It all started in 2003 when I married my dear husband who had two boys. He had reared them for the past few years with the help of his mother while he worked. She passed away in 2001, so it was up to him to do that by himself.
The boys were typical boys – they loved everything outdoors and did not like sitting still for long.
They went to a small school, but were making poor grades. They just hurried through their assignments so they could be done with them, but they were not learning the material. When children bring home C's and D's from school and they have a class of 10 or less children they are simply not doing their school work.
At this time, the school had a no homework policy. Everything was done in school, so a parent had no idea how the children were doing until report cards came out unless they checked up on the students. I wound up doing the latter. I required DS2, we'll call him “Lucky Charms,” to bring home his history and science each day so we could review the material and ensure he comprehended it. I could not get the math teacher to send home assignments to practice and review. The English teacher was another story.
In doing this, his grades got much better – from a C to an A in science. We would stay up from the time he got home until 8:00 pm each night going over homework. When I was blessed with extra consulting work that meant I was not home right when school let out, he conveniently forgot each night to bring home his books. His grades plummeted. Strike 1.
He's a cutie. He has these blue eyes that can beg better than any little puppy ever thought about. One weekend, he begged to go to a wrestling match with a friend. Where is your report card? “They didn't hand them out,” said he on Wednesday. “I forgot it at school,” said he on Thursday. On Friday, he brought me a report card, from the previous six weeks. Did I mention he's cute and could beg well? So, against my better judgment, I let him go. I went to the school Monday to get his report card and discovered why the excuses came. I also learned that he had informed his science teacher that he would not be able to study for Monday's science test over the weekend because he was going to be at a friend's house. (This is before I gave him permission, but do you think he felt he had me wrapped around his little finger? Yep.) Boy, oh, boy, was he in trouble after that one. Strike 2.
Strike 3 came when we studied history and the end of chapter assignment told him to “summarize” a section. In 7th grade, he did not know what the word “summarize” meant. That was ridiculous.
When I took into account that he was not learning his math well, we were working together until 8:00 pm each night, and I could not work outside the home on any significant project because he simply did not have the self-discipline and foresight to recognize what he was doing to himself and his future, we decided to homeschool.
It was not easy, but he learned a great deal from that. We both did.
DD2, Pumpkin, was not quite one when we began homeschooling. She was blessed with getting to grow really close to her older brother during this time. We read a great deal together. By age three, she was helping me mix ingredients in the kitchen and help wash dishes. She also began reading by that age. At age 9, she is a voracious reader and reads large chapter books on her own.
DD3, Sweet Pea, is also home schooled and began reading at age 4. For the younger two children, they are able to work more on things they enjoy and take the time they need to master more difficult items. For example, handwriting was a huge challenge for Pumpkin because she was so ambidextrous. After watching each boy write with the hand that he did nothing else with, one right and the other left, I gave her the time to get comfortable. She has some of the most beautiful cursive penmanship I have seen in many years, particularly for a young person.
In addition to these reasons, we are able to focus on the love of God through Jesus Christ and teach Biblical lessons and values.
These reasons and more are why our family chose to homeschool and continue to do so.