Monday, September 5

Why We Home School

I've gotten a lot of questions and comments lately when I've mentioned home schooling in passing, so I thought I'd do a little post about it.  For those of you who may be new-ish to the blog, or maybe just don't log every, single thing I ever tell you (what do you mean I'm not the most important person in your life?), here's a little back story:

Hope was always a VERY shy little girl.  When she was a little one we had to force her to talk to people when they spoke to her.  If we went to the park she wouldn't play with the other little kids, instead she just quietly followed them from a distance, never speaking a word.  Getting her to socialize at all was very tough and a little worrisome.  Johnny and I are a pretty quiet, shy couple, so we were wondering if we had damaged her from the get-go.  Public school was an obvious choice for us.  We were sure it would force her to interact with other kids, talk to teachers (grown-ups!), and be around other personalities for a change.

Hope attended two years of public school.  The first year (Kindergarten) was a good stretch for her.  She made some friends, started opening up, and even loved (and spoke to) her teacher.  It made us very happy to know that even though we were without her for 7 hours a day, she was getting what she needed elsewhere.  A couple of questionable incidents occurred (I'll save those stories for another day), but we just chalked it up to public school.

The second year was a little different.  Over the summer Hope had pretty much come out of her shell.  We had lots of play dates and summertime fun with other kids.  She was excited to get back to school.  The initial separation was difficult at first, but we both adjusted pretty quickly.  (I have to say, having all day free to work was amazing!  I got so much done.)  As the school year progressed, Hope's demeanor began to change.  The kids seemed to really be getting to her.  Her self-esteem seemed to diminish and she was either angry or sad most of the time.  She was still excelling academically, but she disliked school in general and it was changing her.  Where was this vibrant, interesting little girl we had known?  It broke our hearts.

We took the entire summer after First Grade to evaluate our/her situation.  Making such a major decision was so tough.  I had questions like:  What will happen to her social skills?  Will I be able to make the time for my business and school ?  Am I making a huge mistake?  It was scary.  The whole first year of home schooling was scary terrifying.  We failed a lot.  We learned a lot.  We had to take a huge break when Poesy was born.  It was so much to have business, baby, and home school.  I am still figuring things out, honestly.

Having Hope at home for schooling has been amazing.  She is more comfortable, confident, and out-going than ever.  She talks to people like it was never an issue.  She has more friends than ever before.  We all know those "weird home school kids" and I was scared to death of making her one of those.  Hope is a little different, but that is what makes her so great.  She wears what she wants without worry of ridicule, she loves to read and she isn't ashamed, she dances all crazy-like in public and doesn't care a lick about others watching.  She lives in this confident, happy bubble that I'm glad to be a little part of.  :)  xoxo Katie

**I realize that home school is a touchy subject for a lot of people.  I would NEVER suggest that home school is better than public school, or that home school is something that every parent should do.  Every child is different, and this is what was and is right for my child.  We are part of church groups, a home school group, and have friends with children, so she gets tons of time each week with other kids.  We use a combination of the Sonlight core curriculum and some hodge-podge extras for more Math, Reading, Writing, and (extra, extra!) Science experiments.

**We'll be back soon with 10 Things I Love About Home School!

82 comments:

  1. really loved this post. i wonder what will work for us? my son is 3 and daughter 1. for me, the sky is the limit and we will do what works for them...though when i do nary an art project with my son i about go bonkers. i guess i'm not patient? this was neat to read...homeschooling isn't what it used to be!

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  2. bravo! warms my heart your love for your babes!

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  3. I'm glad this really works for your family, Katie. I admire that you can listen and see what is best for your girl instead of pushing her to be different than she is. You have a wonderful little family.
    Love and Turtledoves,
    Jacqueline

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  4. I had a very tough time growing up in public school. People who knew me as a pre-teen say I'm a completely different person now (in a good way). I was ridiculed and made fun of every single day for a good 2-3 years about anything and everything (I was a late bloomer, for one, and I was made fun of for my body... which is funny because I have D-cups now, but anyway). Because of all this, I became extremely shy and anti-social. I was deathly afraid to talk to people until college, and then I finally burst out of my shell and became the confident woman I am today! (I don't call myself Loudmouth for nothing.)

