I have to admit, I dread answering this question. I hate when it is asked, I hate talking about, I hate the feeling I'm being judged. Probably the biggest reason for not wanting to answer this question, aside from being judged, is because my reasons are so complex that to give any type of answer would not do it justice. My reasons are more extensive than pretty much any other decision I have ever made.
I will break it down into five reasons. I could go on further than that, but five seems like a good amount without boring people to tears and actually making some of my points.
1. I want to give my daughter better educational opportunities.
America does not have the highest ranking academic system in the world. Not that being the best is the end all be all of anything. It is not. But I also am aware that the schools could improve. My daughter is much more capable of excelling academically than she is right now within the public school system. The problem is, there are twenty eight other kids vying for the teacher's attention. This means that when she is excelling and could go on to the next subject, she must wait for her peers. When she needs to slow down, she can't, because she must keep up with her peers. I'm not saying the school did a poor job, I am just saying, I would be able to give her a better education at home, because I would be able to help her at her own speed. Plus, what I don't know, I can put her in co-ops, private schools, supplemental educational programs. There are so many opportunities out there, that can help me where I am lacking.
2. The school is not doing an adequate job of protecting my daughter.
Now, this is where I do say, I don't like the school. This probably is more unique to our school district, than necessarily school districts all across America. My belief is that technology is a great and wonderful thing, but there is also a level of responsibility and maturity needed to use it well. In our school district, kids are allowed and encouraged to bring in their own iPads, iPods, DS, etc. The problem is, that not all of these have the protections that the school has. Plus some have already downloaded items that are not appropriate for the age level that views it.
Our school does have policies that kids are not to share their items with other kids, but of course they do. In the past three months, my daughter has seen full frontal pornography, been exposed to Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball video, and told me about games I do not think are kid-appropriate. Unfortunately, I cannot stop this from happening, what I can do is remove her from the constant access to it. When she is older and more mature, I feel having full-access to the Internet can open up possibilities, but she is in fourth grade right now, and not ready for all that the Internet has to offer.
3. I want to give my daughter as many opportunities as I can, while allowing for free time.
Last year, my daughter's biggest complaint was that she didn't have any time to play. This year that got a little better, but she still often asks to do, great family fun stuff like play a board game, that we don't have time to do. Once school is over, sports are done, dinner is served, homework completed, it's time for bed. There is not a free moment just to be a family. By having her home, we'll have more opportunities to unite as a family, and she'll still have time for sports, friends, school, etc.
4. I want my daughter to be able to be kind first, and everything else second.
Teaching children to be kind is a full-time job. It's even harder when there is a constant stream of outside sources telling her it is okay to be snarky or rolling eyes is cool. These will be hard regardless of where the child goes to school. By being around her more often, I will have more opportunities to show her the beauty of being kind. Kindness is probably one of the greatest things any human person can be.
5. Life is too short.
This probably goes back to number three, but I feel like life is too busy. We need to cut things out of our schedule, but the problem is, the school day where there is a lot of wasted time, seems to be the only thing I'm willing to get rid of. Everything else is important. Being a substitute teacher, I see how a lot of classrooms are set up. I am amazed at how much of the day is spent being wasted. Not intentionally, but some kids horse around, some kids are naturally slow, some kids struggle in this area and that, so the rest of the kids have to wait. I would rather put more value in our day, then having all these extra non-essentials, where she spends random moments sitting in a classroom waiting for everyone else to be done.
Now, I am not saying I am against the public school system. I think it is essential and a very good thing. There is a real possibility we might home school and decide to put her back in school at a later date. What I am saying is that, I think there is a better way than always doing things the way everyone else does them, just because everyone else does it that way. I think it would be remiss of me not to at least consider alternatives.
After six years of infertility, she was blessed with the adoption of her oldest daughter who now is a teenager. Six years later, she finally became a mother a second time, this time with a baby through a donated egg and ivf. Throughout that time, she fostered nine babies and toddlers, met wonderful women who helped her grow, and learned to rely on Jesus. She started this blog with the hope that she could share her joy, experience, and willingness to grow with others, whether they battle infertility, toddlers, or teens.