It’s February in Houston, Texas and seems to be one of the coldest winters ever. I wake up the normal 6am to also wake my 5 year old, 3 year old and 13 month old babies to start the morning haul to school.
I don’t know about you, but every morning is a struggle to just wake these little ones and get them going, load them into the car seats, make sure homework is in the folder, snacks and lunches are packed, sippy cups are full and there’s gas in the car before we try leave on time.
Now, just a little background, my daughter attended an awesome public charter school that was exactly 30 minutes away from our home. She could’ve attended another public school that was four minutes away, but her teacher there told me that she was too far ahead of the other classmates on the second day of school. So we switched her to the public charter school that she was accepted into on the first day of the previous school she was attending. Too much already…yeah I know.
Mind you, I’d been homeschooling her since age 2 through one of my church members and myself through years 3 and 4 when I got home from work. My mother and husband were the caregivers while I was coaching and teaching and my husband finished his last year in college.
So here we are, a semester down and starting the second semester of Kindergarten and loving it. But I’m not loving the cold weather commute or the personality change of my sweet, bubbly daughter who loves learning. She’d had a little run in with a classmate who thought she could push and name call, but it was handled properly by the school. I was ready to pull her that day, but in life we will face some hardships and have to deal with them. However, I also knew that I was ready to take on the challenge of teaching her full time with my 3 year old son who missed his big sister daily.
So it’s February, and it’s cold…29 degrees in Houston cold…and we aren’t morning people at all. We received a letter stating she couldn’t miss another day for the next 3 months in her homework folder, and I immediately said…”That’s It! She’s staying home.”
Now the attendance laws in Texas can get a little tricky if students start to miss more than just a few days. Although she’s five years old, and attendance doesn’t technically start until 6 years old, the school can have it’s own laws as well. After a few bouts of sickness from the classmates germpool, a family trip to Disneyworld in December, and days where the other babies weren’t well, my daughter’s absences were adding up.
So, yes, our lifestyle definitely didn’t fit the 6am-4pm schedule with me becoming a SAHM and having younger babies and living 30 minutes away.
She’d been begging me to homeschool her since the first day of school, but I wanted her to get more daily social interaction while developing my new routine of being a SAHM with an infant and toddler. I was shipping her off to get some routine discipline for myself, and it was quite nice!
However, I knew my daughter wasn’t being challenged enough with her homework besides an occasional math problem. Her teacher was awesome at teaching the fundamentals of reading, but she had a group of rambunctious boys that distracted the flow all the time.
So, the letter warning against truancy did it for me. I immediately went to withdraw with intent to homeschool and it has been the best decision ever.
My daughter was so happy and free when we talked about it and she woke up the next morning refreshed without having to wake up at 6am to rush to school.
She was able to help me continue setting up our homeschool room in her pajamas and even helps me with her brother and baby sister a ton.
We’ve established a routine, which I’ll share on a separate post, and now have freedom to explore the city and learn everywhere!
I can save gas, time, energy and clothes and have enough capacity to develop original curricula for them both!
So here’s to the mamas who are afraid to pull the public school plug if that suits your lifestyle and budget. It is a sacrifice and you definitely have to have patience and discipline to teach your children at home, but it can be done!
I’m all about the comfort and flexibility these days…This Superwoman Wears Sweats!