There are few things as scary as pulling your child out of public or private school and homeschooling her. Of course, for some families, homeschooling is a plan and a way of life before children even come into the home. For other families the homeschooling journey begins as a reaction to some outside stimulus. Regardless of how you come into homeschooling, it is still a pretty frightening thing to realize that you are now solely responsible for the education of that child.
When I began to homeschool, it was in response to issues that my daughter had with our local public school. I am not blaming the school, public school was a terrible fit for my child. I remember crying for a month before finalizing the decision to pull her from public school and make an attempt at homeschooling. The weight of that responsibility was tremendous. It wasn’t even an issue with my family, since my sister already homeschooled her children in another state and had paved the path that allowed homeschooling as a viable option within the family.
I went to the local school supply stores searching for assistance and reassurance. Unfortunately, those stores were mostly geared to providing educational materials to teachers of large classrooms full of children. I found very little assistance or support at those stores. Very few of the materials could even be sold individually, and the store personnel were certainly not advocates for homeschooling.
I next checked with the library for books on homeschooling. While I did find some books, the most helpful thing I found was a message on a bulletin board that mentioned a new homeschooling support group forming. I am not much of a “joiner” but I decided, for my sanity that I needed to meet these people.
When I contacted the indicated person for the group, I found that I was relieved to hear someone tell me that it would be alright. The lady I spoke with assured me that I was doing the right thing by pulling my child from public school. I met the families in the homeschooling group, and each time I spoke with any members of the group I found new information, a pat on the back, or a resource to check out.
My child found other children who could relate to the way she was educated and were available for field trips and park days at the same time she was. She found friends, and for her that was important.
While I did find a friend or two, what I really got out of being part of the homeschool support…