Liz was loving her job as a public school teacher, and she dreamed of the day when she would bring her own child to school with her. Surely he would love school as much as she did! Only he didn’t. After a few years of dealing with this issue, Liz’s husband finally convinced her to give homeschooling a try. She finally did, and guess what? She loves it…and so does her son. Read below to learn more about how this public school teacher became an advocate and lover of homeschooling!
The teacher who realized her dreams for her kids weren’t what they needed
I was *that* teacher. I loved public school. My bulletin boards were the best and the classroom was decked out. I loved my job and could not wait to have children and then bring them to work with me and live happily ever after. I figured teaching was the best ‘working mom’ job there could ever be. I never wanted to be at home. However, after my husband and I had our first son, my mind quickly changed 😉 After 18 months of paying off debt, I was able to begin staying at home. I missed teaching and school desperately. When my son was 2.5, I INSISTED on starting him in preschool. I needed the holiday parties, class pictures, and traditions.
I researched the best Christian schools (that we could barely afford) and stood in long pre-registration lines. I read books to him about starting school. We talked about good behavior. He knew his ABC’s. I packed the perfect lunch. Met the teacher. Embroidered backpack. We were READY!
My son hated it. He never adapted. He cried at drop off, and the teacher said it would improve. It didn’t. The crying continued August-May. I changed preschools and gave it time. The trend continued. My son cried and hated to be away from home. He was well behaved and stopped crying after I left, but drop offs were just terrible. My husband mentioned homeschooling. I said NO WAY! I powered through and made him go. Time and time again, God was PUSHING me to homeschooling. It was crazy how I resisted it so much, but it always came up as the best option.
During these few years when we ‘hopped’ preschools, I realized that my son was coming home with the letter ‘A’ painted red. Some days he’d have stickers pasted to a page. Other times he’d bring home cute projects and such. Writing his name was really the only thing he was gaining. Then, it hit me how MUCH MONEY we were spending on experiences I could provide him at home. Without the crying. My husband noticed this too. When he was 4, my husband begged me to try homeschooling the year before he started pre-k.
I agreed. However, I was dragged kicking and screaming.
Once I started homeschooling and met friends, everything changed. I realized that in public school, there just isn’t enough time to devote to each child. I could give my child time. I could give him love. I could choose what he learned. Heck, I could even have our OWN Valentine’s Day party! Most importantly, I could instill our Christian convictions in his life every day. I didn’t have to wear skirts. My son wasn’t weird or anti-social. Quite the opposite! I debunked every homeschooling myth within a few weeks of doing it myself.
As a former public school teacher who taught elementary, I’m homeschooling with a unique perspective. I know exactly what my child would be doing in public school daily. I also know that each student gets a precious few minutes of one-on-one time with the teacher every day. I realized, as time went on, the 1-2 hours at home we spent per day were equivalent to the WEEK of curriculum in public school. My students were successful in the public schools, and I know my child could be as well. However, while at home, the learning goes so much deeper. The lessons are true to life. We cook, clean, read, and go places. I joke that my 7- and 5-year-old could move out on their own tomorrow and survive just fine!
Now, 3 years later I’m not only a homeschooling mom, I’m an advocate. I’m certain mothers can give their children everything public school can and more.
Liz of Watch Me Homeschool is a former K-3rd elementary school teacher. She now homeschools her 4 boys, ages 7 and under.