I started this journey with doubt and doubters. “You don’t have a degree to teach your kids, leave it to the professionals.” “Your kids will turn out weird.” “How are you going to socialize them?” “They are going to miss other kids.”
I am my kids biggest supporter and their biggest critic. I notice I’m sort of like my mom. I don’t mess around. I get told I’m too tough. But do you think teachers in school are soft? There are rules and if you break them, there are consequences. I’m not a drill sergeant, but I expect respect from my kids and I show them respect as well.
I may not have a Masters in teaching, but I am an expert on my children. I know my child cannot sit down for 20 minutes to sit and listen. He’s not rude, in fact he is the most respectful child that everyone that knows him knows. He just can’t sit. That was my problem in school. I tried and tried to focus, but my mind went blank and I would fidget. But that happened to me once I moved to the states, because before that, I was a high honor roll student. But in Puerto Rico, our education was based on projects, field trips and a lot of hands on experience, unlike here where you have to sit, read, memorize. We did a lot of lessons outside, we didn’t get worksheets, we copied things off a chalkboard.
As far as my boys go, the weirdest thing about them is how they talk about gross things. But from what I hear and see it is a family guy thing, my husband’s family that is. My dad is one serious son of a gun. They love superheros, Indians Jones, Pokémon, climbing, jumping, the ocean. The same things their cousins like.
As far as socializing, my big guy is the most outgoing kid I know. “Hi, want to play together?” He just jumps right in. He also carries conversations with adults very well. People that don’t particularly like children like him. My little guy will not however, talk to adults that he does not know or trust. I find that a good thing though, he’s only 3.
The boys are in Soccer, Gymnastics, Gym & Swim and Hockey. Next month, they’ll be trying basketball…we do field trips with other homeschoolers, and boy do we have a lot of family get-togethers with cousins. So they get socialized.
So far, my 5 year old is at a second grade reading level. Although he had trouble with the numbers11-19, he can count by tens, hundreds and thousands. He can read time. He asks questions about the world, and I find him the answers. We are learning Spanish and Sign Language. It’s not structured, but I follow his interests and he learns better that way.
Being pregnant, and with my crazy exhaustion, has made this quite challenging with all of the driving around, but I get to sleep in the mornings. That is life saving because I’m not a morning person and neither is my Big Guy.
Overall, in three months, my son has learned much more than he would in school. To the point that my sister in law purchased the same reading book I am using since her girls (twins age 5) are still learning sounds and 3 letter words even though they have gone to preschool, and had a summer tutor.
The doubt have left me, and there will always be doubters. But what keeps me going is seeing my children grow, learning at their own pace, exploring their interests and being a part of it. I can’t say it will be the right the decision for us in the future, but right now I am Thankful to have the privilege to be at home with my boys.