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Day 18 - Home School

Let's talk about a heated subject - home school. Many of you know I home school my kids. It has been two years now. Home schooling my kids is the hardest most bitter sweet gift. Not a day goes by where I can say I love it but I can say that it is rewarding and gifting for both me and them.

We are registered with a home school program called Selfdesign. Based in the lower mainland, Selfdesign serves kids all over the province. A learning consultant touches base with us weekly. I report observations for learning and pictures and highlights weekly. We are provided some funding to help with costs. We create a learning plan and have opportunities throughout the year to amend it. The learning plan is based on what Callie and I would like to see throughout the school year. This year she has chosen to study museums, maps, Egypt, Castles & Knights, special occasions, and science experiments. I fit into her requests all the science, social studies, personal development, math, art, exercise, reading, and writing I can.

My daughter has learning disabilities. She suffers from ADHD, a learning disability in reading and auditory processing disorder. She and I both feel like home school is the right fit for her right now. And self design is the school that works best for us. They have been supportive through diagnosis. They have provided specialized tutoring funds and the opportunity to work with occupational therapists.

The good and the bad of Selfdesign? Well like its name says we have to Selfdesign. We aren't given math sheets and reading assignments. I have to come up with all that. The anxiety of it all rests on my shoulders. Every night I stay up late putting together what we will do the next day. And I have to fit all this in along with Callie's extracurricular activities that take us away from the house. From the end of August until the end of April, I operate as both teacher and parent.

I know I chose to home school but that doesn't make it any easier. It is hard. But maybe it is only so hard because I have too many expectations and something to prove. There are too many naysayers watching. I don't want to fail my kids. I feel the need to give them everything I can. So I order books/movies/audio books on inter-library loan, I make weekly trips to the library, I hunt down online activities, print worksheets, photocopy curriculum books, find coloring pages, gather supplies. I order them school supplies and work books.

We read. We do art. We get daily exercise. We cook and bake. We do math. We garden. We grow. We craft. We experiment. We play games. We study. We do puzzles. We write. We color. We skate. We ski. We swim. We go to museums. We raise animals. We play. We create. We build. We watch learning videos.

Do I do enough? Do they learn enough? Do they get enough socialization? Are they missing out? Is home schooling better? Is it worse? Is it too much or too little? Do others understand? Does it matter? Do I stress to much? For sure I do. My anxiety runs high. I can't help it. I feel like the world is riding on my shoulders sometimes.

Then I remember, I am doing it for my kids. I am doing it so that they can learn where they are most comfortable and so that they can be free to study what they want. I do it so they can spend lots of time outdoors and have the time to do the extracurricular activities they choose to do. I do it so they will learn to love to learn.