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Have you read our virtual magazine?  It has some really great articles.  The theme is “Why Homeschooling is like a Cupcake“.  Below, is one of the articles from the magazine entitled, How Homeschooling Changed My Family, written by Cris C.

How Homeschooling Changed My Family

Back in 08’ when I was pregnant with my daughter, I started thinking about her future and education. I as well as my husband and step-son all attended/ attend public schools.  So when I came up with the idea of homeschooling our child, I could see the look of panic in my husband’s face. He looked at me like “why would I want to do that to myself?”  He refused to discuss it because well, I hadn’t had the baby yet and I was planning school.  I then picked up my phone and called my mom; she always has my side and makes me feel better. Although, on this day not so much.  I called with excitement in my voice, “Mom I’ve decided to homeschool!” (Insert the crickets on mom’s end) when she finally spoke she said, “YOU CAN’T! She’ll be one of those weird kids!”  I was in shock she would say something like that, considering she doesn’t even know anyone, who knows someone, who homeschools.

After the 2 people who are supposed to support me didn’t, I was (or felt) alone. I spent the rest of my pregnancy learning as much as I could about homeschooling. I read hundreds of blogs/sites, studied the laws, and searched for any tips I could find.  The one thing I noticed that kept popping up was SUPPORT and how IMPORTANT it is to have.

I had my daughter in May 08’ and my son came right behind in April 09’. Having kids so close in age, I felt like my daughter wasn’t getting enough 1 on 1 time.  Not only that but when you have multiple kids and no schedule, prepare for a day of fighting, whining and craziness.  At the age of 2, my daughter seemed gifted in a way. I know a lot of people feel that way about their kids but I was sure.  My life was so crazy with 2 kids under 2 so I decided to start a blog to document all of it. Soon after blogging I found a friend and she had a button on her site for “Tot School”. It was like hitting the jackpot for me so I read close to every tip and article on her site. We are blessed enough to have a larger home w/ an extra room so I started to set up shop (or class).

I became so obsessed; my husband had no choice but to support me. I think his opinion on homeschooling changed when he started to see how bright our daughter was/is. I had 1 room w/ pretty much nothing in it BUT we made it work. I started to post pictures on Facebook and noticed more family sending “educational” toys to us. Before I knew it my room was packed with no room to move. At that point I had no choice but to take over the living room. Yes, you read that right I took over the living room and shoved my husband and his TV in what was the dining room. During the 1st year of homeschooling my husband was the “money” side of school and my mom was still sketchy about it.

By the age of 3, my daughter was doing things a 5yr old could do. Her brother learns a different way but he was picking up things by watching us in class. I had a family event at my house and once my mom witnessed the dedication that was put into the classroom and the maturity and smarts of the kids, her attitude changed..completely. I would notice no matter where we were, SHE would tell the person cashing us out or checking us in, that I homeschool my kids.  She still tells EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE.

At the age of 4 and 5 I started a real Preschool and Kindergarten lesson plan for them.  Each morning we would meet in the classroom after our breakfast routine.  We started this September of 2012 and by the end of April 2013 the kids had graduated, meeting ALL requirements.  In Michigan we have an online program that uses Calvert. At the age of 4, my daughter was given a 1st grade placement test and PASSED. She turned 5 soon after and this year is enrolled through the state of MI as a 1st grader.  Chances are I will not use the same program when my son does 1st grade next year. Like I said earlier, he learns a different way and prefers that 1 on 1 time. My daughter loves computers and works great independently so online school will be good for her.

Three years after this journey began; I finally have a very large support system around me. My kids proved my mom wrong and didn’t turn out strange, my husband is a huge part of our homeschool and even buys us things on his own for school and I have a great friend who also homeschools now. Having a homeschool friend no matter how far away, is a great thing to have. I live in Metro Detroit and our HS friend lives in the FT. Worth TX area.  We text one another for advice daily and share all tips and tricks that help our kids. Our kids met once when they were around 2 so they don’t remember one another but my daughter knows her HS friend lives in TX.

I can honestly say that homeschooling has made my family closer. It has turned every trip, big/small into a learning experience. It has taught us to have one another’s backs and most of all never JUDGE something you know nothing about. My kids have a love for education and always want to know more and that alone, makes it all worth it.

Cris C. is a homeschool mom of 2, located in Metro Detroit.  Aside from homeschooling she is also a blogger at www.juskeepsmiling.com .

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