My Home School Story
Where to start for my story…
I guess I would have to start with the choice of changing schools for my son. Brel went to Maryland Avenue School since he was five years (he is now 14 and starting high-school). We loved Maryland Avenue School! The class Brel was in had a lot of parent involvement and there were always four or more parents at any given field trip. On parent nights all the parents came and it was the same throughout the years, until we left and a few other families followed.
It all started when we were at a PTA meeting and were told Maryland Avenue was going to start the Montessori program the following year for K3 and K4, then progress as the children got older. There was no discussion or asking that was just what was going to happen. Brel was in second grade and it would start when he went to third grade. The rest of the school would be traditional and would not change. I did not believe this and I was right. The Montessori philosophy does not incorporate children leaving the classroom. All curriculum and learning is done uninterrupted in the classroom. At this point Maryland Avenue had a separate science lab, full time art teacher, library, and music. By the time we left, when Brel was in fifth grade, there were only weekly gym classes and the library, which they could not use on a regular basis.
I then switched Brel to Hartford Avenue School, which is right by our house. We had moved further from Maryland Avenue a few years back. Hartford Avenue School seemed to have many programs and a great school. The problem was the children and lack of parent involvement. My son was getting picked on and teased by the other children. I thought this would pass. Brel was the new child and started midyear. (I was on the waiting list and could not get him in to start at the beginning of the school year.) I talked with Brel’s teacher and she would watch out for my son. The year seemed to go by fast and Brel seemed to be doing alright.
Brel was excited to go back the following year for sixth grade and get his own locker. I thought great! Brel will start at the same time with all the other children and it will be all left behind us. It got worse and Brel’s new teacher and principal gave me the run around. Brel was not only getting teased, but hit by other children. I didn’t know what to do. The school said they would help and have the school counselor work with my son. I wasn’t sure why my son, but I went along with it to see if it would work. Nothing happened, weeks went by and Brel did not even see the school counselor.
During this time I started looking up alternative schools and programs. I did not want to keep switching my son out of different schools. I already researched and visited Hartford Avenue School and that did not turn out as planned. I came across homeschooling and talked with my mother about the idea. I was pleasantly surprised when she thought it was a great idea. We both continued doing some research and I was still trying to work things out with my son’s school.
Nothing was helping and it seemed to be getting worse and everyone was “blaming” my son and he needed to “deal” with being teased. I thought that was crazy. I know my son isn’t perfect, but now he was getting hit every time he went to his locker and getting blamed for children hitting him. Brel did not want to go to school. Brel always loved school. I was getting frantic.
I discussed homeschooling with my husband. He wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but didn't say no. I finally had it with my son’s school and finally asked my mother how much she was willing to help. At the time I was working full time and could not quit my job. To my surprise my mother told me she would be the teacher if I did all the planning and got all the materials. I was elated and could not believe it. (Mom's are great! And mine is wonderful! Thanks Mom.!)
I then wrote my letter to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. I took my son out of school the following week and by then it was late October. My mother and I started homeschooling together. It was the best thing for all of us. And better yet, my husband thinks it is the right thing for all of us now (it took him a couple of years)!
Now I am an emptynester and a son working and going to college!
I would really like everyone to add their
own story for encouragement and support!
Please email me your story and I would gladly add it to the page!