I’ll admit it, when I started homeschooling, I thought it was a temporary thing. I never thought we’d last. But I just hated how kindergarten had turned into first grade, and I didn’t want that for my child. I wanted time to read stories, play games and sing songs with my child. And I didn’t think reading, writing, and math were essential for a 5-year-old. I still don’t. Those things can wait a year or two, or even more.
I honestly thought that by age 8 public school would make sense. Everyone goes, right? But it still didn’t make sense to me. Why send a child who loved to learn, to go sit in a boring school that wasn’t set up to see their potential? By this time, my first child was far ahead in some areas, but behind in others, and I could see how public school would focus only on the struggles, and not on the gifts.
When middle school approached I didn’t even think about trying out school. Who wants to be in a building full of 11- to 13-year-olds full of stress and hormones? From a practical standpoint, putting my sweet, sensitive soul into that situation sounded like a recipe for disaster. Why would I do that?
Following Their Path
Then high school approached. And we wondered again if we should consider a brick and mortar high school. But by now, my sweet teenager was old enough to have a vote. The vote was a firm veto of school. We choose together to keep going at our own awkward pace. The child that did some things late and others early at 5, still didn’t want to be on someone else’s timeline. Our high school involved co-op classes, on-line classes, classes I taught and ones that were taught by a tutor. Some of it was done out of order, yet we got it done.
So the day never came when school made sense. And now graduation day approaches. This year, my oldest took two classes at the local community college to both learn what college is like, and to prove that they can do it. It went well, though we regretted not pre-screening the professors with a program like www.ratemyprofessors.com. Which will tell you if other students like that professor, before you get in their class to find out for yourself if they are fair or not.
I am honestly amazed that we homeschooled all the way. It wasn’t the plan in the beginning. But it was our path. It led to a lot of amazing experiences and I wouldn’t change it. And the important thing is that my child wouldn’t charge it.
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.