This year we made the big decision to homeschool our oldest daughter. We weren't completely unsatisfied with the private Catholic school she attended for Pre-K and K, and thankfully, she didn't have any issues or problems.
However, there were enough things about the school that bothered us, and after researching our other options, and figuring out what was best for our family, we landed on homeschooling.
Like anything else, the sometimes single mom schedule makes everything quite a challenge, particularly when school can often be a respite. Aside from the obvious educational and social values of school, let's be honest here, many parents appreciate the time away from their kids and the subsequent break they get, whether they're stay-at-home parents or working parents who would otherwise be paying for childcare.
And when you're parenting solo, that time alone is extra precious.
But the sometimes single parenting schedule can also really benefit a homeschool situation. Unlike many of my friends who are homeschooling, my husband would be home enough that he could participate in the teaching. He's excellent in math and science, two areas that are not my fortes. And I do believe that it's good to have kids learn from more than one perspective.
And even better, he could also help me taxi my kids around to their "after school" activities or get dinner ready while I was out playing chauffeur.
So with all that in mind, we decided that it could actually work.
And so far it has. But not without challenges.
Even though my husband was a pilot instructor, teaching young kids how to subtract is a bit different than teaching college graduates how to fly a plane. And since he's much more laid-back than I am, he often doesn't start teaching until later in the morning; by that time with me, my daughter is pretty much done with her required work and has moved on to reading and other supplemental projects.
And there are the naysayers that aren't afraid to share their two cents about our decision, worrying about the typical social interaction issues or even that I might be overwhelmed.
But we're learning to take each day at a time, trying not to over plan, but also trying not to be too laid-back so that nothing actually gets done. Even though he's gone a lot, we're both equally invested in our daughter's education and we're doing this together, which is a huge blessing for a family that has grown accustomed to doing everything separately.
You can read more about Kristen's homeschooling experiences at The Pioneer Woman Homeschooling.
Photo from Flickr/kevindooley