Honestly, I never considered homeschooling my kids before I had my own. I remember having a conversation with my husband when I was pregnant with my first where we talked about public school vs. private school vs. homeschool. The homeschool portion of the conversation took about 5 seconds. We both agreed it was too weird and moved on.
At the time, we were both adamantly on the side of public school. We’d both done very well in public school and went to great colleges. Private school was moderately attractive, but also expensive and more uncertain in terms of quality. We felt that public school offered more of a real world environment and we didn’t want them to grow up feeling too “privileged.” Our kids were DEFINITELY going to public school.
Then we had kids. When I decided I wanted to send my 2 and half year old to preschool to learn to interact with kids his own age, our town didn’t have a public preschool. However, there was a little Montessori school about a mile from our house and I fell completely in love.
The more I read about Montessori education, with the interest-led learning, the lack of grades and tests, the hands-on material, and the freedom kids had to make their own decisions, the more in love I became. I was convinced that our kids would go to Montessori private school instead of public school.
The only problem? My kids didn’t particularly want to go, especially my second child who cried at drop off for months. We’d made plenty of friends with other families by that time, so socialization no longer seemed like an issue. My kids were well ahead in academic areas. I couldn’t help wondering why I continued to send them.
That was when I started to read more about homeschooling. At first, my husband thought I was crazy. That wasn’t even on our radar. However, I was convinced that I could keep all the aspects of Montessori that I loved, while making sure my kids were well enough integrated into society through extracurriculars.
Best of all, my kids would have such a big role in shaping their own educational path, that I felt certain we could keep the spark of curiosity and love of learning alive.
My 4 kids are still young. I HOPE that this homeschooling journey lasts a long time, but I don’t know what the future holds. My oldest goes to camp during the summer and LOVES being around other kids for hours on end. I’m thankful, that when he comes home, he’s still excited to start homeschooling in the fall. However, who knows if that will change in the future and if it does, how I’ll respond.
All I know is that I’m willing to experiment to find what works for our family and right now, homeschooling is working really well.