When I began my parenting journey, homeschooling was never in my plans. In fact, I would cringe at the thought of homeschooling. Homeschooling, I was certain, was not for me. As you can imagine, it was quite the surprise to others - and mostly myself! - that I have made the decision to homeschool my daughter for her last year of preschool beginning in September.
My daughter had attended two years at a co-op preschool up until this past May. We loved our co-op. My oldest son had attended the co-op, the co-op was small and intimate. The teachers knew all of our family of 5 by name and vice versa. The co-op was truly our extended family. We were crushed when the co-op closed it's doors to financial reasons at the end of the last school year. We were also totally thrown for a loop, as the decision to close was announced late in the year. Suddenly I was thrust into a panic of having to find a new school for my daughter, a task I had been able to avoid since my son enrolled in the co-op 4 years prior.
I spent the next couple of months searching and visiting area preschools only to continually be disappointed and unimpressed. Nothing in our price range measured up to our co-op, and all the pricier dream schools were too far of a trek anyway. I finally settled on an option that was in our town, minutes away from our home, and at the same price range as the co-op. I made the decision somewhat reluctantly. Many people had good things to say about the school, but something about it bugged me. It was dreary. It was lacked the life of the co-op. The kids even looked dreary. Other's dismissed my worries, but I couldn't shake the gut feeling that this was NOT our school. A second pending issue looming in the background, was the new changes to the vaccination mandates in New Jersey.
The decision to homeschool became more and more and option as I became more and more uncertain about the option we selected. However, the thought of home schooling was scary. In reality, it's "only" preschool, but the thought of being responsible for my child's education, even a small part, is terrifying. What if I didn't do a good enough job? What if I didn't have enough patience? What is my daughter was bored? What if I couldn't fulfill the social aspect with enough playdates? What if I didn't give her the tools she needed to learn to transition successfully to kindergarten? It was A LOT to consider, especially for someone who had never looked into homeschooling, much less had a desire to homeschool.
In an effort to figure out if homeschooling would be a route I wanted to take, I reached out to a few friends who had also homeschooled through the preschool years. Talking with these moms put a lot of my worries at ease. They made homeschooling sound feasible and manageable. I also talked with our old co-op teacher, and she reminded me that not only had I been helping out in the classroom for years, but my skills as a child and adolescent therapist and my knowledge of child development will not allow me to fail in making sure my daughter is mastering the skills she needs to know. As my confidence and comfort with the idea of homeschooling increased, I became more and more excited about the concept.
After a talk with my husband, I have officially decided to dip my toes into the world of homeschooling. I feel 100% satisfied with our decision, which was the type of gut satisfaction that I didn't feel from any of the schools we toured. I'm excited for our journey and excited to share it with all of you. I'd also love any feedback or resource shares from any of my readers who homeschool.