Homeschooling VS Public Schooling

Hey Everyone!
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Today I am going to talk about my experience with home schooling. Most of you know that I no longer home school. I did it for a good solid 2 years, then I tapered off.  I started doing public school AND home school. I really think that's the way to go because you get the best of both worlds.
The public school in our area was very supportive of home schooling and pretty much agreed to let me bring my kids to school how ever often I wanted, which is the way it SHOULD be right? I mean, they are OUR children after all. So they would go to public school for part of the year when we were down in Southern Utah, St. George. Then the other half of the year in Salt Lake City, Northern Utah, I would home school them.
So every time we came back to Salt Lake, we would check them out of school and do home school for a couple months while we were up North. It was perfect!
This is the first year that I will be doing public school the entire year. We started school in St. George, and now we are in a public school in Salt Lake. They have adjusted just fine and so far it seems to be working out. They love the fact that they get to ride the bus now, You know, the important things.

Let me tell you why I chose to home school in the first place. Basically what happened was, Lily started Kindergarten. It was kind of a wake up call for me. I was like, “Oh my gosh, the time really IS going fast.” People always tell you to cherish those times with your kids because it goes by so quickly.  The fact that Lily would now be going to school every day really freaked me out.  I was worried I didn’t teach her enough or spend enough time with her.  I didn’t want to have any regrets.
During Lily's first month of kindergarten at public school, is when I started having those thoughts.  I started researching everything about home school.  One night I met up with a bunch of home schooling moms so that I could ask them all my questions. I decided right then and there that this was what I wanted. 

 She ended up getting sick like the next day which was just perfect timing. I jumped right into home schooling and I didn't even tell her we were officially homeschooling.  She never asked about when she was going back to school so I just went with it. 
We went on field trips, read lots of books, did crafts and art projects. Those are the things that I wanted to do together.  I felt best and most fulfilled about myself as a mother when I was home schooling. I was really giving it my all and I was proud of myself. It was a great year. We had so much fun family time with no distractions from friends.
Then the second year came along, it was equally as beautiful, if not, more so because I was preparing for a natural home birth, with Brooklyn, my third baby. It was so amazing that Lily got to be so much a part of that pregnancy. She went with me to all of my appointments, got to hear the baby’s heart beat and learn about the process of the baby growing inside me. Those times were moments that I will cherish forever. She got to be there when Brooklyn was born, and all day, everyday with her new born baby sister. I just loved it and felt so happy and content.

Towards the end of that school year is when I started to get overwhelmed. Brooklyn wasn’t sleeping so much during the day, and Oliver wasn’t napping anymore. The nap time is what gave Lily and I time to spend and focus on school work.
I ended up putting Lily in public school the last month of her first grade year, basically for me and for her because I wanted her to have these experiences. The end of the year is all fun and games so I wanted her to go on field trips and have "hat day" and "pajama day" and enjoy all the fun parties and games they do at the end of the school year. 
Then the third year came, I was like, “Okay…what am I going to do? I am really stressed.” Brooklyn was 18 months and that’s a busy time right? So I felt a little worried that I couldn’t handle it. I knew that I was capable of handling it, and I know many other moms do it with more kids and more babies. I just didn’t feel that I was up for the challenge. So I put her in public school for that third year but still home schooled her a few months of that year when we were up North. 
Then I got pregnant with my fourth baby, Owen, and life continued to get busier. I even quit blogging because I got too busy. I just felt that I was going to pull my hair out.  I didn't have time to do everything I needed and wanted to do.  I had to let some things go. So even though I totally believe in home schooling, and I love it.  I'm just at a point where I feel like maybe I’ll come back to it sometime, but for my own sanity, I have to be okay with putting them in public school.

So now I am taking it one year at a time. I pride myself in having leadership qualities, but to be completely real, I’m not always a leader. The natural side of me wants to fit in, I love being social and love being in social settings. Its just a big part of me I guess. For me to be the only one in the neighborhood (in Salt Lake and in St. George) home schooling, it was really tough on me. I wanted to fit in. I didn’t like the feeling I was having among my friends. They didn’t intentionally leave me out, but it just happens. 
I just always felt a little awkward talking about home schooling. I didn’t ever want to come across self-righteous, or that I thought I was better than anyone.   I believe that we as mothers know whats best for our children.

I feel that if more people were home schooling, it would be much easier for ME. I could see myself pushing through the chaotic part of home schooling if I had more people in my close neighborhood who were doing it as well.
I loved home schooling, and I love public school for all the reasons that I mentioned. I didn’t home school when I was growing up, so I had great memories of being in public school and elementary.  If anything, I would skip the junior high years, and hopefully I can talk Lily into home schooling for junior high. Those were not good years and I hope to protect her from of all the negative influences. 
Lily and I butt heads naturally. Kindergarten and first grade were great, but as she is getting older, it’s becoming more difficult. She is more willing to do her work for her teacher, but not so co-operative when I ask her to do. I don’t enjoy doing the school work, I want to do the fun stuff.  The creative art projects, and field trips. Time together was my motivation behind home schooling.  It wasn’t because I felt I could give my kids a better education, or because I wasn’t impressed with the teachers, or the classes or the school system. It had nothing to do with that. It was simply the fact that I wanted to make sure that I had that TIME with my kids while they are still young and actually WANT to be with me.
I can see myself home schooling Owen and Brooklyn when they get to that age. Because I love those beginning years of kindergarten and first grade, and its something that I can handle, education wise.  I mean, I was getting a little confused with the 3rd grade math, its really sad to say, but some of the stuff…I don’t know if I'm even qualified to teach.
I have definitely gained a lot more respect for teachers through this experience. It is kind of nice to hand that responsibility over to the public school so that I can focus on the fun stuff, like life lessons and spiritual growth. When it comes to math and grammar, that’s just not fun for me.

I didn’t even use a curriculum. Kindergarten  and first grade is pretty easy to figure out. You get a bunch of work books and do a lot of reading and writing.  It was stressful for me having that weight on my shoulders, trying to make sure that they are learning everything they need to know.

If I had to give anyone advice in going the home school route, I would see if you could do both?  I love home school AND public school for different reasons.

It’s hard to balance it all and I know we are just trying to be the best moms that we can be. Hopefully we will look back on this time without any regrets.


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