Monday, January 24, 2011

I was homeschooled. For a little bit, anyway.

Did you know I was home-schooled?


Before I lose cool points (I kid, I kid), it was only for two years. But, still. I was. And? It was some of the best times in my life. Honest.

It was late summer before 2nd grade. I had *just* gotten the oh-so-awaited-for slip of paper in the mail that said my teacher-to-be's name on it. I read it. I gulped hard. Because, OHmyGOSH it was her. Mrs. Blank. [Of course, that is not her real name. I have an irrational fear she may actually google her name and come hunt me down. So I will refrain from using it, please and thank you.] 

My whole little 7 year old world got rocked in that instant.

I can remember so vividly when my sisters best friend at the time (who was older & "wiser" ha! than I) started freaking out over my classroom assignment because "that teacher is the biggest, baddest, meanest lady you will EVER meet!" She didn't stop there. She just kept telling me how horrible of a teacher she was and that it will be the worst year ever. And of course? My tiny, little, malleable brain at the time totally believed every word she said. In fact, I hung on them. And? I cried.

I cried to my mom about how scared I was about school. I remember, literally, sobbing in fear of starting the school year. Literally. 

Honestly, I don't know the details on how it happened--but I remember my mom suggesting that she'd homeschool me instead. 

Me? Stay at home? In my PJs? And my MOM COULD BE MY TEACHER??? This rocked. Not to mention, all my little almost 2nd grade anxiety left me immediately. I had peace about the school year. In fact, I was excited.

Looking back now, I'm both shocked and amazed that my mom offered that solution for me. It's not like I was an only child. I had (and have) two older siblings who were both in school at the time, and my little toddler brother was home at the time, too. 

I felt like my mom really 'heard' me. She knew I was more than distraught about the school year. She felt she was in a place in her life to handle homeschooling me, she offered that option--and then we began that journey.

It was fun. I LOVED it. We did lots of art projects, nature walks, field trips, science experiments, and even some collaboration with other home schoolers. I honestly think that during that time is when I truly found my love for all things artsy, which obviously influenced my life--hence being an art teacher. But, it was a rockin' time. In my 2nd grade head, nothing was better. Nothing.

In fact, we continued to homeschool all the way through 3rd grade. I even started my 4th grade year doing it. Circumstances with my dad's business at the time led my mom to have to start working in a secretarial position with him. I came along to work with her everyday, and in between doing some paperwork & answering phone calls here and there, we still managed to do my schooling.

According to state standards here in Pennsylvania, I had to go into the public schools for yearly testing like all the other kids. About halfway through my 4th grade year I went in for testing and they placed me in a really great 4th grade classroom. I instantaneously adored the teacher. She was funny, made me feel comfortable and welcome & genuinely loved teaching as it practically oozed from her pores. 

I came home after a day in that classroom and told my mom confidently that I was ready to go back to public school. Within a few days, I was registered and assigned to that exact classroom with the teacher I loved. It could not have worked out better.

I continued on that year and finished up strong. I even remember sitting next to a boy who picked his nose as a recreational sport and put the boogers on my desk. Despite booger-boy, it was still a great year.

I never did homeschool again after that. Heck, I graduated from public school.

But what my mom did for me those few years was awesome. She saw her daughter all super distraught and anxiety ridden over starting 2nd grade--and she validated my feelings. I was heard. She was in a place to be able to do it, and she did. 

So, for those years--I'm grateful. And for my mom, too.


This post was inspired by my friend Jess, who's currently in the thought process of possibly pulling her K & 1st grader out of public school to teach at home. Until she blogged about it the other day, I hadn't really thought too much about my experience. But, I was unhappy--my mom saw that, and like Jess puts it, " a teacher, I know that unhappy kids don't learn well.

True that.


  1. Oh my gosh, isn't homeschool the best! We were homeschooled kindergarten and then went to a private, Catholic school, my 9 year old brother has just kept going with homeschool. It's so special to do that! Not sure I have the patience to do it though, ha!

  2. AWW! Thanks. It's so good for me to hear 'normal' people talk about their experiences with it. And I say that in all seriousness.