    Anyway, I guess why I'm saying this is because I held a grudge against my parents for years because they didn't homeschool me. They tried it for a semester, actually, but it was too hard for them to keep it up. I'm the oldest of three -- so with two other children, plus their full-time jobs, they simply didn't have time. I got over it eventually, and I love the way I turned out, so I'm not angry about having to go to public school. I think that, either way, I would have ended up being the same person... there were just some detours along the way. <3

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  5. I was home-schooled from Kindergarten on! My very first day, I was wondering where my mom went and went to look into the hall and the teacher had grabbed and twisted my arm - bruising me. My mom took me out and I never wanted to go back to another public school (also during my first day, I was hit, kicked and had a cardboard brick thrown at my head. Yeesh.)

    Anyway! Sadly, my mom and dad never took the time to home-school me... I love learning and so most of what I know is from learning computer software, Wikipedia and a few home-school series' I had, had. I think home-schooling is GREAT, *if* the parents actually take time out to teach their children.

    If Jen and I ever have children, we are seriously considering home-schooling!!!

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  6. I had no idea you home-schooled.....

    ......and it just makes me smile so much:)

    We are in our fifth year of teaching at home and it still terrifies me.

    But I love it when others share their decision and I don't feel quite so alone.

    Thank you so much.

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  7. Even though I don't have kids, I have to say thanks for sharing this, I have been following your blog for a long time and I have always loved to see pics(and now blog posts) of Hope, she looks like such an original soul!
    As an artist, I applaud parents that do their best to let their children express themselves, and this posts just confirms this is not always easy but as great parents you are doing the best for your original and creative child!
    Yay for you!

    Victoria

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  8. i love that you home school even though it isnt the easiest option.. you're truly doing what you think is best for Hope and that is inspiring!

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  9. This was such an interesting post - I don't think people DO home school in the UK; I mean, I'm sure there are one or two here and there but it's just not something I've ever come across. But school was a tough time for me; I can see how it might not be the best option for everyone.

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  10. I was home schooled from the git-go and I am so thankful my Parents made that decision. We live in a very small town and the flexible school schedule made it possible for my Sister and myself to really pursue our passions (Theatre for me and Dance for her). If we hadn't been home schooled, I doubt that my Sister would have been able to be in a Proffesional Dance Companies Jr. program and I definitely wouldn't have been able to be performing in plays 5 nights a week two hours from our home.
    I wish you and Hope all the best!
    Madeline

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  11. Sounds like this really was the best thing for Hope:)

    Coming from a country where it isn't done, but having been to the US quite a fair amount of times. I have to admit I wasn't very excited about homeschooling at first. However I do understand that things are different in different countries and sometimes needs can be very different for different families as well.
    Besides I know that when you homeschool you usually know lots and lots of people that do the same thing and are by no means socially isolated.

    Also I know this is so much extra work for you and I think it's great that you do all that!

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  12. This post is so interesting for me!!

    In my country doesn't exist this type of education and I couldn't understand what this really means for children and what were the advantages for them.

    You have shown me another vision about education (I normally work with children)and It has been very usefull!

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  13. i have been thinking abt it too, but i feel i wont be able to teach my kids so well... i am trying to devise something now... so that by the time they are there i will have things to share and teach them... but the academic skills i sure i wont be a doing a good job... so i dont know may be i will find a good tutor... yet at times i feel a littl social interaction wont do them harm, if i can see what they are comfortable with and let them have those ppl around more often... blogging i think is absolutely beautiful, but to be able to have someone offline and in real to give u a great feedback on how you are and to be able to talk nice and happy can never be underetimated.

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  14. I love your approach to the subject. My background as a teacher and I admit that I sometimes have difficulty understanding the school at home. But I think the idea is actually to take account of our child to make the best decision for him ... This is a big decision that should not be taken lightly .... But honestly, you open my mind on this subject .... Sorry if my English is lame ... I can easely read English, but I have a harder time writing ... I'm speaking ... Anyway, thank you for this message!

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  15. Making the decision to homeschool is huge. It certainly isn't for everyone, and it's a LOT of work. It sounds like Hope is thriving in her learning environment!

    I was homeschooled right up until college, and we're now teaching our little ones at home. We too belong to a homeschool group, not only for socialization, but also for support! Another huge plus for us is that we can tailor our curriculum by mixing and matching publishers, and focusing on each child's interest. Here's to a great school year!

