Sarah & Josh started out at a Christian preschool which we, and they, absolutely loved. When it came time for kindergarten, we decided to go with the local public school because it was so close, because we felt we could not afford the Catholic school and we had heard so many great things about the public elementary school. It really was a good school, the teachers were kind and professional, and the environment felt like something we could be comfortable with.
When Sarah started 3rd grade, we really started thinking then about what we would do next. In 4th grade she would be at the middle school, where we had heard that things were quite a bit different for many reasons. Religion played a big part in the decision as well. We wanted our kids to be at a place where there were religion classes, of course, but classes that coincided with our beliefs.
When they started at the Catholic school, Sarah was in 4th grade, Josh in 3rd and Lyndsay in Kindergarten (she was able to attend preschool at the Christian preschool and at the local public school). We were happy with the teachers and mostly the environment right from the start. It felt like 'home'. It felt comfortable. It felt like a place you could completely feel comfortable with leaving your children there every day.
Not too long after though, my thoughts started changing. It was just little things that were bothering me at first: kids acting like bullies, test scores not seeming to match up with what the child really understood, teachers not being present for concerned parents.
Let me digress for a second. I first thought about homeschooling before Sarah even started preschool. I think I knew even then that a parent could teach their child so much more than what they could learn at school. More than just basic subjects. I interviewed a couple of homeschooling parents and read some about it, but then never followed through.
Back to the Catholic school. I started hearing random radio stories about homeschoolers. I would randomly meet families that seemed so similar to ours that homeschooled. I would see articles about homeschooling statistics that I wasn't even looking for. Trust me, there were so many 'random' things that I finally realized God must be doing the equivalent of hitting me over the head to make me see. I knew in my heart that this was something God wanted me to do.
Eric was not sure at first, but was willing to listen to everything I had to say. I started showing him all the articles I could find about homeschoolers and what they have accomplished, how happy their children were and how successful they were later in life. We read books about it...both sides of the story. We talked about it and I continued to pray about it.
I ignored God's call for another year until I couldn't ignore it anymore.
After doing research of his own, Eric was completely supportive and ready for us to start. We talked to someone that was initially not supportive and just explained that we had looked into this for a long time and truly felt that this was what we were supposed to do and she pledged her support as well.
So many people think that socialization is an issue for homeschoolers and they couldn't be more mistaken! There are so many things to get involved in, you could easily not have enough time for school because you could be so busy with social appointments including things like sports, dance, robotics, clubs and so many other things (too many to list). Not to mention the fact that when you're homeschooling more than one or two children, there is a lot of socialization going on right at home.
It is not always easy - some days it is quite difficult. I think the hardest thing about homeschooling is the fact that I question it almost daily. Well, maybe not daily but at least 3-4 times per week :)
In the end, I have confidence that God wanted us to do this and so we will keep plugging away; and keep praying!