I have been an educator since 1999 when I taught 3rd grade at a Title I elementary school. While I loved teaching, I didn't love the paperwork or the constant pressure that came during the high stakes test season. So I traded in my chalk board for the college campus and spent 17 years at DeVry University. In 2010, I took a leave of absence from the campus to focus on my then 12 year old daughter who became a victim of middle school bullies.
The first thing I learned about homeschooling was that it didn't have to look like public school. Our first year, we did the public school at home (K12.com) and that was an administrative nightmare for me. Not to mention the lack of online classroom management frustrated my daughter to no end.
We were slowly finding our ebb and flow when my daughter was offered the opportunity to attend a local private school. Now we were both apprehensive because of the emotional scars from the public school experience were still fresh. But nonetheless, we gave it a try --and it lasted less than 9 months. By this time, I'd had enough. I mean, I was an educator. I had a Ph.D. in K-12 Teaching and Learning. I had a Master's Degree in Secondary Online Education; and, I had a Post Master's Certificate in Special Education. I was more than qualified but because of how I had been conditioned to think of homeschool, I wasn't confident.
So I turned to the one person who I knew would be 100% brutally honest--my now 14 year-old- daughter. I asked her "What do you think about doing real homeschool? Not the public school at home but homeschool where you and I would work together to select the curriculum that you will learn?"
I was half-expecting a non-response but what I got was an enthusiastic "YES MOMMY!!! YES!! I've ALWAYS wanted to be homeschooled like that since we were in Coweta County!" So I built my daughter's curriculum and supplemented with Dual Enrollment courses from GA Piedmont Technical College. My daughter took so many dual enrollment courses that she entered college as a second semester sophomore and graduated from high school a year early. Today, she's 19 and is entering her Senior year of college.
If I would have given up after that first failed attempt of public school at home, my daughter and I would have never rediscovered our flow. Homeschool is a lot like parenting. There's not one right way to do it--just as long as you have the following subjects: English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Reading/Literature you meet the GA requirements for homeschool students.
If you are feeling that tug in your heart to homeschool, let's talk!
About Dr. Mabry
Dr. Annise Mabry is an experienced educator and homeschool advocate.