed groups, my son was the last one called for his group. When he joined the 2 girls and 2 boys already there, one girl, let’s call her Jessie, said in a snide tone of voice “Why does he have to be in our group?”. Jessie did this very loudly and not only directly in front of me, but she did it in front of two teachers. The snide remarks didn’t stop there, they continued and escalated. The teachers did absolutely nothing. From what I found out, this happened all the time. This experience was awful, but important in the process of how we got started homeschooling.

After school I went directly to the teacher, explained what I saw happen, and asked her about. The teacher did acknowledge that the girl was a problem, however, the teacher then suggested that my son deserved it because he may have been “bugging her”. Well, let’s get Something straight. My son may have bugged her, and that’s the truth. I will acknowledge that. However, my son absolutely DID NOT DESERVE the humiliating treatment he recieved in front of his entire class. As a parent, I would support discipline for my son if he crossed Jessie’s boundaries. However, Jessie also needed some DISCIPLINE that she didn’t ever get. I was done with public school.

It took me several more months to get my bearings and pull him out of school. I knew of nobody who homeschooled, and my family wasn’t even that supportive of the idea. If I knew then about homeschooling, what I know now, I would’ve pulled him out of school that very same day. Actually, I sometimes wonder if I would’ve sent my children to school in the first place. How we got started homeschooling would’ve been different had I only known about it earlier.

After Quintin came out of school, it was like a cascade. Every other school age child in the house whined and cried until they didn’t have to go to school anymore either. Every single one of my children had a horror story; either a bully, or a lesson that was never clearly explained, or general feelings of awkwardness and not belonging. They all wanted to be home, they all wanted more choices in their education and they all wanted individual attention that honored them for who they were.

How we got started homeschooling is different for us than for other people. Our main focus, initially, was to replace the presence of the public school system. We, however, now experience the benefits that other homeschoolers look for. The ability to put faith into your studies, the better curriculum, the individualized learning and the ability to travel.

Since then my children have become completely different people. They speak their mind, they stand up for what they believe, they work at their own pace (and all of them are now ABOVE grade level) and they are generally happier, more mature and independant. We are much closer as a family and I’ve learned things about my children that I would’ve never known if they hadn’t come home. Homeschooling has been the absolute best experience for our family. It has changed all of our lives for the better. And that’s how we got started homeschooling.