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There are many reasons why families choose to homeschool. Some homeschool because of the freedom that it allows while others choose to strengthen the bonds within their families. Just spend a few hours going through this amazing blog party and you will see that reasons to homeschool are as diverse as each of the families who are making that choice. Some families fall into homeschooling naturally, they feel a calling early in their child’s life and know that this is the path that they must choose. However, there are those of us who did not plan on homeschooling. Some expected a very different path in life, but unforeseen circumstances forced our hands and we were thrust down the path not knowing which way to turn, and miraculously homeschooling has become our salvation.
Six years ago I had my first born in the public kindergarten down the street. It was a great little school with attentive teachers, many resources, and good friends for both him and I. At the time I was the owner of an incredible little preschool and had planned to continue working while all of my children went to school full-time. Of course, when starting kindergarten we had a transitional period, but I assumed that was just to be expected. He was used to being with me at my preschool, and now going into the public system with a lot more kids and many more expectations was difficult. However, this transitional period did not seem to end, it actually got worse. He would come home and have behavior issues where he would yell at me, talk back, bounce off the walls, and just seem like someone had spun him like a top and everything had to spill out. His emotions were an absolute mess. He was sad, angry, and often would lash out at both me and his little brothers.
This was not my son. My son completely changed when he started school. We then learned that year that he had many different learning challenges and we paid to have him assessed. In the end, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Our doctor at the time gave us the option of using medication and to try to get the supports we needed at the school, or to switch to a specialty school. He said that sometimes just a change of the environment could help him as well. I don’t think he knew just how far I would take that recommendation.
It’s no secret that most homeschoolers get a specialty education. How could they not? Even the largest of families still have a smaller teacher/ student ratio than most classrooms in the public system. I started researching everything that I possibly could about learning difficulties and homeschooling, and decided to dive in. I was scared. I didn’t know if I would be able to support him, but I knew that I would try my absolute best. I would be the advocate for him when the school could not.
Our 5 year homeschooling journey has not always been easy. I have questioned myself. I have doubted myself. I have thought at times that perhaps it would be better if they went to school. However, as my children age, I can see the benefits of an individualized education first hand. He is bright, inquisitive, has a love of learning, and a zest for life. He is confident and proud of his ADHD and the gifts that it gives him. He is not ashamed and does not feel that it is a hindrance in any way. He is who he is meant to be.
Homeschooling has allowed us the freedom to learn at his pace, to provide him with the supports and tools that he needs to be successful. It has allowed us to accommodate him and his learning and not the other way around. He has taught us just as much about patience, understanding, compassion as we have taught him. It has allowed us to stay medication free because we are able to stop everything and work with him when he is having a particularly hard ADHD day. So you could say that I came to love homeschooling because of many of the same reasons that have already been laid out in this blog party. However, the number one reason why I love homeschooling is because it has shown me what true love, trust, and sacrifice can do for my children and my family as a whole. We wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything in the world.
Alisha is a passionate advocate for homeschooling and individualized learning options. She has 4 children and is currently home-educating her 3 oldest using an eclectic unschooling approach. She blogs at LearningFromMyKids.com where she shares about her children’s struggles and triumphs with ADHD and SPD.