This is the how and why we became a homeschool family. This story is a pivotal part of my life and a big transition on so many levels- one that I am so thankful for.
Dreaming of homeschool
Sometime when Millie was in childcare, this had to have been 2016 or 2017, I remember wishing I could be home with her more. Specifically one day she was sick but not really sick, I had kept her home but she was feeling pretty much like herself. And I remember playing homeschool and wishing we had more days like that together.
I started my first full time teaching job when Millie was 1.5 years old. I was excited to start teaching even though it meant leaving my baby when I had been home with her from day 1. I’m not quite sure when homeschooling came to my radar. But I do remember also writing down homeschooling in my journal often.
When I was pregnant with my middle son, in 2018 Millie was in Kindergarten in public school. I still felt okay about public school because luckily we were in the best school in town. I do remember feeling really sad and conflicted about dropping her off at such a big school. It just felt scarier than the day care she used to attend. Looking back now so wonder if that was my intuition telling me this wasn’t the best place for her.
Then when my son was born in January I spent most of the second semester of the school year on leave. I of course wished I could stay home longer but never played with that idea because we needed two incomes. I was nervous to go back that next fall and honestly had no idea what would play out next.
The mental break
I actually did a whole podcast on this, you can check it out- the Zoloft episode. But the quick version of that is.. I lasted 6 weeks working full time as a mom of two. At that point so took some additional FMLA and stayed home again for 6 weeks. All the anxiety and rage and depression I was feeling in those weeks of working full time immediately ceased. Then at end of that 6 weeks of leave, (HERE IS WHERE YOU LEFT OFF) the anxiety immediately came back and I was in a panic. I had planned to go back to work after thanksgiving break but I just could not do it. At this exact same time, my husband’s job had relocated him temporarily. And that meant I would be solo parenting from Monday to Thursday. That was honestly what sealed the deal for me. So I went back into HR and at that time did paperwork for extended leave for the remainder of the year.
Extended leave to Resignation
So now it’s November and I know for sure that I’ll be a SAHM for the rest of the school year. That decision felt so good. When I had taken that extended leave in September I was already thinking of an exit plan because I was done with my job (and had been for a year already). And I had enrolled in a doula training program. At the time I thought I’d work on the program as I finished the school year then move into doula work.
I knew it was very unlikely that I’d go back to my teaching job so I dived head on into my doula stuff and turned up the notch on my social selling gig.
At this point I had thought of pulling my daughter from school but still wasn’t 100% sure if I would be going back to working full time or not.
It was right around this time that I had also found out Millie was not managing school very well. She had an IEP for speech but just was not managing the classroom setting. She has diagnosed adhd, although I’m honestly not sure that’s the right diagnosis. But let’s just put it this way, sitting at a desk with 30 other kids in the room, while completing a worksheet as a 6 year old… was not happening.
The move is what finally gave me permission to do what I knew was right. I waited for the logistics to line up. And maybe God knew I needed all these signs and nudges to make the switch. I mean he had a lot of work to do on me, the one who loves learning, who loved school, who was a teacher.
I had all the excuses.. we couldn’t afford it, I needed to work, she’s in a good school. I even had my ex husband battling me on it and calling her school and contacting her teacher.
In January, we found out my husbands temporary position had become permanent and that I was pregnant again. Both of those sealed the deal.
We were going to be moving 2 hours away and I would for sure not be going back to teaching with another baby on the way. Additionally I didn’t want to transfer Millie mid year to a new routine and new school when she was already having a hard time.
We moved February 14, 2020. And that’s when we became a homeschool family. I had filed for a PSA and it was as simple as that! I was her teacher now.
The most ironic thing here is that just a few weeks after we became a homeschool family, everyone became some version of a homeschool family. And that really was just fate that we had left the system- both of us. Just in time for S H I – you know what to hit the fan.
And I am so so thankful for that.
What’s really cool is we saw a lot of growth with Millie and again all the signs pointed to- this homeschooling thing is meant for us!
The main reasons we homeschool are for the individualized education. Millie can work on the topics and activities that interest her most and we can go at a speed that is best for her. Also we love the extended time together, especially since she spends all of summer and winter break with her dad. I like knowing that she’s safe and happy all day and that she’s not being exposed to.. who knows what from the peers and the public school system. I also don’t have to worry about any vaccine requirements and don’t have to rely on having a medical exemption updated each year.
Stay tuned for the Q&A episode!
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