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  16. I don't really have an opinion on home schooling. In my country it's against the law (aside from a few exceptions) so I guess we aren't even allowed to have an opinion, it's just pretty much a no-go, which now I think about it, is kinda ridiculous! Anyway, I think you guys are sweet parents who are doing the best they can for their children :).

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  17. You should consider getting her into community theatre. I wasn't a shy kid myself, but I have friends who's parents got them into it (through theatre day camp at a young age) to get them out of their shell and it worked for them. If she liked theatre camp or being a munchkin in the wizard of oz (how apparently all young actors start out) she might get into it, and actually being in a play is a nice way to socialize her weekly for a few hours at a time. Actually, about a quarter of the kids I grew up doing theatre with were homeschooled. Even if she's hesitant at first, she might get into it, especially if she saw a professional musical which could spark an interest.

    Just a friendly suggestion!

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing this, Katie. My daughter is 4 and we are struggling with the decision if home school is right for us. It's always nice to read other people's perspectives on things.
    P.S. I'm so happy you've found what works best for Hope! She seems like such a sweet little girl :)

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  19. here's the sound of one mama clapping... clap clap clap... our gal is just shy of two - and I still cringe at deciding what to do about school - nice to hear you tried both and went with what was WORKING for your sweet gal!
    Mel :o)
    www.needleandnestdesign.blogspot.com

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  20. Good for you for making the right decision that works for your child!

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  22. I super support your decision. Being in high school, I know for a fact being home schooled would have been a much better choice for me. All through my schooling, I have been picked on and made fun of, and I feel that it has really damaged my confidence and self-esteem. It's nice knowing another girl doesn't have to go through the same thing.

    Thanks for the post, I'm glad she is happy! <3

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  23. I was home schooled! I went to class when I had to for physical education credits and even walked with my graduating class (even if they barely knew me). I may be a little "off" socially, but it's one of the best things my parents did for my education. Like you said, it's not for every child (my youngest brother loved public school) but if it's an option, it really can be life changing.

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  24. This is my second year homeschooling my older son (next year I start with my younger son). I love it and it is wonderful that you put so much thought into your decision. People don't tend to understand the life of a homeschooler so they assume too many odd things. Thankfully I have known MANYYYYY people who homeschool their kids or who were homeschooled throughout their lives.

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  25. i really admire people who homeschool. i actually thought about trying it with my son, but i might be going back to school myself, so we went with public (for now). but i think it's great what you're doing. <3

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  26. awwwwww!!! this is so stinkin cute! good for you girls!
    iralee
    astrid_54(at)rocketmail(dot)com

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  27. In my country it's not allowed so we struggled with our retarded son through his schoolyears. We had to fight for a place in regular school cause in special school almost every boy and girl have a behaviour problem. Our son is shy and a very pleasant person to deal with( and I'm not saying this because he's my son) so I don't want him to go to a special school. So we did a lot of extras at home and some years were better than others depends on the teacher. When he was twelve he had to go to a special school and we were very afraid cause of the fights there (that was really bad) but we really had no choice. Lucky he go his own way. Now he's 19 and last june he gets a job by a great guy. So he left school, big hooray. Now we crossed our fingers that he can stay where he works now. So I wish we had the possibility of homeschooling here. Itshould be a lot easier and we should be a lot less afraid. Bye peet

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  28. I love this post. I'm so glad you found something that works for your family. I'm sure that wasn't an easy decision as a mother. But I'm glad you made the right one. Will you homeschool Posey too?

    XO, Rae

    http://aneclecticheap.blogspot.com/

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  29. I am another homeschooling mama with an at home business and I can totally relate to the daily struggle it is to balance it all. I find that even the most well meaning detractors in my life grossly over-estimate the benefits of public schooling while totally minimizing how damaging that environment can be for some students. My kids are thriving while gaining a laundry list of other skills and experiences that they could never get while in a traditional classroom, and for that I am thankful.

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  30. I think it is awesome that you home school. My only complaint with any kind of group schooling is that it assumes that every body learns the same way. I have siblings with "learning disabilities" but the reality is is that they don't feel like they are "disabled" when they are learning the way they need to learn. I am so jealous that my siblings got to be home schooled and I didn't. You are awesome!

