Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adventures in Homeschooling: Part One



by Seattle Jon (bio)

Let me take you back to the summer of 2008. We’d moved to Seattle from Baltimore the summer before and had transitioned the kids from private schools in Baltimore to the Seattle public school system. Our oldest daughter had just completed second grade, had been active socially (a little too active at times) and had done well in most subjects. Our first son had just finished kindergarten and, to nobody’s surprise, didn’t know half the kids’ names in his class when quizzed at the end of the year.

I remember that first year in Seattle as incredibly busy. I was adjusting to a new job and an MBA program, Charlie (aka wife) was making new friends and starting a small interior design business, and we were working almost daily on the remodel of our 1960’s home. The kids were constantly doing SOMETHING, whether it was schoolwork, music lessons and performances, sports practices and games, church activities or play dates. Our evenings and weekends were full, full, full. Life literally did not stop.

It was in this environment that my wife first brought up home-schooling the kids for the 2009 school year. I remember thinking, “Something has snapped and she’s gone crazy,” but instead said, “You’ve never struck me as the kind of mom who wants to be around her kids all day, are you sure you want to look into this?” I had what I thought were good reasons to question her sanity. My first job, as an investment banker, resulted in Charlie being a single mom to two toddlers for the first seven years of motherhood. I’d call home from work around 6 p.m. to say goodnight to the kids and they were already in bed. She was done for the day. Knowing I wouldn’t be home until past midnight most nights, the evenings were her time, not her-and-the-kids time. After leaving investment banking, I was around more. Evenings became looser as the older kids stayed up later. I was under the impression that Charlie was looking forward to having the two oldest kids in school all day, leaving her to focus on herself and our youngest, who was then only one.

So, after asking her the question above, Charlie shared with me the following. She’d been thinking and praying about our busy schedule, and the thought – to look into homeschooling – had literally popped into her head. The sudden thought surprised her for a number of reasons. First, other than our busy schedule and some disconcerting social behavior out of our oldest daughter (“mean girl” stuff), Charlie felt we lacked a catalyst to make what we she thought was a pretty dramatic move. Second, up to that point Charlie's only exposure to homeschooling was the one or two “different” families she’d known growing up who homeschooled their kids. Third, Charlie was not a teacher by training and she questioned her ability to teach the kids what they needed to know. Despite these reasons, and despite the fact that bringing the kids out of the school system would mean significant changes for us, we looked into homeschooling.

Image via the amazing Leah Naomi Design & Photography, Spanish Fork Canyon

Other MMM Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...