My husband was homeschooled in high school. This was in the late 1980′s before it was very popular to homeschool. My mother-in-law said that they had about two choices for curriculum back then. Today, the choices for curriculum are nearly endless. The internet has made homeschooling vastly more affordable and given us even more valuable places to find resources.
When we started homeschooling, I thought we needed desks. We lived in O’Neill, Nebraska, population 4,500, at the time. There were 23 homeschool families who met on a regular basis at a homeschool support group every other week during the school year. Fortunately for me, one of the veteran homeschooling families was more than happy to give us two desks. And a few years later, I was more than happy to pawn them off on a new homeschooling family. It turns out that the best learning in the world happens at your kitchen table, on your couch or snuggled together reading a book in bed.
My two oldest daughters are in high school, now. One’s a junior and one’s a sophomore. The only public school they’ve had/will have to take was/is driver’s education. The oldest took it last year; the younger one will take it this year.
The two youngest, a 10-year-old and and a 7-year-old, are more intense for me to teach. There’s more tears, more fighting and more frustration. And that’s just me.
Our public school is on the outskirts of town, so they bus all the kids to school. And where do the buses turn to get to the school? Right at our corner, only 40 feet from our front door. There are mornings when the temptation to put them on a bus is rather overwhelming.
And then I remember why I’m doing this. I want to be their first influence so that maybe, just maybe, their choices in life will be better than mine. That maybe they will have work ethic that seems to be lacking in the majority of youth today. That maybe they can hold onto their beliefs a little tighter than I did when I went off on my own into the big, bad world.
I’ve heard a lot of people lament that they wasted so much time in college partying. I’ve never heard people lament that they wasted so much time in college helping other people, traveling the world or making money at a part-time job that they loved. There are some major choices coming up for the older kids, and just like parents of ‘regular’-schooled kids, I hope my kids make the right choices, and I hope I’ve given them the tools to make those choices well. It’s the universal hope of parents.