As any homeschool mom will tell you, there are daily challenges – the baby is sick, the furnace went out, the middle child is dragging his feet through spelling, and the toddler is wrecking the living room. But sometimes there are bigger challenges which must be confronted before homeschooling can even start.
I was determined to homeschool, but my husband was dead set against it.
I currently homeschool my two older children. My daughter is seven and my son is five . Neither one have ever been to public school. That was almost not the case though.
When I was much younger and in school myself, homeschooling was only attempted by radical “crazy” people. My aunt pulled my cousins out of school and homeschooled them through graduation. I clearly remember thinking she was doing them a huge disservice and that they were going to be so messed up. Fast forward ten years. My very first sweet baby was approaching the age where most parents start to consider preschool. I was not ready for her to be away from me for any amount of time, so I kept putting it off. I started looking into homeschooling. The more research I did, the more it convinced me this was the right thing for my girl and our family. I kept that thought to myself for a long time. My husband felt about homeschooling exactly as I had ten years earlier and was not going to be easy to convince otherwise. He is a very open-minded man, but this was one area I knew he just would not see the positive side.
Finally, a few years had passed, I had done hours upon hours of research, and I was determined to homeschool my daughter who would be starting kindergarten in the fall. I brought it up to my husband and just like I thought, he was against it. He thought she needed to go to school to make friends and learn and be in a regular classroom environment. My daughter was, and still is, what many call “spirited.” I knew if she went to a traditional classroom she would get into trouble often and her unique qualities could very easily be stifled.
I was determined, but not only was my husband not on board, every other support person in my life thought I was crazy as well. Those people did not really have an impact on whether it happened or not, but they definitely had an impact on my confidence in this endeavor. I suppose I could have played the dictator and just said “this is what is going to happen,” but that is not how my marriage works nor how I want it to work.
At this point, homeschooling was non-negotiable for me, but I was the only one who felt that way. I had to find a way to convince my husband that this was what was best for our family. I approached him again and asked for a trial year. Our daughter would be a fairly new five year old when starting kindergarten and I knew that even if it did not work out, she would not miss too much. So I worded it that way – asking him if he would let us take a year to see how it goes. “She is so young that she will not miss out on much and if it does not work out, we can always enroll her in school.” Those were the exact words I remember saying to him. He grudgingly agreed to that one year.
Three and a half years later, we are still going strong. I can’t say that he is 100% on board even now, but he sees how much our children grow and thrive everyday and knows this is what is best for them at this time, and he 100% supports that. Will we always homeschool? I hope so, but if it is ever in any of my children’s best interests, we will put them in public school. So while I struggle with other challenges such as children crying because they hate reading or trying to do school while my four month old screams and my three year old climbs on everything, getting my husband to agree to try homeschooling was my biggest challenge. And it’s been worth every minute.