Many people are amazed when they find out that Sydney and Mason were homeschooled for a large part of their schooling life. We didn’t plan on homeschooling, it just kind of happened. My husband, Jim, worked in corporate America and we ended up moving around a lot. So homeschooling just seemed to be a good fit.
Sydney was in the third grade and Mason was in Kindergarten when we started. They had both started the school year in public school and then right after Christmas we moved and our homeschooling journey began.
We initially started with the traditional “bring school home” way of thinking. We had homeschool text books for each subject. This wasn’t much fun and very boring!
When the next school year started we did more of a “cafeteria style” learning, except for math. Used a traditional text book for math. For science they picked what they wanted to learn about and we went and got books on the subject, dvd’s to watch and went on field trips. When they tired of the current thing they were learning about in a subject, they would find a new interest and off we would go again to get books, dvd’s and go on field trips. This suited us so much better! Much more enjoyable!
When Sydney hit high school and Mason middle school things changed again. We belonged an a great homeschool group and many of them used the “child-led learning approach.” I was intrigued and nervous at the same time. You basically let them go and they did the learning they wanted to do when, where, and how they wanted to do it. Jim and I talked about it and finally decided to give it a try.
At first they didn’t do a whole lot and then after a bit (I think boredom set in) they started asking to go here and there. They both preferred dvd’s and hands-on learning to text books by far. Suddenly, they started getting into science, history, literature, etc. They started doing hands-on projects and asking to take homeschool classes.
Some of the homeschool classes they have taken throughout the history of their homeschool years included: a forensic science class, a couple years of Spanish, physical education classes, choir, pottery, painting, ice-skating, and many more.
I can’t tell you the number of times I was asked about socialization! Trust me, they had plenty of socialization and friends. Mason played basketball and soccer. Sydney was on a dance team. They went to many homeschool classes and events with other homeschoolers. Sydney went to a homeschool prom twice. They went on numerous field trips and outings each year. Then there were the friends they had where we lived that they hung out with and did things with. Many of these friends were schooled friends and many were homeschooled. They had plenty of interaction.
When we moved back to Ohio Sydney was in the 11th grade and Mason was in the 8th and they decided to try a digital academy at our public school. They could work from home or go into the lab and work and take part in various activities. They usually worked from home a couple of days a week or so and then went in for the other days. It varied as to what was going on at the lab as to how many days they would go in. Sydney got involved in dance and loved it. She ended up going on to teach dance at the academy for awhile, even after graduating. Sydney graduated with a 4.0 GPA. She tried college after graduating, but it just wasn’t her thing.
Mason decided when high school started he was going to go to public school. He was tested (of course) and was way ahead of most of his peers (surprised everyone, except those of us who were involved in homeschooling). Mason really enjoyed high school and he joined the golf and cross country teams. He graduated 6th in his high school class with a 4.0 GPA. He then went on to college where he also graduated Suma Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA.
People worry that they won’t get a good education if they homeschool. Or might have trouble getting into college. I would say to these people, look at Sydney and Mason’s GPA’s. They had a very good education and both of them got into college without a problem.
I think the best advice I could give to parents deciding whether or not to homeschool is to pick a style of learning that works best for your family, but even more importantly, one that works best for each child. Children learn differently. It is so important to meet them where they are. If you want them to learn, and really enjoy learning, you need to discover how they learn best. This comes from trial and error many times! If you listen to your children they will tell you how they like to learn and what works best for them!
If you are already on this journey, my hat is off to you! If you are considering it, talk to people who are already homeschooling. Find out what works and doesn’t work for them. If you decide this isn’t for your family, that is fine also. Homeschooling definitely isn’t for everyone. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me.
Have an awesome day!