Making the Decision to Homeschool

One mom’s journey to homeschooling
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Our story begins like so many. We never thought we would be homeschoolers. Now, it’s difficult to imagine going back.  

“I’ll homeschool him next year if I have to,” I said to my husband when we realized a second year of forced masking our then kindergartner would be likely. When it became official, we became homeschoolers.  

Figuring out the laws around homeschooling, the lesson plans, the reactions, and of course, the curriculum, while slowly living the reality of our new freedom, was overwhelming. Slowly and surely, we got a grip. My son is a bright 7-year-old and I set as my primary goal making him a proficient and well-rounded reader.

Language arts is the heart and soul of our morning, but I haven’t been searching in the dark for resources. We use a guide called All About Reading, a mastery-based, multi-sensory curriculum that has proven to be fantastic. We also use Singapore Math, Lollipop Logic, and The Moffatt Girls writing units. Social media is rich in homeschooling influencers, groups, guides, and support, run mostly by veteran moms with sound advice and solid ideas. We haven’t explored co-ops or pods or micro-schools yet, but next year awaits!  

These are some of the biggest differences we see in our son after 8 months of homeschooling:  He’s engaged in his lessons and often identifies new ways to make learning fun and personalized for himself. In our classroom, timers, scoring, wagers, and rankings are all ways my son loves to learn and set goals. We implement this approach in everything we can! He tells me how much he understands a new and abstract concept by a rating system of his own creation. Discoveries like these have cracked open our world of learning.

The flexibility with and customization of subjects he has less confidence in has aided his growth. He paces himself. He can focus for longer periods of time on more difficult lessons when he has the freedom to take breaks and run around, eat a snack and shake it off, or use his room for privacy. Watching him take on responsibility and earn freedom he wouldn’t otherwise get has made a difference in his attitude toward responsibility in general.  

Our son has created a whole world with his toddler sister who weaves in and out of our school mornings as she wishes. Their relationship has flourished and their silly language and jokes and wrestling and fort building simply wouldn’t be possible if he was gone all day. We cherish their time together. 

We put a premium on our active 7-year-old’s ability to rest and sleep when he needs it; we value our unhurried mornings together, and we love and use the freedom to exercise and go outside throughout the day. We have grown rich in family time.  What a blessing!  

The ability to educate our children this way, our way, is something we do our best not to take for granted. Now, we look to the future in our home classroom with excitement. 

Anna Hurley Baronas
Anna Hurley Baronas is a new homeschooler and mother of two.