From Homeschool to Homeroom

We’ve been a happy homeschool family for about 3 years now. We were lucky enough to start homeschooling pre-pandemic, so we had our legs underneath us when the world stopped. All of a sudden, parents were expected to school at home and I had an influx of friends asking “How the #%^* do you do this every day?!”

The short answer, we don’t. You see homeschooling and schooling at home are very different things. This is stated in homeschool groups all the time, and it is often taken as a superiority statement, but it’s not! Here’s why: when you homeschool you make the decisions. You choose curriculum, you have the teacher’s guide, you choose when & how often, you choose when to take breaks, when to review, and even when to skip pages! When you school at home, you’re following someone else’s schedule, you may or may not have the teacher’s guide, you’re still having to keep pace with other students, and breaks are still determined by a third party. There’s nothing wrong with schooling at home, and it still offers a lot more flexibility than traditional school.
Why did we choose to homeschool? People homeschool for a thousand different reasons, but these are why we chose homeschool:
  • Flexibility

    I’m not a super structured person, I love to take spontaneous trips. I hate early mornings. With homeschool, I could be in charge of all those things! Learning about the ocean, let’s go! Space study, let’s spend the night at NASA. We can take school with us on every vacation and not miss a beat!

  • Schools are built for the norm, not for the individual child

    And that’s great, if your kid fits the norm. But what if they have exceptionalities? What if they recite poetry most efficiently while balancing upside-down on a yoga ball? What if they remember multiplication facts more easily in the pool? What if cooking is a better fractions tool than manipulatives? What if dyslexia means going slower in reading but excelling in math? Again, homeschooling allowed us this advantage.

  • Family time

    Plain and simple, I love spending time with my people. I still love and enjoy girls’ nights & mom-cations. But overall, I’d like to be the one teaching my kids how to problem solve, how to handle hard things, all about sex Ed, and overall I just enjoy knowing what their strengths are and finding ways to expand that knowledge. My kids have a great bond, they’re truly best friends and I love watching those relationships grow!

  • It’s faster!

    A typical school day for us is 2-3 hours (4th, 1st, PreK). WHAT?! How do you school in 3 hours and my kid is in school for 7 hours?! Simply put? I’m only schooling 2.5 kids, not 31. My classroom is smaller, and attention is individualized. I don’t have to settle kids in from drop-off, lunch, recess, water fountain breaks, bathroom breaks, or even the changing of subjects. When school is individualized, things can move faster and smoother.

  • Socialization

    My kids get to visit people and places most don’t. They get to interact with peers of various ages because they’re not separated in classrooms by age. We have co-ops, field trips, and extracurriculars. I’d argue that my homeschool kids are more socially prepared to articulate needs with a variety of age groups than most.

And that’s just a few! But this post isn’t about why homeschooling is amazing, it’s why we chose a brick-and-mortar option for our eldest this year. Remember those exceptionalities we talked about earlier? Well, she’s got them! We’ve been on a long and arduous journey to discover what exactly it was. The difficulty & expense of that journey, that’s a blog for another time, because WHEW Chile! It’s not for the faint of heart. What you need to know about our journey is that dyslexia was our final landing point. Now I was armed with the what and I needed to transition to the how. How could I do what’s best for my kid? How can I best work with this exceptionality? More research:
  • the Mason’s have a dyslexia reading program
  • LSU Speech, Language, & Hearing has reading therapy if you can score a spot
  • the Chesney Center has one of the most sought-after reading SLPs around
  • OG curriculum like Barton or Logic of English
  • LA Key Academy – a charter school that only accepts students on the dyslexia spectrum

Ultimately, after lots of research and consultations with our professionals, we landed on a trial year at a school that focuses on Dyslexia and its specialized learning tools. We plan to use this year to arm the two of us with tools to better serve her needs. Was this decision wrought with tears & fears from both of us? Absolutely. Has it been the easiest transition? Absolutely not. It’s a lot of structure for some folks who haven’t *had* to be places for a long time. But we’re taking it a day at a time, learning new things, and reminding ourselves that just like curriculum, we can toss it and start fresh if we need to!

In the meantime, we’ve spent hundreds of dollars on uniforms (I’ve got lots of opinions on this). We’ve invested in school supplies. We’ve bought the clear backpack that is somehow supposed to save our kid’s life. We’ve jumped into insanely long school days, so much homework, and the after-school overstimulated meltdowns. But I’ve also been thanked by my kid because she’s already covered all the things they’re learning in math this year, most of science, and a good bit of social studies. “Mom, I thought I might be behind in some things, but I’m not!” The beauty of zooming ahead on subjects we didn’t struggle with! Here’s to improving our reading skills to that same benefit! Pray for us as we all adjust to the early mornings and overscheduling!

So whether you homeschool, regular school, or school at home the best part is knowing you’re doing what’s best for you and your kid! That may look like schooling on the go, IEPs, or even fighting for more recess time. In the meantime, go easy on yourself. You’re doing great, this is all really hard.

Trix started her life in Georgia after living in Myrtle Beach, Tahoe City, and Nashville, her (now) husband wrangled her into a life of Bayou living here in Baton Rouge. She’s the mother of six; a vivacious 9 year old, a curly haired 6 year old, their hurricane of a youngest 4 year old, and 3 sweet babes taken far too soon. She’s well versed in potty humor & innuendos while perfecting the art of sarcasm on the daily. When she’s not busy living the home school life, complete with yoga pants & coffee she is running her business Rane or Shine Designs.

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