This is Part 1 of a homeschool series I will be writing in the next few weeks. It will cover how to homeschool cheaply or free, how to homeschool if you work, or like in my case a full time college student, and how to have time for a family life and a relationship with your spouse. I am a big proponent of always making sure, as much as possible, that the marriage unit is strong and the best way to do that is to foster and promote its health, at every opportunity.
Linking up with Heather over at Upsidedown Homeschooling and What works wed.....
My husband and I have been married for 8 years this year and in 2007 our little bundle of adventure and energy made her grand entrance into our lives. At the time I was working 3/4 time and taking graduate classes, having just been accepted into graduate school. I was only taking a class or two a semester, nothing big. But that is all another story.....
When Bear was 2 or maybe 2 1/2 we started looking around at preschools in the area. Nothing really struck me as what either of us wanted, especially for the cost, and a co-op preschool just wouldn't work. Flexibility is important to us, and if I (I suffer from chronic pain) couldn't play with preschool children in a classroom setting one day I did not want to be held accountable and have to find replacements etc. Some mornings I get up and it's all I can do to get us all dressed and laundry and dishes done. So a co-op was not for us.
I decided then that my dream of homeschooling could become a reality and while the hubs and I always discussed it, it was always in the hypothetical. It was about to become reality. I want to stress here how important it is that both parents be on board for homeschooling to be successful. Both parents MUST make this decision together.
I joined a couple groups and in one group with Bear being the oldest by more than a year we started a mini co-op like group that met once a week for mostly play. It was a wonderful group for us at the time. We stayed active in it until January of 2012. But by being the oldest, at some point it became apparent that Bear was significantly ahead of her little friends. It just stands to reason, she was so much older, and at that age, it really is telling. She would get frustrated and act out for days afterwards, so for us the healthy learning environment had to move on.
During this time a friend discovered that she was going to homeschool her daughters as well. I had met Carmen in 2008 through a playgroup and in 2010 she announced she was pulling her oldest out of kindergarten and homeschooling her. She then formed a group on Meet-Up.com and through her management that little group (I think I was the first or second member after her announcement *laugh*) has grown to include dozens of families that get together weekly, not in a co-op way, but with events. If you can make it, you sign up; if you can't, you don't. It offers the flexibility we need right now, while providing us with a great support group. In January we started spending more time with this group and it has been a blessing. Really, the whole thing I have been searching for. No egos getting in the way, no pushing one learning method over another. Yes, some have stronger personalities but the whole concept is, we are a group of friends that have chosen to be together. We accept each other for who we are, limitations and all.
Thank you Homeschool Meetup of Pierce and Thurston County!
Look for posts soon covering topics like:
- how to homeschool cheaply or free;
- how to homeschool and work or go to school;
- how to homeschool with pain;
- how to homeschool and still have a strong relationship with your spouse;
- and more.