Last night as I was reevaluating our methods and talking with the kids about what changes we feel need to be made, I had what I can only describe as a heartbreaking thought. If there’s anything this first year has taught me is that homeschooling kids who have spent any time in public school is HARD. Now, I have no hard evidence that it is, in fact, more difficult than homeschooling a child who has never been to school, however. I was looking through Science curriculums (I know, normally I an against spending good money on curriculum, but like I said, we are reevaluating based on our experience so far and I think or decisions to add curriculum into certain aspects of our education plan have stemmed from the fact that my kids spent so many year in public school.
Because they did spend all that time in public school they feel they need some direction, a path to follow.
Which leads me to my problem…
My kids were looking through samples of workbooks for this new science program and they couldn’t tell me which level they thought would be best. There were things in the 3rd grade (though I didn’t use the term grade because, again, coming from public school, what grade they are in is still ingrained in their minds and my 12 year old son wouldn’t have been truthful with me about what book he felt would be best for him to begin with despite the fact I tell them repeatedly that there are no grade levels in homeschooling). Now, you might be asking yourself, why am I leaving this decision up to him? Why don’t I choose myself? Because I can’t.. Having shipped my kids off to the mainstream institution for the last 8 years, I had no idea what they already knew and at what level they were capable of understanding. Sad, isn’t it? What’s more, what I learned from my children last night, is that they did very little in the way of science in school
The conversation I had with my husband later that night started with me saying something along the lines of, “DAMN! Homeschooling kids who have been to public school is WAY more difficult than a kid who has never been to school” Now before you light the torches and get out the pitchforks I am by NO MEANS negating the struggles of those who homeschool right out of the gate, but think about it, when you homeschool from the start, you know every step of the way what your kids have been exposed to and what they do and don’t know. I know I shouldn’t dwell on the past but I can’t help but wonder how things might be different if we had pulled our son out of school in second grade, when we first started considering homeschool as an option. Would we have also chosen to homeschool our daughter after preschool instead of third grade?
I guess what this all boils down to is, my biggest regret? Not starting sooner! We waited so long and wasted so much time with the public school system that we new was failing our children. Fear kept us from doing, what we knew in our gut, to be the right thing. We have been homeschooling now, for 1 year and 1 week and we are just NOW beginning to find our groove. No dwelling on what could have/should have been! Onward into the future and our yet to be had adventures!