two roads diverged in a yellow wood...

IMG_2135 ...and I--I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

I'd be lying if I told you that our decision to homeschool wasn't one of the hardest decisions my husband and I have made.

It all started three years ago when my sister began telling me about the things she read as she, herself, began looking into homeschooling as an alternative to NYC public schools.

The more I heard, the more it all seemed to made sense to me.  I would share some things with Bobby who would quickly let me know there was no way we were going to have weird homeschooled children.  I began checking out books from the library to read for myself.  With time, Bobby caved a bit and would let me read from these books at night to him.  As we read together, we found ourselves stopping and discussing and wanting what homeschooling offered for our own children.

I remember the defining moment for me well.  Sitting on my bed with the fall breeze drifting in, reading The Well-Adjusted Child: the Social Benefits of Homeschooling, when it hit: all of my questions had been answered, issues resolved.  It was everything I wanted for my children, for their curiosity to lead them to learning and for them to love it.

For a while I held these feelings inside, secretly thrilled that some of the blogs I liked to follow like Soule Mama, Pioneer Woman, and others had something in common with little me: homeschooling.  These homeschooling moms have been my imaginary sources of strength for years as I prepared myself for the onslaught of disagreers.  And now, I can stand better on my own two feet as we begin this incredible journey together, trial and error along for the ride, finding the right approach for our family.

What I love about homeschooling:

  • The best part: the world can be my children's classroom.  They can learn math principles through baking, science through touching mother nature, and learning first hand through real life experiences.
  • The natural curiosity of a child can still be alive and growing into adolescence as we explore those things that interest them, instilling in them a life-long love of learning.
  • We can be heavily involved in our community to enjoy it, serve it, and make a real difference.
  • I can be a part of the beautiful process of childhood, discoveries, watching my child have an "aha" moment, and never missing a minute.

Life is new and yet, just like it has always been.  New friends, new experiences, and all within a hand's reach to Caroline.  Although my mind gets muddled sometimes standing on the other side of the "mainstream", it feels right to me.  And for Caroline?  She ran ahead of me at the local nature club, smiling as she passed me to join some girls in finding caterpillars to examine.

Ditto for her.

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The books that helped us greatly:

  1. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
  2. The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon
  3. How Children Fail (Classics in Child Development)
  4. How to Give Your Children a Real Education With or Without School
  5. The Well-Adjusted Child: the Social Benefits of Homeschooling
  6. The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher's Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling

the sleepy time gal