Why I Chose Homeschooling – Part 3 of 6

I didn’t come to the decision to homeschool lightly. In fact, it took me far longer than many to actually step forward and commit to the decision. In many ways, I think it took far too long. My eldest, Danielle, was a teenager before I finally decided enough was enough and took back control of something I should have had a say in long before.

For many, homeschool is not an easy choice or one they first arrive at. It is found at the end of a dark road, after so much heartache, resentment and stress.

If you have missed a previous entry on Why I Chose Homeschooling, click here for a complete list of entries.

“Is That Legal?”

The year was 1997 and Danielle and I had just moved halfway across the country. For years I had desperately dreamed of moving to Missouri, hoping to make a better life for both of us. My mother was here, and we moved in with her, her small pre-fab house was on a fairly large lot but right on a busy street. Still, it felt like paradise compared to the crummy apartment with no air conditioning in summer or central heat in winter. A place where none of the nine windows had screens and I had to go wasp-hunting each summer if I hoped to crack a window and get some respite from the 90+ degree summer days.

Down the street, were five children, a couple of them Danielle’s age, and the mother explained that they were homeschooled.

Homeschooled?

I’d never heard the term before. “Is that legal?” I asked.

Yes, I was assured, it was.

I didn’t think long on it. I was working full-time, and a full-time student in night classes at the local community college. I had no time to think about it, honestly, or any way in particular to do something like that. For a full year I simply chalked it up to a “Huh, that’s kind of neat and weird,” and went on with my life.

Danielle did okay that first year. She was trying hard to get used to the new environment, and she was young, nearly nine years old that first year we moved. With little hiccups we survived our first year in a new state.

The next year would find us moving forty miles to the south, to the small town of Belton, where my future husband lived. We married in June 1999, blended our two families (my daughter, his two sons and daughter) and bought a house in September 1999. He and his ex-wife, the divorce had been final just weeks before he met me, had homeschooled the three children prior to the end of their marriage.

This was encounter #2. It started me wondering…and dreaming. Could I be my daughter’s teacher? Could I actually…homeschool?

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s Part 4 of Why I Chose Homeschooling.

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