Adventures in Homeschooling
I’m going to start homeschooling my nine-year-old daughter, Rylee, and I’m slightly terrified. After all, I’m not a teacher, I’m starting out with 5th grade curriculum as opposed to say, the A-B-C’s. On the other hand, I’m teaching 5th grade and not advanced physics.
I’ve travelled down this road before. Well, to be more accurate I’ve peered down this road but turned away from it. The homeschool road is paved with fears. What about social interaction with other kids? Will she learn as much as she would in a “normal” school environment? Will I be able to stay on schedule? What do I do when she reaches a point where she isn’t interested in the chapter or refuses to do the work? How can I teach her if and when we butt heads? Will my other child be jealous (since he’s still going to “regular” school)? Will people judge me as being crazy? Will people judge my daughter?
Those are a lot of questions to ask before I can even begin on figuring out which text books to use.
A little background here: My daughter is sensitive, kind and smart. She skipped a grade. She’s been in public school for four years but it just hasn’t worked out.
Academically she was always at the top of her class, getting awards and high test scores, but socially it was rough from the start. She was constantly teased about being the youngest in the class and her personality was such that she struggled being assertive and standing up for herself.
This past year was a complete waste of time and I want the year back.
Her teacher was very good but, unfortunately she had a medical emergency that kept her from teaching for about three months. During that time Rylee had six different substitutes. Since the kids didn’t respect the subs, there was no control in the class and it was chaotic. Their academics fell behind.
One child in particular was a bully and no one could make him behave. He managed to get the other kids in the class to ostracize my daughter and made her life hell. She cried at least once a week and begged me to keep her home.
My husband and I met with substitutes, the vice principal and the principal too and nothing changed for more than a few days. We asked to meet with the child’s parents but were told that that wasn’t allowed due to their school policy.
I sent her to school as a bright and happy five-year-old. She was reading at age two, could count to 100 and do simple addition. She was curious and loved to learn. By the end of last year she was sobbing and telling me that she was “garbage” and “stupid” and that life at school would never get better. It broke my heart to see this beautiful child of mine devoid of hope.
I signed her up for lotteries at two different charter schools but she ended up towards the bottom of a very long waitlist. So, here I am, about to take a journey with my daughter down the uncharted territory known as homeschooling. We have committed to one (1) year and will re-evaluate after.
A part of me is confident that no matter what I decide to do for her education it will be the wrong choice and she will be in therapy for years to come. But the other part of me feels like this will be an adventure for both of us.
This blog will be my chance to record the ups and downs of this educational experiment. It is reminiscent of my other blog, ShesLosingIt.com. I started that blog four years ago when I was 50 lbs. overweight and in a desperate attempt to shake the weight entered a bodybuilding competition (bikini division) knowing absolutely NOTHING about the sport and dutifully documented everything online.
Not only did I lose the weight, I changed my entire lifestyle in the process and wrote a book about it called “She’s Losing It!” My blog gained a following, which led casting directors from FOX to contact me to audition for a reality TV show hosted by WWE star John Cena called “American Grit”.
Now, I’m not expecting this little blog to be anything more than my online diary of sorts, but I’m hoping to connect with other homeschoolers to make this endeavor as successful as possible. And since you’re about to read my diary, just know that I like to curse sometimes and my house gets messy. But I love my kids and I’m going to make this work. Cross your fingers that everything works out.
Oh God, what the hell am I doing?
P.S. – If you’re serious about getting healthy, but need help getting started, try my S.L.I. Method on my other website ShesLosingIt.com. Only YOU can do the work, but I can give you the tools that I’ve learned over the past four years about nutrition, exercise and overcoming excuses.
Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
ShesLosingIt.com (c) 2012-2016 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.