Up until this point, Karen and myself had both been working towards that all-American cul-de-sac living dream.
I mean, wasn't that what our girls deserved? A life of playing with neighborhood kids, going to backyard bbq's and graduating with the same kids they started kindergarten with?
Subconsciously, I was attempting to give them all of the things I felt I had missed out on.
Karen however had made more than one comment about how he wasn't comfortable sending them to school and would rather I homeschool them.
That was NOT an option. I didn't even realize how much pent up resentment I had towards homeschooling.
I always watched Saved by the Bell and other shows that depicted the "normal school life" and wished I had that experience. Karen assured me that what I saw on TV was not anything like his actual experience. But I was convinced that I had missed out, and refused to take that away from my kids.
However the seeds had already been planted and were growing, I just failed to admit it.
From the time our girls were born I had been teaching them. Doing crafts, teaching letters, colors and of course the all important animal sounds. All the while saying, I'm not a teacher, I can't teach them, that's what schools are for.
Kindy registration day came before I knew it. I headed off with my first born to get her all set up for school in the fall. I knew she would do great, she was smart, loved to learn and caught on to things very quick. Typical trailblazing first born. However at the registration, my dreams of her having a Magic School Bus experience were dashed.
The children were being herded around like cattle. I was told that she needed to know sight words, when I asked about phonics I was told, that's not common core and she wouldn't be taught that way. The teachers were nothing like Ms. Frizzle, there was no Liz or magical school bus that would take her on amazing field trips. Ok, all jokes aside, I knew it wasn't going to be like a cartoon, but I had no idea how factory-like it was. There wasn't anyone to appreciate how special and smart my girl was, no one to see her talents and help foster them along and most importantly they didn't give a damn about phonics! I love to read, and that was started at a young age, I learned to sound out words and I could read any and every book I could get my hands on. What if my baby wasn't taught how to sound out words, and got frustrated and hated reading? What if she missed out on all of the magical places that books could take her?
But it was more than just the reading and lack of phonetic love, I was worried that my bright girl would have her spirit crushed. Her eagerness to learn would be stifled, she would be told that she must learn on pace, she can't go ahead or lag behind, and if she does there is something wrong with her. The thought of having her curious eyes dim made me sick.
That night, I laid in bed next to Karen, it was pitch black and well after midnight, but my mind was still racing. Continuing the conversation I was having in my head out loud, I exclaimed, My baby is NOT going to that school.
Karen mumbled, what did you say?
I repeated what I had said and added, do you think I can homeschool?
He showered me with compliments on how my work and teaching had helped her become the little learning sponge she was today.
That was the start of our homeschooling...and soon to be homesteading journey.
All because I'm a rebel, book nerd who loves phonics and refused to have my kid learn sight words.