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  31. This is such a good post. Public school isn't for everyone and it's nice to hear first hand about home schooling. It's so nice to read such an honest post. You sound like an amazing mum! :)

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  32. I was home schooled up until high school and then I was selectively schooled until college. Basically in high school I took college prep classes and joined in at a few schools who would allow me to take only certain classes without being enrolled full-time. I also took Spanish, science, and math with other home schoolers at a church or at someone's home.
    Then I went to college right after I turned 17 and found it to be incredibly easy.
    No one ever thinks I would have been home schooled; there's nothing "social" missing, although I remember as a teenager that some of my peers thought I was too polite and respectful to adults.
    I think home schooling is a great option for some children and intend to home school my children (when I finally have them) at least to start. I wasn't shy and my family wasn't terribly religious, my mom just didn't like the way public-schooled children behaved and after a bad experience with my older brother being in school, she decided that we would do better academically if we were home schooled. I think we spent about 2 hours a day on school, and the rest of the day we were free to read or learn about and do pretty much whatever we wanted. I think because of this we still enjoy learning, which is something most of my peers seem to be sick of!

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  33. Katie -

    My husband and I are just now planning our family. This is something that has come up several times in our discussions. Since I've been blogging, I've met many wonderful women who homeschool their children, whether out of neccisity due to social skills, geographic location, or just general preference. I've heard and seen nothing but wonderful and amazing things from these home schooled children. So creative and alive! I remember, being very socially shy and awkward myself, how painful the whole of school was for me. From kindergarten through high school. As an adult I wish I could go back and undo some of the damage that still sits today from incidents. Now I have to chew over whether to let my child decide for themselves to attend public school, or try to shield them from that damage as long as possible (which sounds protective and overbearing no matter how I say it...but still sounds preferable). I loved this post - and would seriously love, love, love to see more about your home schooling adventures! I still have a several years before I have to make this decision...but would love to be as prepared as possible!

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  34. I'm glad to see you're getting positive feedback. It's easy to see Hope is fabulous and growing and learning. Keep on!

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  35. Great post. As a fellow home school mom it is wonderful to meet other people who are on the same adventure. I have four children, three of whom are school age. My oldest has been in public and private school but it wasn't until we made the decision to home school that he truly began to thrive. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  36. Thanks for this. Great info! I find myself looking at homeschooling differently now that I'm a mom.

    Kacie
    http://www.acollectionofpassions.com/

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  37. Thank you for sharing :)

    My sis, Gaby, at http://www.paperplanesandmaryjanes.com/ shared with me a link to your post.

    We finished our first week of homeschooling last week. My kiddos are 9 and 12 - we already LOVE it!

    And how adorable are you! I am in love with your hair color :)

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  38. i think being a good parent is doing what's right for your kiddos and family- and well, your daughter seems fab and i know you're a good parent!!
    those are my thoughts of the day :-)

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  39. I was the same way when I was a kid. My parents are both very quiet reserved people and I was so shy that I would play by myself most of the time. Being an only child didn't help with that either since I was used to entertaining myself all the time I didn't mind being alone. It's nice that you have the opportunity to provide a better way to teach your little sweetie. I never would have guessed that she was a shy girl. She seems so open and sure of herself on your blog. I love that.

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  40. I was home schooled and really really loved it. :) I wish you and your family all the best!

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  41. This is an interesting subject, and I have conflicting feelings toward both homeschool and public school, as there are so many pros and cons and variables in each method. But it's great to hear that homeschool is working so well for your (super cute) daughter, and you really seem to be doing it right! I went to public school, which was valuable for making friends and, like you said, interacting with different personalities. But, at the same time, a lot of those personalities were pretty bad influences! I wouldn't change my experience, because good and bad, it forced me to do things I otherwise wouldn't have had to do, and I learned from those things.
    Ideally, you want your children to be surrounded by great teachers who inspire learning and challenge them in all sorts of ways, and I can see how with homeschool you would have a bit more power over that.

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  42. I think she gets her confidence from her mother. She's a cutie!

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  43. I think the important thing is paying attention to the needs of your child and you have clearly done that. She is happy and well-adjusted so it works. Doesn't matter what anyone else think of homeschooling vs. public school. Good job!

