Summing up five years of homeschooling in a reasonable-lengthed blog post challenges my desire for completeness, but I’ll try.
My older son, now 12, attended three schools by time we left at age 7: one Montessori for age 4 and 5 (great experience), another Montessori for first grade (where we discovered not all school experiences would be great experiences), and a public academically talented program (and left mid-year). His mood improved, his interest in learning rebounded, and my unproductive meetings with teachers/principals/school support people ended. I wouldn’t say it was all smooth sailing from there, but at least I knew he was being challenged appropriately and his various learning differences were being addressed.
My younger son, now 8, enjoyed the same two years of fantastic Montessori experience at ages 4 and 5. For first grade, we gave him the choice of school or home. No shock to me that my introverted, information-hungry little one chose to stay home. A different child needed different methods and curriculum, and his quirks and challenges were quite different than his brother’s, so I found myself starting over. Being home allowed him to explore his passions (history and geography, at that time) while allowing time for him to develop some motor and visual skills.
So here we are. Home to learn. What started as rescue effort for discouraged, stressed older son became a lifestyle I embrace. I’m honored to guide my children through these years and delighted to watch them learn. It’s time-consuming, life-changing, and sometimes frustrating. I wouldn’t change it for the world.