A photo from our first week homeschooling in August 2020 during the covid lockdown.
choosing the better thing: Homeschooling
October 8th, 2022
We are homeschooling again! This time around, Hope is my only student. My oldest is enjoying public middle school and will remain. My preference would be to homeschool all my kids at the same time. It would open us up to travel anytime and anywhere we like instead of having to follow the schedule set by the schools.
The decision to homeschool Hope again was made very last minute. Hope has been asking to homeschool since the summer. She had no trouble being in our zoned public elementary school. It's a great school. In fact, it's ranked top elementary school in our county and our county is HUGE. She was well liked by school staff and her peers but she felt bored, couldn't stand the constant need to wait around for other kids to finish their work and having to follow the many rules of a regular school. The worse is having to wake up at 6:30am every morning to get ready because she needs to be in class by 7:40am. For lack of a better word, she felt like she was in jail.
The skills and knowledge she gained from the one year of homeschooling during the lockdown of 2020 had her advance for her grade level. By age, she should be in first grade but academically was a second grader. Despite requesting it, our zoned public elementary school's administration wouldn't place her based on her academic level but arbitrary age cutoff. We decided to have her in the school and take the wait and see approach. The school ranked as great academically, has an amazing PTA and Hope was thriving socially in it. We felt that it will help her build confidence being on the top end academically in her class . Our hope was that the school work will get more challenging as the year progressed. It didn't. Hope grew very little academically during the whole 2021-2022 academic calendar. We know based on the beginning and end of year assessment reports done by the school itself.
We were not happy. I thought to myself, "Now she really is at the grade level the public school system wants a child her age to be". I felt regretful but still hopeful that second grade in the public school system will get better. My mind was set that if I am to homeschool again, it will be for all my kids and not just one. My husband and I wanted to wait and see how our older son would do in his new middle school since he had such a miserable time in elementary school. We thought that he would hate it like too and ask to homeschool again. To our surprise, he ended up enjoying his new middle school and Hope, who had a great time in the same elementary school her brother hated, kept insisting for months that we pull her out to be homeschooled. It was surprising how strongly she pushed for it because she is the easy going, go with the flow that everyone likes girl. Still unsure, I told her to pray to God about it.
Many good homeschooling coops by us started in August so I thought to wait till January to start homeschooling. It will also give me time to prepare. Truth is, I did not want to let go of my personal free time but thats to be rambled on for another post. Anyhow, God heard Hope's prayers. Literally the day after me telling her to pray about it, I find out there was a scheduled tour of the facility of the homeschooling coop I had my mind on. It was for new students attending the Spring semester. I went to check it out, liked it and the director was able to open up a spot for Hope right away despite it already being full! that whole process took 3 days and the next thing I know, I was withdrawing her from public school. She gets assessed by the homeschool coop for correct grade placement and we were very sure she was still early second grade level. To our surprise, Hope is found to be academically in the 3rd grade level. There was the option to place her in the 2nd/3rd grade group or 3rd/4th grade group. I decided that she be with the 3rd/4th grade group of students. I was excited for us! A sweet homeschooling mom I met during the lockdown also generously helped me with resources and activities which we'll start next week. The open doors and support that just came in a matter of just 3 days was quite miraculous.
I am still catching my breath at the quick changes that was thrown our way! Its amazing how beautifully everything fell in place. My husband and I felt proud that our daughter pushed so hard for something better and experienced that God does hears her prayers and cares for her desires. I strongly believe that it's because it aligned with His will for my daughter to be homeschooled.