I will be honest, never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be a homeschool mom. Now in my third year, I have become all the more confident that I made the best decision. So how did it happen?
My son attended elementary school for Kindergarten. The car line for pick-up was horrible so I quickly decided to get involved by volunteering time in the afternoon. This would allow me the ability to pick up my child on the way out and avoid the long lines. After a couple of months, I decided to become a substitute teacher to alleviate the need to split a class when a substitute was unavailable.
This experience was very rewarding, fun and most importantly informative. As a substitute teacher, I was able to see the curriculum delivery first-hand and I could see exactly what my son did on a daily basis. It did not take me long to realize that I had over prepared my child for Kindergarten. Then as I served as a substitute teacher in each grade of the elementary school, I was unimpressed by the curriculum at large.
Math was simply facts without a connection to the real word and writing was more of an exercise without a focus on grammar fundamentals. These are the core subjects that are taught at the elementary level with science and social studies trickled in if time permits. Another component that I found to be troubling was the requirement for each child to clock a certain amount of time on a computer program designed to prepare the student for the state test. Even the kindergarten students had a specific requirement.
I explored the gifted program but that was not going to meet the needs of my son either. I needed more so I researched two different virtual school options because I thought it would be more rigorous and challenging but my application seemed to never be complete. I applied to a local charter school with stellar reviews but was placed on a wait list. I was running out of options, my friends encouraged me to homeschool but I felt really unqualified to take on that responsibility.
Can you imagine that? I was qualified to be a substitute teacher in the public school and had a blast doing it but I felt incapable of teaching my son. These are the lies that we tell ourselves when the path set before us seems daunting. My real concern was how could I teach my son and earn an income as a single mom.
With those concerns on my mind, I decided to attend a local Homeschool Expo just to see what it was all about. As I wandered around visiting the various vendors, I remember being overwhelmed by the curriculum options, by the field trip options....there were so many resources. I attended workshops and that's where things started to get interesting. I learned that the state of Florida has an amazing lobbyist that represents the rights of homeschool parents and children, I discovered that homeschool students can participate in dual-credit courses and be courted by colleges but most importantly I heard that small voice of reassurance from Elohim that I cannot ruin my son. I was simply being asked to obey and trust Him with everything else.
It has not been easy but He has kept his promises.