The biggest surprise of it was that you can be a frugal homeschool family. I think I paid more in our "free public education" each year than I will have paid out in homeschooling for a few years. Don't ever let costs discourage you. I promise, you'll be paying more money in public schools for yearbooks, class shirts, fundraisers, book fees, school pictures, book fairs, field trips, etc. I am already saving money and my kids are getting a better education!
Now, just because I said my kids are getting a better education does not mean I am bashing teachers! We had a few teachers take our decision personally. Forget the fact that some of them told me earlier (when I was subbing in the school system), "If I could homeschool my kids I would" or some of them talked about the department of education and how their hands were being tied more and more every year. They still took it personal when we made our decision. Tennessee ranks 47th in education and I think teachers would agree there is something wrong with how we are doing things!! I won't even go into the things that didn't make since with student's grades while I was subbing in the school system. Teachers, you know what I am talking about. We won't go there. I do have a lot of respect for teachers. They take the time to teach your kids! Its a task and they earn that respect. However, you'd be surprised at how many "ex-teachers" or "Principal's wives" are homeschooling their children. Maybe its because we were in the "system" and we saw things we weren't happy with??
Besides my rant on our low rating in Tennessee. There were so many benefits I couldn't ignore with my children. The simple fact is my oldest daughter is very smart and got really bored with school and rushed through her work because she wasn't challenged enough. It wasn't the teacher's fault. The teacher had 20 kids. But with teaching her at home, I can challenge her! We can move and skip over lessons that she already knows! It's great! And my youngest one can use the "one on one" time! Other than those great benefits, there are a ton more! For example, we get more time together! Before homeschooling, the school was getting my kids for 8 hours and then I would have them for 5 before they went to bed. Now, I get them all the time and I truly love it!Second, we get to go on vacation any time of the year and our vacations can be lessons! The list could go on and on...such as little things as not having to wake up so early. He he he!
Let's not forget the little comments that anti-homeschool people make. Its the issue with the "S-word." SOCIALIZATION! AGGGHHH! Everyone don't freak...but I have little social butterflies and I think they may actually be more social now than before with all age groups even! We could actually get too involved socially if we aren't careful. So far, we have joined a local homeschool organization and are actively involved in church. So don't you worry about their social life! We have park day every week and we just finished field day last week...not to mention their church outings we have had. It's just beginning!
Last, we are so thankful to have supportive family members who support us 100% in what we are doing. My mother has expressed so much how proud she is of watching me teach my girls. My dad has also! And my husband's mom is always looking for things I can use for "school".
The best thing about this journey is thinking outside the box. It's getting OUT OF THE TEXTBOOK. I know as a little child, anything in a science book or history book usually went in one ear and out the other. It's been great just learning things from everyday experiences and taking the time to come up with ways to learn it besides a textbook. The kids learn better and they surprise both my husband and I everyday! Here's to the year and many more to come!