In light of school starting this week (in Hawaii) and next month on the mainland and many other places throughout the world, I thought I would use this month’s blog to talk about homeschooling. Homeschooling has grown over the years, and, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is seeing a phenomenal growth in popularity.
This will be my twelfth year homeschooling.
Homeschooling found me by accident. We moved to Hawaii 15 years ago with one newborn. At the time school was not really on my radar. My husband and I are both university graduates, working in the higher education sector. I assumed that when my child(ren) were of school age I would send them to either a public or a private school. When my oldest was 4, I started exploring school options, and none seemed like a good fit for us because we lived an hour from the “best” schools and 30 minutes from the “good” schools. Both going in the opposite direction from mine and my husband’s work. I started asking friends in the community where their children went to school and discovered that quite a few of them were homeschooling their children. This was the first time I seriously considered homeschooling as a viable option. But I was not sold on the idea. The truth is I really didn’t know anything about it. So I made a decision to try and homeschool my 4 year old using a Kindergarten curriculum, that my husband picked up on a whim for $25 at a garage sale. I told myself that we had nothing to lose. If things did not work out, we would send him to school with everyone else his age the following year, “right on time”.
Fast forward one year, our first year of homeschooling went great and we have not looked back ever since.
I now have three boys which I am homeschooling. We are currently registered with a homeschooling charter school here in Hawaii and love the setup. It is a hybrid program which has us doing school at home the majority of the time and driving into Honolulu two times per month to attend in person classes on campus. The school allows us to create our own educational plan and pick and choose curriculum that works best for us up to grade 7. In grade 7 the students are given a laptop and the school takes over educating the students. My oldest just started grade 10, is doing grade 11 math, and some AP courses. For the past three years he has earned a 4.0 GPA, with a chance to earn a 4.12 GPA this year (due to the AP classes) and last year scored in the top 5% in the nation on his pre-ACTs.
Twice we have pulled our kids out of the school and took them traveling for an extended period of time internationally. During those periods of time I homeschooled them exclusively and am grateful for that perspective as well.
I love homeschooling. I will not deny that it is hard work, but the rewards that come with this type of lifestyle are extremely worth it. Although it’s tough, I think it makes the parenting part of my life a lot easier.
If this is something you are considering for your family, feel free to reach out and I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.