So I have been asked, more than once, why I decided to home school the Hellion. It isn’t because the schools here are awful, they are actually A rated schools and have been listed in the top 10 in Florida more than once. There are great teachers there and the staff at the elementary school is wonderful (so are the few people I have interacted with at the Middle School and High School). His teacher last year was an absolute gem! She was a great communicator and actually used my suggestions as well as give me suggestions for things to do at home. He was an A/B student all year last year and learned quite a bit.
He wasn’t bullied, he was very popular and while he was excluded at times it was first grade, that is just part of being a kid. One day they are best friends, the next day they are friends with someone else. I have no religious objections to anything taught in school. I have no objections of any kind for the things he was taught in school. I don’t think they covered everything and I think they are way too concerned with teaching to the test, but I supplemented at home when I felt it necessary. There were minor annoyances that any school might have (ex. making kids skip recess for not completing work, I think they NEED recess) but they are just a part of life and easily ignored or dealt with.
So why do it? His teacher was great and really worked with him, but she had 17 other kids in her class that she had to work with as well. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to take the time to work with each child individually, she just didn’t have the time. So, the Hellion would get bored, either because he already understood the material and was ready to move on or because he didn’t understand and she didn’t have the time to teach him so he had to wait till he got home. He is a fidgety child, he likes to tap his pencil or read while walking in a circle. He thinks best when he is moving and he wasn’t allowed to do any of those things in class because it would disturb the other kids. His teacher understood this but she couldn’t accommodate him unless she put him out in the hallway, otherwise she would be keeping a lot of other kids from learning. The school can’t effectively teach my child, because he is not the “average” child. He does not do well in a school environment, because it is not set up for his learning style or for his speed or lack thereof. Public school works for a lot of children. I will never talk down about the schools the Hellion has gone to, because they did the best they could with the resources they have.
Do I think I am better at teaching than someone who has taken numerous college classes and been trained to teach, NO, of course not. Do I think I am better at teaching MY son? Hell yes! I have the time to sit with him one-on-one and help him where he needs help at any time. I can let him walk around or fidget or do anything else he wants to do to help him focus. We can sit outside and read or do work. We can use the computer for games and lessons and research. I can skip stuff that he knows and spend extra time on the things he doesn’t understand. We can go more in-depth on things he finds interesting. We can go on field trips and explore whenever we feel like it. We can make school about the Hellion, not about the test he has to take or the grades he has to make.
You know the number one reason I decided to home school the Hellion? I wanted to, and I could. So far it is working out beautifully. The Hellion is learning and so am I. I wouldn’t change this for all the money in the world!