Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home Schooling My Crew

William home schooling with his dog on his lap years ago.

I first started home schooling in 1995.  My son Stephen was struggling in a canned public school environment.   He was a high energy hard to handle kid. He was creative and had trouble sitting still.  He had no respect for authority other than me and my mom.  He was also extremely smart.  By the time he was starting 4th grade, I had moved him to a different school every year trying to give him a fresh start.  
By the end of every school year the school was pressuring me to put him on Ritalin.  I was not going to do that.  He was totally fine in our home environment.  I was not going to drug him for their benefit.  So I prayed and prayed about what to do and pulled him from public school half way thru his 4th grade year. 
Oh how I prayed.  I felt so inadequate to teach.  I had just had a new baby born (William).  I had a lot of people try to discourage me.  So, I learned all I could about home schooling and what programs were available.  I joined a home school group and I talked to a lot of people that were home schooling and saw the different ways and styles different moms had in teaching their kids.   Since I was starting half way thru the school year, I found I was at a disadvantage to buy curriculum.  So I scouted around and found some used books from different sets and pieced Stephen together a full rounded set of courses to teach him from.  I prepared my lesson plans for the week and handed him his stack of school books.  I told him to flip thru each book and kinda get familiar with them, that we would be starting schooling the next day. 

Bright and early the next morning Stephen came skipping out of his room for breakfast clutching his history book to his chest and set it down on the table.  He said “do you have any more books like this one?  It was great, I really enjoyed it!”   I said, “you read that whole book last night?”  He said he had and how great it was, did I have any more books like that one.  I told him that book was supposed to last the rest of the school year.  I went through it chapter by chapter asking him all the “follow up” questions and he got them right. 
We did a lot of hands on fun like shooting rockets with my dad!
We took a lot of trips trying to incorporate educational learning in all we did.

Right then, I learned something very important that saved me some frustration later on I am sure.  That is…….Every child learns differently and needs their curriculum tailored to them and the way they learn best. 
For Stephen, home schooling was easy on my part.  He loved to read.  He could just sit down with a history or science book and not be able to put it down.  He remembered easily all he read.  I just threw information at him in interesting book form and he devoured it.  I did a lot of verbal testing.  It saved paper and time.  He loathed taking tests.  They were boring.  As long as he learned and knew the information I was satisfied. 
Stephen with his first vehicle.
When Stephen was 16 I took him in to take his SAT test.  I did it as a practice session for him.  I was thinking he could retake it and raise his score later.  He asked me if he got a very high score could he graduate and start college.  He was pretty much finished with all his learning at that point.  He had done everything I could find to educate him for every grade level.  At that point I was just keeping him busy with more and more educational senior, high school learning materials that I could find used from people.   So he took the test and got a very good score.  I took him to a local college to take his GED and the school called me and said he had gotten such a high score could he walk in their graduation ceremony and wear a gold cord for such a good score.  As if he had graduated from public school he would have had that honor.  
 So we let him.  And at 16 he went on to college.  The rest is history. Several years of college and a good job.  Praise God!

God is so good to me.  He really led us thru the whole experience and guided me.  I prayed all the time about what to do and He opened my eyes and showed me the best way to educate Stephen.  I truly believe he would have flunked out of public school.  Not because of his intelligence but because of his lack of being able to conform to the current system in place.

I am not saying that home schooling was always sunshine and happiness with Stephen.  But over all we had a very good time and all went very well. 

With such a good home schooling experience, I realized I wanted to home school every child God blessed us with.  I loved being with Stephen every day all day long and being in control of what and how he learned.  I enjoy being with my children, being their mom and spending time with them.  I like educating them.  Educating ones child builds a special bond between ones self and them.  It also builds a very special bond with them and their siblings. 

What I was not ready for and took me by surprise was how much more of a challenge it would be to teach and educate a child with special needs.  Add on top of that many children, all with different special needs, all at different levels……at the same time....To be continued……….


  1. I do believe Jesus caused our paths to cross. This is something I REALLY want to do but it intimidates me like you don't even know. Reading your post stirred me up on the inside (like when I hear a good sermon) makes me want to jump up and down and do flips. Thank you for this post! btw you son is amazingly smart.

    thank you!!!!!!

    1. Thank you so much Cindie for your encouraging and uplifting comment! It really blessed me. I am so glad I have met you as well. Love your encouraging scripture verses. Food for my soul just what I need when I need it. May God equip you to do all He has called you to do in home schooling and all you do! Blessings!