Call me narcissist if you must but this blog is all about ME. I have another blog about my kids, whom I love and adore writing about. But I was Nicole a long time before I was mom and I don't intend to give up being Nicole overnight.

You can read all about my kids at Naptime Optional.
Or you can follow along on our Arizona adventure on my 365 project blog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

and the truth shall set you free

I've been keeping a secret. Mostly because when I mentioned it to some people just in passing the response was not positive. And as much as I pretend I don't care what other people think, sometimes I do. I want to be liked. I want to be accepted. Don't we all?

But this secret has become such a big part of my everyday life that it's becoming impossible to talk to people without letting it slip. And frankly it's becoming wearisome to try to have a normal conversation all the while thinking about not telling my secret.

So, I'm telling. And you can think I'm certifiably insane or you can think I'm the coolest mom ever or you can think I'm something right in between. The point is, I don't really care. This is my new reality and what you think doesn't change that.

I am home schooling my 1st grader.

There, I said it.

It was an agonizing decision. I cried. A lot. I have so many family members and friends who teachers. Let me rephrase that-who are GREAT teachers. People I love who have given years of service to public education. I, at times, felt like a traitor in their midst.

And to be fair I actually REALLY loved my son's teacher. My choice to bring him home was all the more difficult because I loved her and thought she was amazing was trying her very best to teach a classroom full of 6 and 7 year olds.

But that's just the problem. She had a classroom FULL. 27 to be exact. A handful of which are reading on a 2nd or 3rd grade reading level. And a larger group that barely knew their alphabet. I know because I volunteered each week reading with the students in the class.

And how can a single teacher give each individual student what they need when she has so many all on such different learning levels? She can't. But not for lack of trying. Because she is trying!

I did my best to work in the system. I volunteered more often, and talked to other parents trying to get them to volunteer more often as well. But that meant continually finding a babysitter for my 2 kids still at home. And most the other moms of kids in his class work so volunteering is not an option. I tried to get him moved to a different class. I read a stack of books that focused on helping boys succeeded in school. I asked for extra work to do with him at home, but after being as school for 7 hours the last thing he wanted to do was more work at home.

And in the end I realized that our kids aren't all cookies cut out of the same cookie cutter mold. They don't all learn the same. And my son wasn't thriving in the classroom environment that he was in.

I admit that this isn't the right choice for everybody. Like I said, kids aren't all cut out of the same mold. It just happened to be the choice that worked for us for now.

I'm also not sure if this is a long term solution. Right now I'm looking into lots of options. We've only been at it for 3 weeks and still trying to figure out a routine that works for us so it's too early to tell. But for now, it's what we're going with.

growing up


HeidiPie said...

Congrats! I was wondering if you were going to make the leap. We're thinking the same thing for Allie next year...maybe...still thinking on it. It's always on our minds.

Liss said...

i still think you are VERY brave. and don't hesitate to email/call/or whatever. i'll help wherever i can!

Allison said...

You're the mom and you would know what is best for your kids, so don't worry about what anybody thinks (easier said than done, I know). I'm having the same concerns about Caitlyn's education, I'm not sure what the answer is for her.

orangemily said...

It's a hard thing to do because it requires a huge time commitment on your part, but you have to do what you feel is best.
I hope things go well, he is such a smart kid!

Emilee said...

i think every mom goes through that. you have to do what works for you and your family, so good for you doing what you think is best. i was all stressed about your secret till i read what is was. :D

katie said...

Good for you!! Psh to the negativity, forget about them. You do what is right for your child and your family! That is all that matters! It makes you a great mom!

Kevin said...

This could be a very good decision. I have no problem with homeschooling. I feel that kids should do whatever schooling method is best for them individually, whether that is home school, public school, charter school or private school. All I ask is that you spend some time improving your skills as well since you will be his teacher. I counted several spelling and grammar mistakes in your post, and it wouldn't be fair for you to pass those poor writing skills on to your son. Good luck. It will be a lot of hard work but most likely very rewarding for your whole family.

Michael said...

Kevin, I think you are out of line. Insulting her skills and abilities on the basis of something as informal as a personal blog post is rude.

Nicole has chosen not to proofread her own writing. Consequently, a few grammatical and spelling mistakes exist. It happens to the best of authors. Her reasons for not proofreading are her own, as this is her personal blog. You completely overlooked her superior ability to captivate the reader. Her message always expresses thoughts and emotions most dream of articulating. Is that not the point of communication? So, you question her ability to homeschool her child on minor grammatical mistakes? From sentence formation alone you can tell that she is well educated.

Her abilities to homeschool is not yours to judge. She has chosen to devote her life to the most important thing one can do with their life, that is to teach. She approached it with careful consideration, great debate, and inspiration from God. Then you come as an outsider with no stewardship and insult her abilities. I'm just appalled.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

These education decisions are tough to make. I am sure you're doing a great job. Teachers sure do have a big responsibility to teach so many kids at different levels of strengths and weaknesses, and in some places like where I live, you throw in standardized tests where teachers "teach to the test" until the middle of February, and you can easily see how some kids would get lost. Or just not thrive. I have volunteered in a classroom, too, and one of the things I noticed is that if you're a quiet kid who does what you're supposed to do, you get basically zero attention. It's the slower ones, or the loud ones, or the leader-type ones who get the teacher's attention.

Your boy is sooo cute!

Emilee said...

what! who is kevin? can i poke him in the back? really, i make so many mistakes when i type and blog and you know what, i have so much time on my hands i sit there and send each blog post to my father-in-law the english dean to edit after going over it myself. oh wait, no, i am rushing to get things posted. a blog post is not a good representation of our english and writing skills as mothers. try a college english paper of mine. (and yes, kevin, i got A's! and i know nicole did too!)