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  44. I was like Hope when I was young - very shy! School was almost painful for me because of it, although I did have a small group of friends. When I was 9 my parents decided to homeschool me because I was often at home sick with severe asthma, I HATED school, and they were unhappy with the public school system in general.

    While homeschool had it's really hard times, it also allowed me to excel in many areas which I hadn't been doing so well in at public school. My reading level soared and I became a book junkie, math wasn't so scary anymore, science was cool, and I got to do heaps of art.

    I'm 23 now, outgoing and gettin my BA in psychology. While I'm definitely a quiet person, I'm not a 'weird homeschool person'. I'm normal, albeit a bit quirky (but that is good!). :p

    All the best on your journey. xo

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  45. thanks for sharing some insight into your decision! I don't have kids yet but when I do I want to choose the education that meets their specific needs and expands their horizons, not just whatever is the easiest and cheapest. I'm glad you've chosen to do what's just right for Hope even though it keeps you extra busy.

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  46. your're her mom and you know better than anyone what is best for her..good for you!

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  47. Thank you for sharing, I love hearing why people chose home schooling and how it works for them. xo

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  48. I was home schooled! :) Up until the 8th or 9th grade, I think? And I loved it! I was a very serious dancer, and I was a cast member for children's programming, so my schedule was all over the place, and attending a school would have been really difficult. I LOVED learning, I couldn't get enough of it - but I was also a fast learner, which meant I got bored easily - and my parents realized that home schooling would be the better option. So they both taught me, and I had tutors on set from time to time. And because I was always out and about and doing things, I was highly socialized, very outgoing, and had tons of friends. I got to experience and do a lot of things I wouldn't have gotten the chance to do in a traditional classroom, which I'm so, so thankful for. Honestly, it was the best thing for me, and when I finally attended school later on - the transition was so easy! I give major props to my parents for the way they home schooled - I, thankfully, was never the "weird home school kid". Phewwww. ;) I'm so glad you shared this with us, Katie - it seems like this is the perfect fit for Hope and I'm so glad she's doing well! :)

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  49. Hi friend! I'm so lackluster with commenting these days but I had to today. :) As you know I teach kindergarten and would have LOVED to have been Hope's teacher. Luckily in Juneau, AK we are a much more free spirited group than many places around the nation. I'm not really one to critique considering Noah's class is in my friend's room and I get to peek in on him all day long. I cannot imagine not seeing him all day. Whenever he has a great accomplishment he runs to my class and shares it with me. I am SO LUCKY!! I think the biggest challenge I've seen with homeschool kids is not knowing how to handle the rigidness of things when they get older like highschool/college etc. and learning to deal with peers that they don't like but realizing in life we HAVE to learn how to interact with them anyway. That irritating kid in pre-calculus one day might be your boss or you might be his. ;) That's I think where the 'weird homeschool kid' thing comes from. But honestly sweets, you and J are such awesome parents. Hope will adjust nicely :))

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  50. I never twigged that you homeschool. I would totally homeschool my (hypothetical) children. I think school can be a massively damaging environment for people (I feel like I'm just getting over it at 28!) and I don't believe it really prepares you for life. I think it prepares you for being in school.
    Obviously it is about what works best for the individual child, but it is something I am well up for.
    Relating to comments above: homeschooling in the Netherlands is illegal?! I never knew that, it is crazy!
    Jess
    xx

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  51. As someone who was homeschooled for very similar reasons, thank you for this post. The biggest problem I get from People when my husband and I talk about maybe homeschooling our boys is that it will hurt them socially. I {and Hope!} are here to tell the nay-sayers that cool people CAN be homeschooled. ;-) Good luck in your balancing endeavor, that IS a full plate.

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  52. I love reading posts about home schooling. Ivan and I (as of right now...although we have no immediate plans to have kids) plan to homeschool. We casually mentioned this to a few members of my family and they FREAKED out! Basically saying that we were going to have such a weird kid and that it is a terrible idea. And these are family members who are normally really supportive of things that we do! I think they are just a bit closed minded on this issue.
    We are still set on doing it when the time comes and I love hearing about how great is has been for Hope.