  3. Katie, what a sweet post<3 My mom is a SAHM and she also home schooled my 3rd sister, Darcy. She was training for the Junior Olympics (crazy, right!?!) and her sched. was pretty insane and she was exhausted. My mom taught her 5th/6th grade years and then she (Darcy) decided she wanted to attend middle school because she missed her friends. I think she had just as wonderful as an experience as you did, it certainly seemed like it.

  4. I was homeschooled till 3rd grade and i loved it. Seriously it was the best schooling base my brothers and I could have asked for! I'm glad your mom was able to do
    that for you because seriously, when your parents listen, it makes all the difference in the world.

  5. Well, this girl has been homeschooled right from the start. And I LOVE it, sometimes can get hard with highschool and transcripts and all that jazz. But there are so much on the plus side that has really shaped me into who I've become. And right now I really should get back to school, but I was taking a break after a test. Time to hit the books again. Really like your blog, keep it up!

  6. So wonderful. I wish we could afford for me to stay home and home school Olivia. Your mom sounds wonderful to make changes and sacrifices in her life for the people in her family. That's what every great mom should be like.

    Take Care,

  7. I was home schooled from 2nd-Highschool. It was defiantly a great experience, my mom loved teaching whiched helped us love learning.

  8. Delurking here just to say I was homeschooled too, for ten years, and I totally agree with you - it was absolutely great. I'm hoping to be able to homeschool my kid too when he eventually gets here.

  9. I'm so torn on this subject for my children.

    Because I was homeschooled 3rd through 8th grade.

    I only returned to public school in high school. Which I liked.

    But I liked homeschooling too.

    And, as a teacher myself, ALL of my formerly homeschooled students were so amazing and ahead of the game that I'm kind of torn.

    I want to give our kids that advantage.

    But still, there was so much good that came from my high school years.

    And (here's the icky part I'm ashamed of) I don't know if I have what it takes to be a homeschool mama.

  10. We are seriously considering homeschool as an option for our kid(s). We know a couple of families in our area who do it and I can't even begin to explain how awesome their kids are: polite, articulate, sweet, intelligent, and SO NORMAL. That whole "socialization" aspect is just a buzz-word people throw around who don't know anything about homeschool (and I haven't read through any of the comments here yet so I hope I didn't just offend someone, lol). Their kids always test off the charts--grades beyond where they technically are, and the families in generally just seem HAPPIER.

    Of course, this will all depend on finances, but fortunately, we've got a few years.

  11. Oh wow, that's really awesome. How wonderful that you got to have that time with your mom. That's a fantastic story!

  12. I was home-schooled my whole life! And I loved it...I would totally do it again.

  13. Katie, I loved being a home school mom! I loved more the time we had together. I learned so much about my precious daughter and had so much fun making crafts with you and learning new things together. I am so thankful you wanted to homeschool. I was scared to death at the time but it turn out to be the best time ever. Thanks sweetheart! I love you!

  14. what an awesome thing for your mom to do!! not really the same, but when i was in 2nd grade i was in our gifted program, so we got bussed to another school with a bunch of other gifted kids from different schools once a week. and i BEGGED my mom to let me quit, because i actually hated leaving MY teacher and MY classroom for this other place.

    i eventually went back in 5th grade, but mama was totally fine with me staying in regular school 5 days a week if it meant that much to me.

  15. That is so great that your mom was able to take charge of the situation and make it right for you! I bet you're right that it influenced your life and all things artsy. What a great gift she was able to give you!

  16. How funny that you would write a post about homeschool!! I wrote a post that has some of my thoughts about hsing & many of my friends here do it too.
    It is wonderful that your Mom heard you & did something about it! BIG KUDOS to her & for you for loving it-do you think you will homeschool Eme, if you could?

  17. That's so cool that your mom did that!

    I was homeschooled from kindergarten through graduation! ( about not cool!) But I think I turned out ok.. ; )

  18. so do you think you will ever home school?

  19. Oh my gosh, your mom's comment?

    SO SWEET!!!