Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Will NEVER Homeschool My Child!

This is what I always said.  I will never homeschool my kids.  I have no patience, I like my time alone while my kids are at school, I am not a teacher, and I have access to a wonderful Christian school with an employee discount, thanks to my husband.  That's like killing 2 birds with 1 stone!  Why would I ever want to homeschool??  No way!  It is not something I would ever do.

Even though I know tons of really cool moms who homeschool, I only pictured myself donned in a denim jumper with long stringy outdated hair, looking like Michelle Dugger standing before a long table with all 46 of my calm and obedient dressed-alike children lining the perimeter from smallest to largest.  Besides, it's something that you're "called" to do.  I am neither "called" to do it, nor is it my desire.  Plus, did I mention that my kids are not usually calm, and only obedient part of the time?    

Nope.  It's just not for me.  I will never homeschool my kids.  No way....

Hang mouth is full..........I just need to swallow......just one minute.......I'm eating my words......

Yep, that's right.  We're homeschooling now.  

Ok, so Maddie breezed through kindergarten, floated on puffy clouds and rainbows through 1st grade, then came 2nd grade.  We had heard that 2nd was a tough year at our school.  We asked for a certain teacher and assistant, (who we loved and still do to this day), which is one of the perks of being employed by the school, AND having a chronically ill child.

We had our life saver at the school (the school nurse) we had all of our friends in class, we had Daddy across the street in the high school, we started the school year with an A1C of 7.2 and we had just come off of a wonderful fun-filled summer.  It couldn't get any better than this!

The first week of school, (which was a 4 day week) Maddie had gotten a project assignment, had gotten notice of her first big test, which was on Monday of the following week, had lots and lots of homework, and was furiously studying for her spelling quiz, Bible verse quiz, and the first 15 states and capitals test.

Woah--I wasn't prepared for this!  It was stressful on me, making sure she was adequately prepared each morning, not to mention it was stressful for Maddie.  There were many mornings when getting Maddie dressed (yep, that's right--she refused to do it herself, and I certainly didn't want her to miss school because she didn't have on her uniform) was like pulling teeth.  That's not to mention trying to get her to check her blood, eat, put her shoes on, brush her hair, etc.  Our morning routine was accompanied by lots of tears and gnashing of teeth.  Maddie was also upset.   

Shawn would drive to school with Maddie crying the whole way there, and I would pick her up, and she would cry the whole way home.  Not because she was being bullied, or having trouble with her friends.  Not because the work was too hard, or she didn't get good grades.  And most of all, not because she didn't like her teacher, or she didn't like the school.

I won't even mention the tears that accompanied doing homework.  I can't decide what was worse--trying to get her out the door in the morning, or trying to get her homework done.  I have to admit, (even though I know her 2nd grade teacher may read this) sometimes I would finish a worksheet, or put the final touches on a project, just to get her to stop crying.  She would go to bed crying, and she started crying as soon as she woke up.     

She was stressed.  She was under a kind of pressure that she hadn't been under before.  She had a lot expected of her academically, and although she could do the work, it stressed her out.  I still don't know if it was the "classroom environment" or the speed at which she worked, opposed to the speed of others, or if maybe her brain works in a totally different way, and she doesn't do well sitting at a desk.  In a matter of 9 months, her A1C had gone from 7.2 up to 9.1 and this was mostly the result of her stress.   

One evening last spring, Shawn and I came to the conclusion that our only option was to homeschool her, although I cringed at the idea.  I'm not in love with the public schools in my area of town, I'm sure they are fine.  But unfortunately, in order to take adequate care of a child with diabetes, you have to have a full time nurse at the school, and public schools just don't have that.  So, our only way to bring down her A1C was to educate her in a non-stressful way, and the only way to do that is for me to homeschool her.

This was a really big deal for me.  Ok, I am no wuss.  I am a single mother for the entire summer, and for the entire fall soccer season.  I can handle anything.  I may not look all that put-together all the time, but if you give it to me, I can take it.  Trust me, I am tough.  I may whine and complain a bit, but I WILL conquer a problem.  I just wasn't sure I could handle homeschooling her.  It was like standing in front of a huge brick wall, by myself, and not knowing how to get to the other side of it.