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  53. Really like this post! YOu're a good mama! It's a HUGE sacrifice and you're wonderful to make it! Hope is lucky to have such caring parents, but I'm sure she knows that! :)

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  54. As a K-12 homeschool graduate, I can say you have made a wonderful decision! It was such a great experience, and I have never, EVER wished my parents chose differently. Like any other education option, it's not perfect but it's a pretty amazing option! I really feel it helped me to explore my tastes and interests without [much] fear of ridicule. And, of course, as any homeschooler can echo, the "socialization" issue that everyone worries about it isn't any problem. :-) Keep up the good work, even when it's hard! You are giving Hope a huge gift.

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  55. i was definitely one of those "weird homeschool kids"
    I was and still am extremely shy person.

    OH WELL

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  56. Wow what a great post Katie! I am so interested in hearing about home schooling, as I didn't have a good experience myself as a kid in schools and I had wished I had the option for this. My mister and I are shy and same wih our kiddos so this is all great to hear. You're a fabulous mama and what a great thing you are doing for your kiddo, I'm sure she'll greatly appreciate this later in life. Way to go girl, keep up the awesome job!

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  57. I love your blog for the honesty you bring to it. I was wondering if later down the line if Hope thinks she would like to try public school again will that be an option? Also, do you have charter schools in your area? I pulled my child from a regular public school and put her in a charter school and I couldn't be happier with the results. The academic and social standards are higher and they don't let anyone fall through the cracks. It's something for parents who aren't able to or don't want to home school their children to think about. It turned out to be the best option for my child and I'm so happy I did it.

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  58. I think homeschooling is wonderful. My husband teaches 7th grade and sometimes it discuses me what goes on in the schools. I am open to finding the best fit for your little ones. Being in theater growing up i knew several children who were home schooled and never thought they were "weird". Sometimes being a creative artsy person makes it difficult to fit into the mold of a public school. so i commend you!

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  59. awesome. I hope to homeschool my kids one day (if i have them)and am always happy to hear success stories from moms who homeschool their kids!

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  60. Katie, WOW.

    This post reminds me of the year I spent home schooled in Jr. High. I had been teased so badly in sixth grade, that by the end of the year I had gained gobs and gobs of weight and had stopped speaking out loud in school at all, when it could be avoided. Looking back, now, I see that was literally being targeted and abused by the other children both verbally AND physically every single day.

    In my year of homeschool, I was still socialized in many ways. I remember being so nervous I was nauseated on my first day at the home school group. But under the supervision of so many caring parents, the other children treated me with nothing but respect and kindness, and that never changed (even as I came out of my shell and started to show some of my weirdness)! Although, I did fall a smidge behind academically, that year really did change my life and my view of PEOPLE in a profound way. I can name about five major life choices I made differently because of that year, and I can't help but wonder who I would have become if my parents had NOT chosen to homeschool me for a little while.

    Honestly, I have to thank you for this post. I've been mostly against homeschool as an option for my children (because I've seen many of the worst sides of home schooling), but your daughter reminds me of my own story in so many ways. Sometimes giving a child a chance to heal and grow emotionally in the greenhouse of your own home, far outweighs the academic pros and cons of a DIY education. Academics can be caught up on rather quickly. Kindness, or lack thereof, is the sort of thing that shapes a person's core!

    I think I'll share my story and link to your post in one of my fledgling little blogs sometime soon. It really makes me think, and I appreciate the sensitivity with which you write it.

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  61. I was homeschooled almost my whole like (except for 7th and 8th grade when we were in the middle of a huge house renovation and me and my brother went to christian school). I made SO many amazing friends through homeschooling (and yes, met some of the "weirdo homeschoolers") but loved it 90% of the time. And I was way beyond public school academic level, I decided to get my GED when I was 16 and started going to community college then. No one ever even suspected I was homeschooled OR that I was 16 at college until I told them.
    I completely attribute my academic skills, self determination, and the fact that I've always been lightyears ahead maturity-wise then most people my age to being homeschooled!

    I totally agree that you have to look at it for each kid though. My mom really couldn't handle my brother and he went back to private school for high school. Personally though, I'm not a big fan of public schools (at least where I grew up!).

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  62. This made me cry. I was a really quiet kid and had some incidents which I'm pretty sure inhibited me in many ways. Thanks for sharing. This offers a perspective many of us don't get to hear about.

