Monday, January 30, 2017

Five Years

This past Friday, January 27th, marked the five year anniversary of Amber's last day in parochial school. January 27th was also a Friday back in 2012, which made this year feel even more remarkable.

The last day of parochial school - Instead of showing her grade, she held up an "L" for "Last"!
In addition to being the anniversary of the day Amber ended her time in a formal school, it is also the anniversary of Amber's baptism (or her baptismal birthday).  I always thought it somewhat ironic that these two dates coincided, or perhaps ironic is too strong of a word. Maybe it is just an interesting fact which made it easier to remember the date.

At any rate, today - January 30th, marks the completion of five whole years of homeschooling and the first day of our sixth year.
(and 5 years of my blog - see the first post.)
First couple of weeks of homeschooli
And before you ask, we did indeed start officially homeschooling the Monday after withdrawing Amber from parochial school. Yes, I know many people emphasize the need to de-school your child.  We chose just the opposite. It had already felt like she was not getting anywhere in school that fourth grade year and the bullying made school such an unpleasant experience. Then considering it was January and she was fairly fresh off of an extended Christmas break, although she had been sick for most of it, we did not feel the need to take a school vacation.  We wanted to bring back Amber's inquisitive nature and foster a love of learning as soon as possible.

I still remember that first day her joy at waking up when school normally would have been starting, then being overly excited and grateful to begin her new life as a homeschooled child. Her relief was evident every single day of the first few months, which made me glad we went ahead with the mid-year switch instead of waiting for fifth grade. Actually, I don't even remember what made us think the situation would be tolerable for another whole semester. Perhaps we were just unsure of our decision to become homeschoolers.

Amber was excited to choose her own subjects, including Latin.
Although we began Amber's school lessons right off the bat on the morning of January 30th, we did not start up with every possible subject a fourth grader could have. Instead we deliberately choose to keep it simple the first couple of weeks as we decided which of her parochial school curricula to use and which to upgrade.  It was something of a quick decision to remove her from school and I only had school books for the curriculum her parochial school had been using. We eventually switched everything except math.

Still, Amber's enthusiasm for school and learning returned quickly and she has been an absolute pleasure to teach. Besides the positive effects homeschooling has had on Amber's attitude, we have been able to give her an education that is tailored to her learning style, her interests, and her needs without the negative situations that occurred in school.  Of course once Amber's EDS and dysautonomia became more pronounced, we were even more grateful to already be established as homeschoolers instead of struggling with chronic illness and school attendance.

A happy student and a very young Biscotti (9 months).
As fulfilling as an anniversary like today is, I am also a little sad in the realization we do not have another five years of homeschooling to look forward to. Amber is a 15 year old ninth grader now instead of the 10 year old fourth grader I began to teach.  In three and one half school years, if things go as planned, I'll graduate my only student and allow her to embark on another path of her choosing.

However, for today we are celebrating the successful and happy completion of five full years of homeschooling!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on 5 years of homeschooling! They grow up so fast. I am so thankful for the time I have had with my kids at home!