My parents didn't even think it would go over well.  They told me I was making a huge mistake.  My dad would shake his head in disappointment because we were pulling her out of one of the best schools in town.  My mom told me it was going to be a disaster.  I had friends at church that told me I was wrong in making this decision.  Everyone I talked to said, "Eww--I could never homeschool."  Gee, thanks for all the encouragement!  Where were all of these nay-sayers when my child was inconsolable every single morning, and every single night of the school year??

At this point in all of my 34 years, I had to do something that I absolutely did not want to do, nor did I know how to do it.  I had to do it for the well-being of my child.  This was best for herShe is my priority.  And of course, I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed about it.  And of course, God calmed my heart.  And of course, everything fell into place.  Why?  Because this was what was best for my child, and this was what is in God's will for her.......oh, and for her mother.

Maddie is loving homeschooling.  She goes up to the computer and works until she's finished.  She's through by the time we leave to pick up Reilly from preschool.  She does well on her quizzes and tests.  She takes a drama class though our homeschool group, which she loves.  She takes a gymnastics class, which she looks forward to every week.   She immediately made a bunch of friends in her classes.  All of these things that I was dreading are turning out to be great.

Why did I dread this?  Why did I fight this?  Why did I spend so much time worrying about this?  Obviously, arguing with God did not go in my favor.  Nonetheless, we are enjoying it.  All of  my homeschooling anxieties are turning out to NOT be problems.  It isn't bad at all.  I guess that's why God put Himself in control, instead of me.  Like I said in the beginning, homeschooling is something you are "called" to do. 



  1. Great post! I could of written it word for word. We pulled our now second grader from the best school in our area because the pressure was too much on top of the fact they couldn't keep him safe (he has a life threatening peanut allergy). Everyone said we were nuts, but it is what is best for him.

  2. I am so happy for you!! It is a delight to such a lovely little girl happy and thriving again.
    I would like to highlight your blog on my blog. I have a talk about special needs homeschooling you and your daughter would be a great encouragement to my readers. Let me know if this is alright with you.

    God bless
    Heather Laurie

  3. I want to apologize for thinking that homeschooling was a big mistake. I can see now that this is a good thing, especially since she does her computer work on her own, and seems to be doing well.

    Love to my 9-year old granddaughter (10-4) and her mother!!!

  4. Nice blog.........
    sad the you identifies your daughter as diabetic.
    It should be....My Beautiful daughter is Maddie. She is 9 and she's smart, talented, full of life, and hilarious, all rolled up into one precious little body. o yeah she is diabetic.
    Diabetic is not who she is...............

  5. I too am a mama of 3. I have a 2 year old daughter Charli, 7 year old son Riley and my 11 year old daughter Elli also has Type 1...we homeschool and have for many years. I am so glad to read that you have found it to be a positive experience!!! God Bless!

    Shannon (

  6. I am a mom of a t1 13 yr old boy and I too could have written this. Still have my son in school but wondering if it is worth the stress and hassle you get from the school because of having a t1 child there. Very stressful!!!!

  7. Oh my goodness! Im reading this and thinking "this is me!". My daughter is in second grade and a diabetic and k-1st was a breeze! This year has been a nightmare! She's even in counseling because shes so stressed out. Her teachers are great and the nurse is great. Everything like you said. It is just so stressful on her. Getting her to school every morning is stressful on me with all the crying and checking sugars and getting dressed. I'm worn out by the time she's off to school, and then I have a 4 yr old daughter also. This post gives me inspiration. I've been thinking about homeschooling and am afraid I won't be able to do it. But she's too stressed out. I have got to do something! Thanks for sharing this. Maybe I have just been arguing with God on this. Lol

  8. Good for you...We have 4 children. Our oldest is homeschooled and the younger 3 are finishing up their VERY LAST days of public school on the 24th. Our younger 3 children are all diabetic as well...pumping like mad too!