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  63. We love homeschooling :D

    I love to hear why people decide to homeschool. I pulled my first dd out after Kindergarten, and even though its hard we've never looked back!

    Good luck!

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  64. As a homeschooler that graduated at fifteen and had my RN license by 18, found out I hated nursing and got a job making more than most lawyers at 19 (because i excelled in a bunch of tests they gave during the application process) and being able to put my husband through school with that job, I LOVE homeschooling. My parents made sure I got lots of interaction with people my age and yes, sometimes I thought I hated them for keeping me away from school but you know what? I'm a grown woman and I dance in the mall when people are watching, I quilt and sew even though noone else my age likes that, I excel as the only woman and the youngest employee ever in a refinery comprised of roughly 700 men and I have an amazing husband that I adore. I'm not trying to boast about myself but rather my parent's brave decision to homeschool their youngest when public school just wasn't working out. Good job guys!

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  65. Thank you for writing more about your decision Katie. I was really happy to read about you homeschooling Hope last year. :) She seems so self-confident now. Keep up the great work! You are a great Momma!

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  66. This was a great post! It really does depend on the child... When my boyfriend and I discuss ideals for our potential family, to homeschool or not to homeschool is sometimes a butting of heads with us... But after reading this and sharing your story with him, its really opened up the possibilities in the future! Thank you <3

    ~xo
    Kassandra
    kaseesaysso.blogspot.com

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  67. This is a great post! We unschool or do natural learning with our girls and find it amazing and wonderful for us all!
    Great to choose what suits you and your child rather then just live what society says.
    Beautiful post and if Hope is wanting some penpals my daughters love to blog so let me know and maybe I could send you their blogs??

    Really love your blog!

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  68. Hi Katie! I'm an Italian girl and I follow your blog from a few months...I read this post and I think you've done the right choise, only because you see what was the problem for your daughter. You see that the demeanor of your girl changes, non all the parents do the same!
    Good luck for all your choises! have a nice day! send a kiss to your Hope an Poesy!
    C.

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  69. First of all I think it's AWESOME you are home schooling! I home schooled my whole life, did co-op and technology school for photography in high school and excelled in college!
    I'm currently reading a great book called "Home Grown Kids" that's so amazing I can't even begin to explain. My son is 3 and my husband and I are on board for keeping him home for school! It's neat to hear other young moms are teaching as well. I also want my child to excel in school, but his character is my highest priority while he's young! Check out that book- I know you'll love it!

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  70. You are a FANTASTIC mother! That is all I have to say. :)

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  71. I went to public school and loved it. I've also known some amazingly wonderful homeschooled people, some wacko homeschooled people, and plenty of obnoxiously self-righteous homeschooled people. It's a mixed bag.

    I think for a lot of children, it's the best option, if the parents are willing to make that sacrifice. However, I'm curious how the burden of work falls between the parents. In every homeschool family I've known, it is ALWAYS the mother who sacrifices her time and/or career to teach the child. That bothers me. . .

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  72. Katie I got your blog from Janelle. This post just so spoke to me. I started homeschooling this year & it is the best thing I ever did. My girls were becoming so different. I love being with my girls & some days it is so hard, but so worth it, it is nice to know there are other people out there!! Thanks for sharing this!!!

    Mel xxxoo

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  73. Heather CorcoranJuly 8, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Nah..there's plenty of "weird kids" in public school so if anyone uses that stereotype..then, they forgot what public school was like haha.

    on a serious note: I only wish my parents could have home schooled me as a child because I think I was similar to Hope. I got good grades, but didn't like the emphasis of tests versus knowledge, curiosity, and creativity..plus, there was this homogenous atmosphere that can occur that limits self-expression. kids grow up too fast these days

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  74. I think this is amazing! We have decided to home school our son as well and I used to be an elementary school teacher. I just see how much he has learned in just his two short years and how his love of learning is apparent and strong. I know that with the pressures and rigors of school, that love of learning can diminish and I'd hate for him to lose that.

