IMG_2198 Copyright 2016 Courtney Vallejo. All rights reserved.

My husband and I have made what is apparently still a countercultural decision; we've decided to homeschool. I have had a variety of interesting conversations with parents recently when they find out about our decision. The most interesting, I think, is when they tell me there is no way they could homeschool. It's interesting to me, because in each time I hear this I stop and ask myself, "Did I ask you if you would ever want to homeschool?" The answer is usually no, and I've concluded that people just need to say that in order to clarify to me that I'm either crazy or they have some need to explain themselves and defend why they don't homeschool. Either way, I'm not concerned with what my neighbors' schooling choices are, as I'm too busy trying to figure out my own.

So far we've homeschooled for about a month, one week being Spring Break and another being an out-of-town work trip for my husband on which we tagged along. So I'm sure we haven't really experienced "real life" as a homeschooling family.

I've created an ongoing mental list of pros and instead of cons, just things I still need to figure out. Overall I'm so grateful we've made the choice to bring our kids home, even if I spend half the day trying to figure out how to convince them that they do actually have to do their assignments and no, I can't send them to the principal's office.

The beauties so far:

  1. Not waking up for school, running rampant through the house looking for a missing sock and yelling at them to get out the door before we're late.
  2. Learning together. I'm not too good at the playing tea party on the floor, but I am a teacher and by nature love learning and teaching. I get to spend quality time each day with my children, learning with them and teaching them.
  3. We have the opportunity to go off on tangents and learn real-life stuff. Last week my husband was trying to buy a used car so the kids went to the bank with me and we talked about what it means to take out a car loan and how car purchases effect insurance premiums.
  4. Last week's history lesson included a trip to the World's largest Military Aviation Museum to see a B12 Stealth Bomber. The science lesson included a trip to a Children's Museum where they got to look at actual dinosaur bones. Not too shabby if you ask me!

Some things I'm still trying to figure out:

  1. Now that the kids aren't in school I don't have my chunk of "free time" during the day. How can I squeeze in paying the bills while I'm trying to teach them their lessons for the day? How do I have those "coffee dates" with my girlfriends when the kids are home?
  2. When one of my kids is struggling with an assignment and I know it's something they're capable of completing (in fact they already said the answer) how do I get them to finish it? I don't want to just let them get up and take a break because I want to teach them to push through when things are hard. On the other hand, I also want to teach them to learn how to calm themselves down when they're frustrated without ending up in a crazy tantrum, even if that means walking away for a minute and coming back later.

I'm sure it's a work in progress and hopefully I'll have years to perfect it. Until then, I'll just keep working to figure this whole life change out. I'm grateful to my local homeschooling moms who have reached out to offer their guidance. I am constantly reminded that it takes a village to raise a child.

Copyright 2016 Courtney Vallejo