Sunday, January 24, 2010

A letter to teacher- our reasons for homeschooling

Dear Mrs. C
I felt horrible after seeing you so flustered on Tuesday when I brought Sarah down to say goodbye. The teachers and aides at the school have been so nice to Sarah and I have really appreciated all of you. Especially Mrs. Z and Mrs. P. You probably feel a little hurt and confused, not to mentioned shocked, since you had no warning that I would be withdrawing her.

The decision to homeschool may have seemed sudden, but it is something that I've had in mind for years. Many people have been asking why, so I thought I'd explain for you, too. There are several reasons, but a few stick out more prominently than the others. In no particular order:

1. I've wanted to be a teacher since the third grade. I don't know when I will be able to complete my schooling in order to do so, but there is no reason I can't teach my own children in our home. The difference in our home in the last 3 days since beginning homeschool has been noticeable. The TV is on less, we fight less, and we get to spend more time as a family. I think it will make us tons stronger as a family. It already has.

2. My husband and I have a history of learning challenges in our family. John (my husband) and my brother both have ADD and dyslexia. After watching my little brother pulled out of school in 3rd grade after falling behind to be homeschooled by my grandmother, I knew that it was a method that worked. I always said that if my children were falling behind, I'd yank them out of school in a heartbeat.

Sarah is a very bright girl, and I won't know if my other children will have those challenges for a few more years. I wanted to try out homeschool now while I have less laws to deal with and while I have less diverse curriculum to teach. I want to see if I really can do it. In August, we will re-evaluate and see how things are going with Sarah and Katie and decide if we want Sarah to be enrolled at Rowena Chess or not. After seeing you yesterday, we enrolled in KSD so that we can use the resources at mid-columbia partnership (MCP). They have enrichment classes for homeschoolers and a learning library full of textbooks and materials for us to use in our lessons at home and away. I think they will be a big help to our family while we are homeschooling. Between all MCP has to offer and church, Sarah will have more than enough socialization with kids that have like-minded parents that I can talk to directly if I'm having problems.

3. John is in the Navy. He deploys for Afghanistan in 2 months and will be gone for almost a year. We want the kids to be able to spend as much time with him as they can. We want time together to make memories and strengthen their bonds before they can only talk to him over the phone, skype, and snail mail. We will probably be out of town a lot until he leaves, and after that, we are free to go and do whatever we want, learning all along the way. It's always been a dream of ours to travel and homeschool the kids.

4. The education will be more focused and personalized. I can do more with her in 1 hour here than she will get in 3 hours at school where most of her time is spent waiting. Waiting on the teacher to come help her, waiting in line for the bathroom, or riding a bus. A 1:2 ratio (I'll be teaching Katie at the same time as Sarah) with a "just okay" teacher is better than a 1:25 ratio with the best teacher in the world. Sarah will never, like my brother and my husband, be passed over and progressed before she is ready. She will have to master subjects before moving on.

5. Kids. I love my kids. Every parent does, I'm sure, but I don't need all the kids that aren't raised the way my kids are to tell my kid what shoes to wear, what shows to watch on tv, teach her how to swear, call her ugly, tease her about her outfit, or put glue in her hair. John and I were both bullied and I wish so bad that my mom had the guts to DO something about it and not just call the school. I'm DOING something about it. There is a huge destruction of family values in our society today and it bothers me greatly. She's barely 6. She doesn't need to deal with all that. The stronger the family is, the stronger she will be.

I really appreciate all you have done in this half a school year. I thought a lot before school started about homeschool, too. I decided to try it that way, and I did, and now I'm trying it this way. I might not always do homeschooling, but for right now, this is what is best for our family. After we left room 17 and walked away, I felt so free. The four of us were so happy. Sarah was beaming and said "Mom, you ripped me right out of school!" I feel like I have her back. She's MINE. I get to do what I want now. I didn't realize I felt this way, but walking out of the school I felt like a burden was lifted. If I wasn't carrying the baby, I probably would have done a toyota jump right there in the parking lot or gone skipping down the hallway.

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