I never imagined I’d say this, but I’m homeschooling Henry this fall. Not only that…I’m actually excited about it.
I don’t know why I didn’t consider homeschool an option for so long; I think I’ve just not seen myself as one who would enjoy teaching my own children in a more structured way…until now. I also grew up in a time (or area, maybe?) when/where homeschooling had a negative stigma attached to it, and I didn’t like the idea of fitting into the unfavorable stereotype I’d built up in my mind.
Fast forward to this past spring, when I started thinking through the dynamics of our fall season, with twice-daily commutes to Henry’s school (20ish minutes away), baby arriving just after the start of the school year, and Henry out of the house for the majority of the day, Monday to Friday. There were pieces of our family puzzle that weren’t fitting together well, and these three realities were among them.
Making the choice to teach Henry at home for his kindergarten year was not one we took lightly. We spent weeks (months, actually) talking through possible options, and I talked with many friends who are in the midst of homeschooling themselves, looked through various curricula and materials, corresponded with Henry’s current school at the time, and prayed for clarity and peace over such a big decision.
It took a good while for me to arrive at that place of peace. Now that I’m there though, I feel like this is the exact right thing for Henry (and for all of us) as we look to the start of the school year again.
My approach to the idea of homeschooling was, at first, to panic a little inside about all of the options and how to choose the exact right plan and the exact right tools. How was I going to homeschool if I didn’t know where to begin? I’ve learned quickly though, that what works best in my case is to actually just begin, period—letting pieces fall into place more organically as we think about kindergarten, and considering what kids need most at the age of five and at this stage in Henry’s education.
I’m excited that his learning in the upcoming year will be focused on exploration, quality time spent in his areas of interest, and intentional focus on a few subjects that will prepare him for his academic years to come. I’m also thrilled that this direction allows us to preserve what feels like a more balanced pace as a family. As we all adjust to becoming a crew of five, and as we spend mornings learning together at home, I’m looking forward to days when the kids can learn together through play while still cozy in pajamas. I’m craving the times when we sit, curled up on the couch, diving into stories together for an hour or two. The idea truly brings me joy.
The thought of not shuffling a new baby in and out of the cold for daily drop offs and pick ups in the coming months is also a settling one. It feels right to be choosing our own pace at this juncture as we learn to navigate life and family in new ways.
There’s plenty more I could share about this journey for us, and I likely will as it unfolds. We’ve been able to build in some wonderful connection points for Henry already, and while our weeks will look different than a traditional kindergarten path, he will not lack for activities or stimulation or social interaction with peers on any level. He’ll even have Spanish in the mix, which was something I was really sad about missing in the transition from his immersion program. Things are falling into place.
I love that we’re able to blend the interests of our entire family together in this decision, and I’m eager to learn and to grow in my capacities as a mom, while adding the role of teacher more officially to my plate. More to come!
sharpening pencils for the annual bouquet,