    I've read many blogs and articles online praising the benefits of home schooling, and we are very excited to embark on this adventure. Kudos to you girl for doing what your heart told you! <3

    toni

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  75. Great post!!! I was homeschooled my entire life (I'm 25 now), and I loved it! I became SO close to my brother and sister, I had plenty of friends since my parents put me in theater, sports, homeschool groups, church camp, etc. I've never been socially awkward or "weird," maybe a little different, but as you said that's what makes one great! I graduated from UCLA two years ago and can tell you from experience it was a great decision. I'm definitely homeschooling my children when I have some. So happy that homeschooling is becoming more and more accepted =)

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  76. I am also a homeschooling mom who can testify to the ratio of terror to reward. It truly is a blessing to see your children blossom as the people they truly are and have such a big part of their day..I am blessed, to have a wonderful charter school to partner with and a great group of friends who are also homeschooling. W take ityear by year with the goal of successful positive learning experiences for our 3 children. keep up the good work!



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  77. I am a 22 year old (soon to be) college graduate from a liberal arts school with a degree in nursing. My mother decided to home school me when I was in second grade. She saw that I had so many interests (art, sports, science, travel, music, and volunteer work). My mother wanted to make all of these things possible for me, as well as provide me with a very hands on education. I feel that my home school education really helped me develop a sense of self at a younger age. I accredit my independence to my "unconvential" school experience. With that independence also came a strong sense of responsibility and self respect.
    There were days I resented the fact that I was home schooled, typically because I got fed up with people doubting my abilities, life experiences, and the legitimacy of my education. As a junior in high school, I visited the college that I will be graduating from this May. While on my visit, an elderly man told me I would never be accepted to this school, because I was home schooled and there was no way to prove the legitimacy of my education ( and to that man I would like to say: 32 credits from a community college, ACT scores, and a stunning application essay would like to say otherwise!). There were many of those days, and as a young teen, they did cause me to doubt myself at times. My mother always believed in me and the decision we had made, even when I felt discouraged. My sophomore year of high school, my mother had breast cancer and I was able to be there for her everyday and help care for my other siblings. People may say this "got in the way" of my learning, but I think they may need to assess the situation from another angle. I learned a lot about nursing, which turned out to be my vocation. I learned a lot about coordinating life's challenges and calling on resources and the support of family friends. These life experiences I encountered in the midst of my "schooling" only augmented my learning. I am many times the person my peers turn to when they have questions about things that many people don't do independently until they have left home for college. These are the things I was exposed to as I grew up. I feel confident that I can manage any life situation I need to. My mother is truly my best friend, and it is not because she formed me into a tiny version of her. Typically, we vote from different political parties, she would rather live in the country, and I feel that the city life was made for me. I know she is proud of me for being certain of myself, and very aware of the world around me.
    Know that what you are doing for your daughter is an incredible sacrificial gift. Know that there will be days she might say "what if I'm missing out?" or her biggest concern will be whether or not she ever goes to prom (I went to 4). There will be days where you will feel like you did not enlighten your children at all, or open the door to any true learning. Know that even on those days, your children have learned. Someday they will realize what you have done for them, and they will struggle to find the words to thank you for all that you sacrificed and all that you invested in them.

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  78. i'm so glad to hear you and your daughter are enjoying home schooling! i had a wonderful experience being home-schooled from the first grade through high school. one of the great aspects of home schooling is being able to tailor curricula/activities to your child's individual needs and interests — i had the chance to do so many fascinating things as a part of my schooling at home that i wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. good luck to your family as you continue your adventure!

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  79. I've been reading some past posts, and I never realized you went to church. This was a pleasant surprise for me. I was just wondering why you don't really talk about it on your blog. Are your daughters the only ones who go? Or do you just like to have the separation of religion and blogging?

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  80. Thanks for this post! We're starting our first year of homeschool, and a major worry is whether it will make my little girl even more shy or if it will help draw her gently out of her shell. Good to know it worked well for you!

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  81. I think home-schooling is always a great option for kids. I know my neighbor decided to home-school their daughter because she was having problems at school. They started her on a program early and she started getting better grades. She was able to learn new ways to stay focused so she was able to go to high school. However, when she graduated high school she decided to do online classes for college because she enjoyed learning at home.

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  82. I think home schooling is a great idea. Although I loved to learn I was easily distracted with other kids being around and I don't feel like the teachers can properly handle so many students. One on one learning would have been fantastic I think.

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