Starting Out: Decompression Time

Posted with Permission - Edited for clarity

My children were 9 & 10 when I pulled them out of public school. I think it took a good 6 months to decompress... but maybe a full 1-2 years before we started realizing the full benefits of homeschooling.

They did go through a phase of learning how to be kids again!

We didn't buy any curriculum at first...we just picked up a bunch of workbooks at the closest educational supply store and I let them pick their science and history workbook topics.

I spent much of the first few months just finding out their learning styles & interests (found out my tomboy loved sweet old-fashioned pioneer stories!) and becoming acquainted with different homeschooling methods and curriculum online.

One thing I noted is that my girls spent the first 3-months or so fighting more than ever. I was really pulling my hair out and wondering if we had done the right thing... but then I realized they just weren't used to being together! They needed to work out a new relationship with each other. Now, three years later, they are each other's best friends and I rarely hear them squabble.

If I could describe, in just a few words, how they were when we pulled them out I would call my oldest a "'fraidy cat" and my second daughter had self-esteem so low it couldn't possibly be lower. Now my oldest daughter is no longer fearful of her peers and my second daughter glows with self-confidence... and not in a haughty way...but it's obvious she feels tons better about herself and is more confident in her abilities. Homeschooling is a wonderful thing!

~Heather

November 16, 2005