Have you ever wondered if homeschooling might be a good option for your family? I certainly have.
We adopted our daughter from the foster care system, and the trauma she endured before us has left her with intense anxiety. This makes many aspects of school difficult for her. She becomes easily overwhelmed by the peer relationships, chaos, and conflict of a typical classroom.
I know she’d do much better in a smaller environment where she can retreat to a calm, quiet place if her anxiety gets high. Unfortunately, my husband and I both have to work fulltime to pay the bills, which makes homeschooling difficult.
However, my friend Colleen Payne, who is a teacher in Texas, proves working parents can still homeschool their children if they think outside of the box. Her daughter has special emotional and behavioral needs and despite trying a mix of different types of schools, both public and private, Colleen realized homeschool was the best move. Though she’s an educator herself, she needs the salary that teaching at a school provides and thus can’t stay home with her daughter during the day.
So she teamed up with another mom in the neighborhood. Her daughter does homeschooling at the neighbor’s house while Colleen is teaching at a local school.
She says, “Homeschool works because it allows the parent to tailor the education to the unique needs of the child. The pace of the work is dependent upon the child and allows for as much time as needed for review or the ability to move on quickly for skills that are quickly mastered. Homeschooling also allows children to follow deep interests while still ensuring a well-rounded education.”
There are many reasons parents decide to withdrawal their children from traditional school settings. My friend’s son was being bullied in middle school. Despite talking to the administration, it was causing him significant emotional distress. Because he is responsible and old enough to stay home alone, she was able to keep working. She gives him a list of assignments each week and they go over the work in the evenings.
One family I know follows the un-schooling model as they travel the country in an RV fulltime. Other families choose to teach their children at home so they can ensure their religious beliefs and values are a priority. Extra family time, convenience, and health issues are other common reasons for keeping kids at home.
Fortunately, my daughter has an IEP and a great team supporting her at school. She has written accommodations for her anxiety, which are working well at this point in time. However, if that becomes no longer the case, I know we’ll figure out a way to make homeschool work for us.
Have you considered homeschooling? What are your thoughts on it?