Roo just turned two, which is the age it seems most people start sending their kids to preschool.  With school starting either this week, or last week, depending on where you live, I thought now would be a good time to let you know about my newest adventure with Roo. I can’t imagine sending Roo off to preschool, not even for half a day, right now. But she is obviously ready to start learning. Like really learn. Preschool at this age, as I understand it, is to teach them their colors, numbers, and introduce them to the alphabet.  Roo can easily identify her basic colors, she can recognize most letters of the alphabet, and she can count up to four on her own. She is ready to learn more and bored with reviewing these. I’m worried she will be bored in a typical 2 year old preschool setting and start becoming a trouble maker! I’m not calling her gifted, yet. There are loads of 2 year olds more advanced than her, but most we’ve met stare at her like she’s an alien. She treats them like babies, since most of them talk like babies. So we are starting homeschooling her this year.

To give some background to this decision, my husband and I were both homeschooled. I from kinder through graduation, and he was in and out of private schools and home schooling. We’ve heard every stereotype and concern out there. Before even having Roo, we discussed homeschooling. Ultimately, we decided to leave it up to our child. I’m confident enough in my own education to educate Roo through preschool and elementary. After that, we can reevaluate. I plan to reevaluate again at middle school, junior high, and high school, whether she is in public school or continuing homeschool.

I felt like this was a different stance on homeschooling from what most parents have. The majority of fellow homeschoolers my husband and I knew growing up were not in public school majorly out of religious beliefs. The doctrine differences between Christianity and the public school system are so wildly different, that many parents feel the need to take back their children and shield them from the world and its views for as long as possible. What usually resulted was the stereotypical uber introverted kid that was socially awkward and later deals with anxiety and a multitude of other mental problems in their adulthood. To prove myself right, I asked a social media group to share their reasons for choosing to homeschool. I was so wrong!

I was so overwhelmed by comments that I have actually stopped reading the responses because there are just too many. There are several of the parents who claim God led them to the choice and their disproval of the public school system doctorine. But more than that were parents, some public school teachers themselves, that are disgusted with how our state schools are run. They have issues with curriculum, bullying being ignored from not just other students but teachers too, gifted children not being pushed enough, special needs children falling behind without the help they were promised, average kids being invisible…and on and on. These are stories I’ve heard from my older sisters who have school age children, but I pushed it off as “It’s just this area.” As I read the comments from all over the country, I see it’s everywhere.  But I won’t get on that pulpit, now right now anyway.

The other thing I realized from reading the comments is that I am not alone! Choosing homeschooling because I want to make sure Roo is being challenged enough and because I just can’t imagine half a day without her is not unheard of. Several commentors mentioned how much they hated the idea of handing their child, no matter the age, off to someone else to supervise and instruct for an entire day. When I was growing up as a homeschooler, I remember my mom defending the choice to everyone who decided to voice their opinion. I remember defending it myself to many peers. Breaking into the work force, my husband and I both had to defend the quality of our education and our social adeptness  to potential employers. I have been steeling myself, ready to defend my decision to homeschool Roo. Readying my answers to be down played.

It’s only through elementary.

She can always change her mind, we won’t force it.

I’ll make sure she has other activities to be social in.

But maybe things will be different for me and Roo than they were for my mom and me. Homeschooling is widely more accepted now than it was when I was in school. There are far more resources and support groups and a community surround the idea than there were when I was in school. The internet alone has come so far since then, you can send your kid to public school online! I’m really starting to get excited about this adventure with Roo, and I can’t wait to share what I learn with you. Keep checking back! Some week’s posts will feature lessons and activities Roo and I are doing at home for preschool.

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