Our Homeschooling Journey


What Do I Do On Monday?
Our Homeschool Journey
One Homeschooler's Story
Reading for Homeschoolers
Games as Learning Tools
Homeschooling and Socialization
High School Learning for Homeschoolers
Preparing Homeschoolers for College
Community College as a Homeschooling Tool
Who are Homeschoolers?
Homeschooling Materials and Resources
Field Trips a Great Homeschooling Tool  
XIII. Homeschooling Groups and Coops  


Why Did We Homeschool?

Homeschooling was something I began to think about when Brian, our oldest was about two years old. He was very precocious and already knew much of what I knew they would cover in Kindergarten. I began to think of homeschooling as something we could do for a few years and then have Brian tested and put into an appropriate classroom. Then I started to read and talk to others about homeschooling, long before Kindergarten would have come I had decided that I wasn't sure I would ever want to send him to school. In the meantime his sister Hillary had come along and I knew that she would be a much different type of learner and would have other issues if she went to school. By this time I was more deeply into my journey, though still with lots of uncertainty. Fortunately we had formed a support group and shared our concerns and our accomplishments with each other.

Every Child is Different - Homeschooling Respects Differences

In time Brian was not so far ahead of others his age intellectually but he had social issues that would have lead to teasing, something I had endured for many years in school. Homeschoolers tend to be more accepting of who people are not depending on their age, gender, handicaps and differences in personality. Brian graduated Penn State University with honors and has been working since. Some of his jobs with theater lighting including two years sailing with Royal Carribean Cruiselines, three years touring the Country and the World with Disney on Ice. He's been to Austraila, Asia, The Middle East, Europe, all over the Carribean, in many parts of the U.S. and Canada - all while getting paid. Most recently he's settled down with a theater in Long Island

Our boys both learned to read early but Hillary was closer to eight when she could truly read. This worried my mother greatly. I used to remind her that Hillary could dance, do gymnastics, did all kinds of art and was better at sports then the boys and that in time she would learn. Now as an adult she is the only one of our children who routinely reads for pleasure. If she had been in school her late reading would have been held against her and she would have been forced to learn and might not read for pleasure now. She is currently employed full time with another homeschooling family's business for over twelve years. When she's not at work there, she does a lot of work for her brother's theater company, see below. Others have thus discovered her skills and she has had several stints as a stage manager with a larger theater company in our area. We taught all our children, when you take on a job, do it well. Their work ethic is something that many are not taught these days, just ask any employer. We have heard nothing but compliements from everyone Hillary has ever done a project for.

Joshua, if he had been in public school at an early age would have been diagnosed as ADHD, or something along those lines. When I used to read to him, he would be standing on his head, drawing a picture and maybe doing some other activities. If I would stop and asked him what I had read he would recite it verbatim. He still is constantly thinking of many things at once, like to pace while he thinks but also sits well in classes and was an honor roll student in High School. Josh choose to go to public High School because of the performing arts program they offered. When he applied for that program, I not only needed to create a transcrip for him, made easier by some of the classes he had done with a local Coop, they also wanted grades. I gave him straight A's since I didn't know what to do. The counsler there asked me if I thought that was what he deserved and I could confidently say yes, though the whole thing made me mad. High School turned out as a great experience for him in many ways. In his Senior year he wrote, directed and produced the first ever student run musical for his school. He was then asked to put on that school again early in the Summer with another local theater company. After that I told him he needed to get a job for the rest of the Summer to start saving some money. Instead he wrote another show and put it on, giving birth to his own theater company, Aftershock Entertainment. In the Fall he joined The Young Americans , they now have a college program, but Josh's class was the first year they tried to offer an associates degree if you choose that path. Unfortunately, the students the first year came out a few credits short of the degree, but he still got an amazing education. The Young Americans train their students in not only performance arts, but sociology, physcology, and education. They then tour the World working with young people on performance skills and so much more. The Young Americans could be a whole page in themselves, but if you want to learn more look them up. If you have a student who is interested, we are always glad to talk to parents and students about Josh's experiences. For the rest of you, if they come to your town check them out. Josh traveled on and off with them for six years, the final year as their sound technition on two tours. In between tours he would come home to work on his theater company and his increasing body of work. He got to visit Japan (x2), Europe (x 5), at least half of the US States, South Africa and probably some places I am forgetting. He has friends from all over the World who come and visit or he has an open invite to visit. Finally last year he decided it was time for the next phase in his life. He started accumulating part time jobs, some related to theater, some not. Then he became part of the local homeschool community again in a different way. He was teaching a homeschool theater class as a theater where he does some work. A family in the class asked him about playing Dungeons and Dragons with their children, that went on to about six groups for students he plays with on a weekly/biweekly basis and the bulk of his income base. He also coaches axe throwing, writes and keeps his own theater company going.

Now we are no longer truly homeschoolers in the literal sense but homeschooling to us was just another part of being a family. Now we all work with Josh's theater company and keep close ties with all of our children's lives. I could never have predicted the paths they would have taken and still their future paths may be very different, but they are all succeeding at being contributing members of society and leading lives that are interesting and rewarding.

People used to ask me when I "started" homeschooling, I would say "when Brian was born". I stopped saying this, only when he repeated it to my father-in-law and it sounded "fresh" coming from a child. But it is the truth, we teach our children and they teach us from the moment of their birth. Often parents thinking about homes schooling will say how do I know I can teach my children? You have been helping them learn their whole lives; you have helped them learn to walk, talk, act appropriately with other people and everything else they can do so far, what makes their education any different? By the time they get to Calculus they won't need your help any more, unless you happen to know it yourself. So although our children learn many of their lessons from others these days they continue to learn life lessons from us and teach us life lessons, we share their important accomplishments and their frustrations, some of these things still happen at home but many happen in the wider world, just like they learned when they were "homeschooled".

You can read some of Josh's reflections on his time homeschooling here.