Unlikely Public School: Beginnings

A local author and home educator has written a book that has become pretty famous in homeschooling circles. “Unlikely Homeschool” by Jamie Erickson is an amazing resource for those just starting out on a homeschooling journey. Full of encouragement and great ideas, her book (and her blog/Instagram account) are pretty much a staple. If you teach your kids at home or are thinking about it, run out right now and get her book!

I devoured this book and others like it, working hard to form my “homeschool philosophy.” I pored over curriculums, ordering sample after sample. Joining local homeschoolers’ Facebook groups. Pre-pandemic, being involved in a weekly arts and crafts group geared towards families with younger kids. Because this was what we had decided to do.

Both my husband and I grew up in small Christian schools that were pretty much glorified homeschool co-ops. We loved the micro-classes (As in, 13 of us in grades 7-10!) and the opportunity it afforded us to really build relationships. We were all in each other’s weddings and some of us (spoiler alert: my husband and me!) even married each other.

We also loved the idea of kids learning at their own pace. Having time to develop their own interests and have time to play and just be kids. Truthfully, it also appealed to us to have a ready-made social group to be part of – an actually community that we could belong to without having to create or lead.

All of these reasons and more made homeschooling pretty much “settled” in our minds.

We did our due diligence and looked into the local private school. Too expensive, and no accommodations for a child with a hearing aid. We also found out later that kids who require services such as speech therapy, etc. are bused to the local public school for said services. We decided that we didn’t want our son to spend half of his day on the bus, and also did not want to deal with two separate school calendars.

Reluctantly, just so that we would have it as an option, we put our kids’ names into the lottery for the charter school. We had heard good things about it, but were still pretty much set on homeschooling. We figured that if we didn’t make the cut, that was a sign that it wasn’t meant to be, and we could check it off our list. If we did make it in? Well, we would cross that bridge when we got to it….

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