We Homeschool… There I Said It


It was the day before school started back up after winter break and every twenty minutes I was asking myself: “Am I really going to do this?”

And then we did it. This past January, we decided to homeschool my 5-year old for the remainder of the kindergarten school year. It was both challenging and wonderful all rolled up into one big whirlwind, and it completely changed whatever opinions I had previously about homeschooling. Yet, it’s still a very personal decision that has taken awhile for me to be vocal about.

Each homeschooling family have their own unique reasons for making the decision to homeschool. Our reason was that after several months of kindergarten, our 5-year old was shutting down. “I hate school!” she would cry while getting dressed in the morning. Every single morning was a battle to reassure her. She had gone to preschool every weekday since she was 2 and has always loved school. We assumed that this was going to be a natural transition. Maybe this was a phase? Lots of kids have a rough time starting elementary school, but these outbursts lasted for the entire first semester of kindergarten. Along with tantrums in the morning she exhibited extremes of every emotion when she wasn’t in school. Over winter break she transformed back into the kid she was before starting kindergarten. She whistled to herself in the morning. She was different. She was herself. My partner and I worried. We didn’t want her to lose her inquisitive, creative spirit and above all we didn’t want her to hate learning.

homeschool number line jumping

Both my partner and I went to public school. My husband is a public high school math teacher. We are big advocates for public education. So, what this post is not about is public school bashing. I love my daughter’s kindergarten teacher and her elementary school, but it just wasn’t working for her. Academically, she was doing well. She has a lot of friends at school. Maybe it was too overwhelming? Maybe we should have waited until she turned six? Maybe we needed to take a step back and reevaluate? I laid all the maybes on the table one night and decided aloud, “Maybe we try homeschooling.”

She didn’t return to school after winter break. Our days found a quiet rhythm. I enjoyed both children being home and taking on the responsibility of my daughter cultivating her learning. She found the flexibility encouraging. I used her interests and natural transitions of the year as a guide for her learning… OUR learning. Sure there were days that were hard and frustrating, but more often than not our days were filled with playing, creating, exploring, and moving at our own pace.

homeschool fossil intensive


When we first started homeschooling there were a lot of questions. Have you ever thought about sending your child to a therapist to pinpoint why she doesn’t enjoy school? Doesn’t it drive you crazy to have your kids home all the time? Have you thought about private school? What will happen if you go back to work? Isn’t homeschooling extremely time consuming? Aren’t you worried about socialization? These questions were asked out of genuine curiosity or concern, but here’s the thing– We gave a lot of careful consideration to all these questions for weeks. Lots of reading and researching and reaching out to individuals and in the end we decided it was worth a try. If it didn’t work out, well then it was a good experiment. So far, so good! A lesson I continue to learn time and time again as a parent is that sometimes (actually most times) things don’t go as planned. We’re forced to adapt and improvise. We do our best to find what works best for our kids, for our family, and for ourselves. This is what works for us.

sisters reading

Originally, homeschool was a temporary arrangement and now we’re faced with the decision of “Do we keep going? Are we a homeschool family now?” Regardless of what we decide, I’ll always look back fondly on this time and think to myself.. I can’t believe we did it. Even if it was only for 6 months, we did it.




6 Responses to “We Homeschool… There I Said It”

  1. Jen Robinson says:

    Good for you, I say. I don’t know a lot about homeschooling, but I respect how you paid attention to your daughter’s specific needs and did something that wasn’t easy or inside of your comfort zone to meet her needs. I’m really glad that it went well for you.

    • Rebecca says:

      Thank you, Jen! It was a difficult decision that was made easy after we saw how well she responded to the change. Even though the methods by which people homeschool their children have changed tremendously, there are still a lot of stigmas attached. One of the reasons I wrote this post was for other people that might be in a similar situation that might be frightened by the concept of homeschooling to see that they’re not alone and that it is an feasible, very normal alternative.

  2. Jessie Meyer says:

    So glad you guys found your sweet spot. Even if you don’t continue, those will be important memories for you guys later. Congratulations!

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks Jessie!! It was a good experience for all of us. I think the only reason we wouldn’t continue is the social aspect of school. She loves being with other kids even though she needs her space from time to time. In middle school and high school, kids have the choice to attend school for a few classes and then go home for the remainder of their studies. I wish that was an option for elementary school. Lots of big decisions ahead…

      • Jennifer says:

        Our school district added a program like that this past year – it’s called OPtions. The kids have access to the resources at school and there are some classes they can attend (some of which are held at the library) but there is a lot of freedom as well. It’s nice there are so many different ways for families to meet their kids’ needs!

        As far as the weird questions people ask (I was homeschooled, I’m on the board for OPtions and I’ve heard them all…) some people are just nosy. Some people just can’t conceive of doing something different. Some people are just concerned – homeschooling isn’t for everyone and it’s not unknown for parents to, uh, not make the decision as thoughtfully as you did, shall we say…. Mostly people just have trouble broadening their mindset!

        • Rebecca says:

          I’m so glad your school district is proactively providing families with options for their child’s education. Ever since I started sharing our homeschool experience with friends on the interweb, everyone has been extremely supportive and encouraging and I’ve learned a good handful are not only big homeschooling supporters, but also homeschooling success stories (like you!). I think when it comes to parenting, everyone has a lot of opinions. All that noise whether it be personal relationships or the media, it makes it hard to hear our own thoughts and trust intuition. It used to cause quite a bit of anxiety. Growing pains. I’m learning to find my own quite and listen to my gut and my kids. Thank you for the kinds words and taking time to share your perspective :)

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