According to the frequent posts I’ve been seeing on Facebook, it’s almost time to register for kindergarten. The fear of this unknown territory can be overwhelming to a mother. I remember this time of year very well. Over ten years later, I’d never dream I would be writing a blog post about it.
It seems like a lifetime, but it was only a little over a decade ago that my daughter was in preschool. She had been attending preschool at our church three half-days a week. It was a great experience for her and myself. Her days at preschool were spent with plenty of play, art, Bible stories, learning, and a favorite among many preschoolers – snack time. My days were filled with trying to get all I could done in that small window of time!
With only two months remaining of her time at preschool, I started getting forms and flyers about kindergarten registration sent home in her backpack. I vividly remember the feelings I had as I looked over the enclosed paperwork. The thought about her being away at school five full days a week made me nervous. I remember thinking, “she’s too small to go to big school”. Little did I know that there were more options than just what was tucked in her little backpack.
This post contains an affiliate link. I was not compensated for my review. I can highly recommend you watch the linked documentary, and gain as much insight as I did.
The First Option – Public School
My husband and I both attended public school. Our friends went to public school, kids in our neighborhood go to a public school. It’s just the next thing you do when you’re five years old, right? It’s what your family, friends, and society expects you to do.
I have to say, this option really never was an option for our family. There were a couple of reasons why we dismissed the option of public school. Our Christian faith was not really one of them. Politics may have played a small part. Let’s just say some potential jury duty obligations played a factor. I had decided I seriously needed to think of “opting out” of government provided education. I also had been hearing that our school district was one of the worst in the county. As to what that even means, I still don’t know. Everyone I knew in our neighborhood had younger kids. With so many unknowns, I couldn’t just blindly send her somewhere I knew nothing about all day long. So, that option was quickly ruled out.
The Second Option – Private School
There was only one private school in our town at the time. I was aware that they were what some call legalistic and strict, but they also had a decent reputation for a solid, Christian-based education. One day while my kids were in preschool, I stopped in for a visit. I was treated warmly by the administrators. They showed me around the classrooms. Uniformed children were working quietly in workbooks at little desks. I also saw the playground area. It was a small clearing in the dirt, where it looks like games were played. I came home and thought about that non-existent playground, the uniforms, and little desks. The thought of me possibly having to get a part-time job to pay for the school also weighed on my mind. I wasn’t really satisfied, but it still beat out the option of public school.
The Third Option – Homeschool
This was certainly unfamiliar territory that I knew nothing about. If I didn’t know a of couple of families that homeschooled, I would have never known it was something legal, let alone an option. My husband and I were friends with one of the families. We were always amazed at how well-behaved, well-mannered, and normal their kids were! Soon, we invited the couple over for dinner, and most of our conversation centered around their experience homeschooling their three girls. I was intrigued by this lifestyle, and wanted to learn more. My husband and I asked many questions over the next few weeks. I looked at all the types of curricula that was available. Then we made a decision. We were going to try it for a year. In our state, you do not have to register as a school until the child is 7. What did we have to lose?
Let me say, or shout from the mountain top that this WAS THE BEST DECISION WE HAVE MADE! We have never, ever regretted it. Her first year of kindergarten here at home was so much fun! She learned to read, we took several field trips, made friends, played, learned and laughed. I never worried about her being bullied, being served junk food at lunch, getting head lice (and I know lice can be found more places that just school – I’m just saying), going through scary “hide from the shooter” drills, missing the bus, planning vacation around the school’s schedule, gender confusion, political agendas, and on, and on.
Homeschooling Is Easier Than You Think.
I do not hold a degree in education or teaching. In my life before children, I worked as a physical science tech in a water quality lab. I do consider myself a teacher, and so should you. If you have been the one teaching them to eat, talk, be potty trained, use a toothbrush, etc., you are a teacher too. There is no piece of paper that gives me any more or any less “credential” than anyone else. What qualifies me is my desire to train our children. I was not “called”, although I know I am equipped.
If socialization is holding you back, put that thought to rest. In our small town, there are opportunities to socialize almost every day of the week. We have to literally choose just a couple to participate in, or we would never be home! Financially, we have learned to live with less. Things I thought we would miss, we don’t. The relationship, time, and joy that we have gained with our children can never be replaced with material things we would have if I were working outside our home. I can honestly say, I don’t know why anyone would not choose homeschooling!
If you need more convincing to keep that little one home, I strongly suggest you watch the documentary entitled Indoctrination. You can find a blog post I wrote reviewing the movie here. I even encountered my first troll with that one! Here is what he had to say about being a teacher:
Try teaching 30 students when two have autism, half a dozen are ADHD, three have the intelligence of a mushroom, 10 don’t want to be there, two have to be fed on the hour like a house plant and the rest are so hungry for an education they cry. Meanwhile, the parents of all of them are separated from one another, using the kids as pawns in their little dramas and half of them are on drugs or in prison. The grand parents are raising the kids in lieu of the real parents. And then, you so-called Christians want to take your godly example away from the very place it is needed. Damn you all.”– Troll
All I can say to that is, “Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Troll.” I was only reviewing a documentary. It is not a wise idea to put your kids on a sinking ship to try and save it! My main purpose is to encourage you that there are options. Most people will not tell you that there are. There were no other options found in my little girl’s backpack. I’m glad I searched.