I have avoided writing this post for long enough. It is time for some of the thoughts swirling around in my head to be put in writing and laid to rest!
Aliza is 5 years old and it is time for her to start kindergarten this fall. Jeremy and I have decided that the best fit for her and our family is to educate her at home.
Before I had children I never dreamed that I would consider home schooling. Jeremy and I started kicking around the idea when Aliza was 2. Over the years many dynamics have added to our decision to educate Aliza at home. Some of our reasons are more noble than others. The bottom line is that I am absolutely thrilled to give Aliza more time at home. I am thrilled to have her in my care and under our influence for the majority of her waking hours every day. I am also thrilled that my life is not yet going to be run by the school bell (that's one of those not-so-noble reasons!).
Yes, I'm thrilled and excited, on the other hand, I'm scared to death! I feel like I did at the end of my pregnancy with my first baby. I wanted that baby so bad and loved her to death already, but I was scared beyond belief. I had no idea what little personality she was going to have. I had no idea of the work load involved or how it would feel to lose sleep night after night. I also must remember that I had no idea of the depth of love I would have for her and how wonderfully rewarding motherhood is. Translate that into homeschooling and that's how I feel.
One thing that was initially important to me was to get connected with a group of other homeschooling Moms that could provide wisdom and support along the way. I met a Mom of four children who homeschools several years ago on a random trip to Barnes and Noble. We exchanged information and she has been very helpful and willing to answer all my questions. She told me about 3 umbrella groups in our area, all of which I tried to become a part of! One is full and the other two require church membership at their church to be a part of them. I admit I did develop a bit of a rejection complex for a few days. I'm over it though. There is a huge amount of freedom in homeschooling and I'm beginning to realize that it is more about your child learning in the safety and security of a loving family than about doing school the "right" way.
I have wonderful family and friends who will support and encourage me and Aliza along the way. I also have a husband who is looking for ways to be tangibly involved in school. It has truly amazed me what a positive response I have had from people of all walks of life when they find out Aliza will be home schooled.
I will be receiving Aliza's kindergarten curriculum in a few weeks. I've already reserved my spot in my parent's living room the night the boxes arrive so that I can look through all the books and DVDs in peace! Tonight I received a sequence of lessons by email and just looking at the topics for each day made me feel excited.
I'm passionate. I'm excited. I've got a little girl who is academically and developmentally ready for kindergarten. I don't think it is possible for us to fail!