We Are Going to Homeschool

We are going to homeschool next year. There, I said it.

I’m sharing this post a friend wrote years ago and hopefully laying some groundwork because the unthinkable has happened. I am preparing to homeschool two of my children for 6th and 8th grade in the fall. Since I have talked about our unswerving public school advocacy openly in the past, I thought I would explain for those of you who may be curious. I’ve never wanted to up till now and it will have significant financial impact. So, not because I have to justify, but because I want to clarify our decision—even for myself.

1. This has nothing to do with redistricting, which does not impact us. In fact, since Jeremy is a UCPS employee, we have the new option to choose any school for our kids, so we could have done that if we had issue with a specific public school. We don’t. That is not why.
2. As a sub, I have spent a significant amount of time working with and alongside the teachers at the middle school my kids have and would have. They are excellent, hardworking, and devoted and are not the reason we are choosing homeschool.
3. Some of our reasons are specific to our particular kids and the way they learn and have absolutely nothing to do with casting dispersions on other choices for other people. (That’s kind of what the article talks about.)
4. Primarily, I disagree with the introduction of pervasive, continuous technology to students at age 11 for classroom and home use. Every student is issued a laptop that becomes the landscape for most of their education. This has had a tremendous impact on students, their peers, their classroom environments, and the implementation of curriculum. While there are advantages, I think the disadvantages in terms of educational value for my kids at this age outweigh the benefits.
5. My intention is to homeschool until I feel they can return to public school equipped with the maturity to really thrive in that screen saturated environment, probably high school.
6. More personally, I’ve never wanted to homeschool even though I have teaching experience, but as I’ve begun to think and pray about it, I’ve gotten really excited about getting to work with my curious and intelligent children in a personalized way. I feel like God changed my attitude and is leading me to pursue this.

7. With that said, there is great comfort in the knowledge that if it turns out to be terrible, we can’t afford it, or we just hate it, we can just change our minds—because if parenting isn’t an experiential journey of trial and error, I’ve been doing it all wrong.

8. Anika will stay at Waxhaw Elementary which is the best school in the world.

I’d love your encouragement and prayers, info about ways to stay socially engaged, and tips for newbies homeschooling middle schoolers on a budget.