I might be homeschooling. OMG.

Let’s pause and take a good look at that title for a moment.

Ok. Ok. Breath, me.

Having a child who doesn’t fit conventional schooling has always had me think about homeschooling.  It’s easy to over analyze early education years into regrets.  It’s not that he didn’t learn in those years but right at the point in which his brain process was wide with creative thoughts, I sent him to a place that supports thoughts within boundaries.

With a few exceptions, we had a handful of pretty good years until this year.

Along with the rest of the country, our district is adjusting curriculum to meet common core standards. I am actually in support of the standards, so this is not me against common core.  What this is about is how my district has changed curriculum and how those changes have been implemented.

Within the 1st month of school my son started complaining about language arts. To make sure it wasn’t just teenage crazy going on, I had him write me a paper with his thoughts on it.  Next, I went to a presentation on how the new language arts curriculum was being implemented. I sat with an open mind but the thing that struck me overall was the BOXED in feeling of it. I can’t explain exactly what I was picking up on but I asked a question about “the creative child” and was assured that this new curriculum was a great fit for all children.

Every day he came home with a criticism of the curriculum. He would pick it apart and would talk to me in exhaustion on how this should be that way, or x, or y, or z or omygoshigetitkid.

My son is also gifted in persistent point making.

So we talked with the teacher at parent teacher conferences about his concerns.

Then we had a meeting with the school curriculum assistant and his teacher.

When neither of those seemed to work, we explored getting him into the district gifted program, but I refuse to play the game, and that’s a different tangent.

Illinois gets a lot of things wrong about education, but not homeschooling. I don’t know how that group has done it but Illinois is a really friendly homeschooling state. We can even part time homeschool subjects with them going to school for the rest.

So that’s where I’m at.  The school has been notified; I have looked into curriculums and have even found one that I think is perfect for him. That’s what this is about anyways.  Him, his needs, and not being blinded into believing that education is a one size fits all approach. Because it’s not.


10 thoughts on “I might be homeschooling. OMG.

  1. We are so lucky that our district has an amazing elementary gifted program but not sure what middle and high school will hold for us. Good on you on making the decision based on his needs!

  2. Happy to hear you are honoring your son’s needs with this decision. I feel this type of decision is going to be echoed by more and more. So many articles of late about micro schooling and yes, unschooling and the incredible efficiency of homeschooling. My prediction – grade skipping will be next, you’ll have him working years ahead in the curriculum. Most importantly, Your decisions sounds perfect for you and your family. Keep us all posted! PS – you may enjoy “science behind the genius” – book and documentary “race to nowhere”

  3. The bottom line is that our district, despite claims of wanting to differentiate or engage, does not. Or, if they do, they do not do so in a way that will challenge and invigorate my son. I feel like he is betwixt and between and left behind. Kudos to you for taking on the challenge that our system has not.

  4. A few thoughts, Jenn, to ponder. Are you prepared to devote many hours every school day to prepare for, facilitate, assess, and inspire your son? Do you have the discipline to do that day in and day out? You become the teacher, the expert in subject matter, the principal, bus driver, and the school secretary when you take on home schooling. Otherwise, it is unschooling. Do you and your son enjoy one another’s exclusive company? How will the others in your family feel about your time together? How will you arrange to address the social, emotional, physical, and musical needs of a teenager? Evening and weekend activities will become important and require plenty from parents. Does your son enjoy joining new groups? Have you explored other private and nontraditional schools as an alternative or a supplement?

    You might also reflect on the purpose of educational institutions. For example, I earned more at MSU than a diploma. Many classes were terrible, some I failed, some have never been of benefit to my career, but being part of a community of 75,000 students shaped my personal development in profound ways.

    Best wishes in making your decision.

    • Although those are all good points, I don’t believe all of those apply to my specific situation. In Illinois you can part time home school, so that is what I’m talking about. I can bring him home for 1 subject matter (and yes, that is a hassle I recognize) an then return him for all the social, physical, musical, other subject matters. I’m not going total granola here. Thank you for your thoughts.

  5. As an educator, it makes me sad and infuriated when this happens. Common Core really is written in a way to make students think and be creative and then it gets all bogged down with testing and political BS.
    I want to be a supported of public education. But I also believe it is becoming less and less relevant because it won’t change from teaching material and knowledge to teaching thinking and creative skills.

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