When did I first hear about homeschooling? Couldn’t tell you. It was a long time ago. I do remember when we decided to homeschool – both times.
Deciding to Homeschool, Part 1
I owned a Montessori preschool from 1980-88. In the beginning, I was the teacher and director. Then I had teachers and was just the director.
When my son, Will, was born in 1985, I directed part-time, and the head teacher did some of the directing duties. Will always went to work with me. Then, my teacher moved out of state, and I was left without a head teacher during a Montessori teacher shortage.
So, when Will was 2½-3¼, I taught and directed again. Will was a student in my school. As a parent, teaching and directing was a different story. Being a perfectionist, I tried to do it all. In the spring, I decided I simply couldn’t do it all.
It was time to close my school and begin homeschooling. I don’t remember it being a big decision. Deciding to homeschool was simply a matter of wanting Montessori education for Will. We started our Montessori homeschool in the summer of 1988.
A Brief Interlude with Traditional School
My husband (Terry), Will, and I were all very content with our homeschooling experience when Will was 3-5. Christina was born two days after Will’s 5th birthday, and we still planned to continue homeschooling.
Then Will had an idea. We lived in the country, and Will saw the school bus drive by every day. As a boy who was always obsessed with vehicles, he REALLY WANTED to ride that bus. So, he thought maybe it would be fun to go to school.
Now, Will didn’t have any bad school experiences. His experiences in my Montessori school were very positive, so he thought kindergarten would be a fun experience of riding the school bus and having wonderful learning experiences like before. Terry and I didn’t want Will to have any regrets or doubts about homeschooling. There weren’t any Montessori elementary schools in our state, so we began our experience with a traditional kindergarten.
Unfortunately, Will’s kindergarten experience wasn’t what he expected. Even though Will was a student in what was supposed to be an intellectually stimulating private school, Will had to wait for the other children to catch up. And even though it was a religious school, there were bullies – not the kind that beat other kids up but the kind that said mean things. (This isn’t to say that a traditional school is bad. It just didn’t work for our family.)
Deciding to Homeschool, Part 2
By March, Will had no further interest in attending school – ever (until college). Terry and I said Will needed to complete the school year. We decided that spring to start homeschooling again in the fall.
So, in the fall we started with a hike and a homeschool celebration – and we never looked back.
What has your experience been with choosing school or homeschool? Was your decision easy or difficult?