Why and how we chose to homeschool our daughter
Disclaimer: No denim jumpers were worn in the writing of this article. We don't own a 15-passenger van. We do own chickens, and a lifestock guardian dog, but she only guards chickens and argues with our cats. You don't have to have 11+ children to homeschool. You CAN homeschool "just" one child.
We started homeschooling our daughter, Laura, in kindergarten. All was going well: she was learning her letters, sight words, numbers, and enjoying little science experiments. We even incorporated baking into our little homeschool, which is named Agape Farms Christian School.
Then, tragedy struck. While coming home from Thanksgiving out of state, my husband, second-oldest son who was 18 at the time and in college, Laura, and I, stopped for a potty break at a rest area an hour from our house. Jacob, Laura, and I had finished and were waiting outside when two men, who were also waiting outside, walked back inside the rest area building. We heard a single gunshot; the men ran out. As they ran out, the automatic doors opened and we heard my husband screaming, "Help me!"
He was laying face-down in the entrance to the men's rest room. The two men had shot him at point-blank range in the back in an attempted armed robbery, but they didn't have time to steal anything as they were taken aback by Greg's sudden dash to get out the door.
There's much more to this story (you can learn more about it here) but the purpose of telling it here is this: against our own wishes and the belief that God had called us to homeschool, we listened to well-meaning friends and family who said we had too much on our plate and to enroll Laura in public school. We did.
Yes, in that season, it did take a good chunk off our plate -- but it also added worries. Laura was diagnosed at four years old with chronic migraines; even though she had a 504 plan that indicated she was to wear sunglasses outside, that didn't always happen. Extraordinarily sensitive to bright light, Laura kept getting migraines during the school day. She was constantly crying. Like a scared turtle, she drew up into herself.
She was in public school for the rest of kindergarten and all of first and second grades. For the most part, she had wonderful teachers. But it soon became apparent that she, like her brothers, also had ADHD; and like her dad, dyslexia. An IEP was developed for her. Though she was in a reading program, she wasn't progressing--and the relentless laughter at her expense and bullying from other kids just made the little turtle retreat further back.
At the end of the second grade, my husband and I prayed to Jesus and talked about it. We prayerfully made the decision to go back to homeschool. Thankfully, we had never closed our homeschool with the state, so we printed the paperwork about our homeschool, waited until school was dismissed for the year, and walked in the next day after dismissal to formally withdraw her.
That was three years ago. Since then, the turtle has not only come out of the shell, but kicked the shell to the curb. Within three months of homeschooling, she went from reading on the kindergarten level to grade level (third grade). She loves science and math, tolerates English grammar, and enjoys history. She really loves to study Bible.
In the 3-1/2 years of homeschooling my daughter, I have learned so much about what it takes to homeschool just one child. It's much different than if you have siblings. Laura's three older siblings (Sam, Jacob, Elli) have moved out, so it's just her.
When I started homeschooling her in the third grade, I found that there were not a lot of resources for homeschooling just one child. I already had a blog that was dedicated to Christian encouragement, Near Your Altar, so making a blog wasn't that difficult for me. But this time, I decided to target a very specific market that seriously needed resources, encouragement, and inspiration: parents homeschooling one child.
So Homeschooling One Child was born.
On this website, this is but a sampling of the resources, encouragement, and inspiration you will find here. I encourage you to check out the entire site. Also, you will find ads and affiliate links to products and services that I hand-pick for you; when you purchase using those ads and affiliate links, I receive a small commission -- at no charge to you -- that helps me bring more services, conferences, and products to you. I thank you for your support.
Lastly, I would love to communicate with you and lift you in prayer. Don't hesitate to contact me using this form.
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