Traveling the Road Less Traveled

IMG_3657We never planned on home schooling. We were public school kids who believed in the system. Then our middle child had a teacher who was, in a word, impossible for us. Not to excavate old history, but the straw that broke our collective backs was when she told us that some students “faked asthma” in order to be like the popular kids, and she would not promise us that she would allow our seven-year-old daughter to use her inhaler. We pulled that day.

Free-fall. We rallied with our supportive principal to create an independent study schedule that was meant to last only the remaining two months of second grade. At the time, I was a freelance writer/editor, and my schedule was flexible enough that I believed we could succeed.

Unfortunately, the teacher transferred to third grade at the end of the year—and so we decided to make independent study a more permanent choice. Because we were part of a small school system, our other children faced retaliation within the viper-like school community. Ultimately, we embraced independent study for our eighth grader and our kindergartener.

Looking back, I realize what a monumental decision we made. At the time, we felt that this was our best possible choice. The outcome? Our oldest was accepted in UC Davis (among other colleges). Our middle is taking her third college level math class (advanced algebra). Our youngest tested out of seventh grade and is officially in 8th. He reads at a college level and he is currently doing 11th grade math.

This is our story.