When I first heard of homeschool, I completely discarded the idea. I assumed that I need to send my kid to a preschool as soon as possible. Then my husband and I met Roan Johnson and her kids struck us as unique. So, we spoke to her. We loved her reasons for homeschooling. I loved the idea that I can just keep my child home and enjoy him and bond with him by learning together. I had never thought of this before. As soon as I heard this, my heart yearned to enjoy him and soak in the bliss of watching him learn. This idea was so unique, exciting and attractive for me. Although, we did worry that he might suffer in the area of social development. Still we wanted to give it a try as I was lucky because I can be a stay-at-home mom. The best part was that we are not obligated and do not plan to homeschool him for his entire school life. So, there is no pressure at all! We are going to take just one year at a time and see what works for us. My husband was not only supportive but encouraging. So, we gave it a try and it is working for us!
I started with doing preschool activities with him and called it school time. I was having lots of fun with him and he was learning on his own. Both of us used to look forward to the school time. School time became our favorite time of the day and his curiosity to learn got deeper and deeper. There were days when we clashed and it ended in tears. There were days when I was too tired and felt that I need help. Yet, the joy and fun on most of the days outweighed the bad days overwhelmingly. The pride in seeing him learn was too sweet and delicious! So, we just continued with it until he was 4 years old. As far as social development is concerned, we made sure that he attends different classes such as music class, gym class, play-dates and so on. When I first left him alone for a music class as soon as he was about to turn 4, he was so excited that he wanted me to leave him outside the class (of course, I didn’t).
At the age of 4, he could read and I was not able to satisfy his curiosity to learn with preschool activities. He expressed the desire to go to school so that he can learn more. In my heart, I was not ready because I was having so much fun with him. These school times have been the most cherished moments for me. Yes, I acknowledge that I am a selfish mother! My husband could see that he has learned a lot at home and he found us happy at home. Also, we reasoned that his curiosity for learning will not be satisfied in a preschool. So, we chose to start a formal homeschool curriculum and see if it works for us. We ordered Sonlight homeschool curriculum with help of my homeschool mentor, Roan Johnson.
At first, he didn’t find it fun because school time was not hands-on activity anymore. At the same time, he did enjoy it because he was learning new things. Slowly, he got used to it. Last week, we completed 20 weeks of homeschool curriculum. He reads science and social studies with his father and looks forward to it. All of us love it!!! In the last 20 weeks, Kabir has built the stamina to write better and longer. He is reading more fluently. His comprehension skills have improved. His thinking skills have been challenged. So, he has not lagged behind academically just because he is at home. As far as social development is concerned, I was a bit worried until about 2-3 months ago but now I see that he makes friends easily and cherishes their company. He can converse with adults (sometimes too much and doesn’t stop talking) and is kind to young ones and shares with his peers. So, I don’t see any sign of lagging in social skills. Also, we have learned so much with him. Moreover, he is learning to be an independent learner. I haven’t taught him anything. We are learning together. There have been times when my husband and I wished that we were taught this way!
The question is not whether homeschool is better or formal schools are better. Everything has its pros and cons. Also, it depends a lot on the personalities of all concerned. We are enjoying it with my older son, Kabir but I might find it too strenuous with my younger one, Arjun. I don’t know. So, we just need to keep an open mind and see what works for us. In the end, we should enjoy it and at the same time learn. Then, it’s worth it. So, the question is whether it works for us and are we having fun with it. So far, homeschool is working for us and we are enjoying it. We are building beautiful memories together that we will cherish forever.