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My husband and I knew from the beginning that we would either homeschool or send our kids to private school. It was something we just felt very strongly about, so when the time came to consider what we were going to do with our oldest for kindergarten, we had a huge decision. The private schools that I had looked at were not in our budget and we both worked full-time, so homeschooling wasn’t a viable option. Fortunately, the answer came in the form of my mom.
My mom quit working when my daughter, Nora, was about 6 months old. A few months before Garrett turned 5, Henry was born. Mom took care of the kids and when Steve and I discussed the subject of school, my mom said that of course, she’d homeschool them. I will admit it never dawned on me that she would do that. I had known that Mom wanted to homeschool my sister and me when we were little, but it wasn’t done in those days. So, Garrett started kindergarten with Grandma.
Over the next 4 years, my mom taught my two older kids to read while wrangling with Henry through infancy and toddlerhood. I looked forward to random emails and texts (especially with pictures) of things the kids were doing throughout the day. With Grandma, they learned how to make sourdough, bake, read stories and take care of each other. We had a wonderful homeschool co-op that the kids attended, which we used for history, science and extra-curricular subjects and the kids completed math and language arts at home.
I asked my mom what she enjoyed while homeschooling the grandkids, and she said that she had so much fun with them. It was rewarding to watch the kids’ faces light up as they caught the concepts of reading or adding. My dad, who had retired, helped the kids with school work as well, and often took them to homeschool co-op. They also spent time camping and visiting historical sites.
Last fall, we made a move halfway across the country and are now in a place where we homeschool together. The kids miss their grandparents a lot, but we are having fun learning as a family.
I have a friend who homeschools her kids and they use a curriculum that has lessons with lectures on DVD. Because of this, she adds at least 2 kids (same age/grade as hers) and homeschools them with her kids. Always check your state laws regarding homeschooling to determine if this is an option.
Outsourcing could be a wonderful option if you have the right support system and someone who is willing and able to work with them.
Tamara is a wife and homeschooling mom to three kids. She lives in a small town in a rural area, quite a difference from the big city where she grew up.