For every parent that decides to homeschool there has to be a why? Travis and I have 3 daughters, Amanda, Chloe, and Halle. Amanda went through traditional school, private and public, and did well. She graduated valedictorian of her class and now she’s in college. Chloe did well in kindergarten, loved her teacher and would rather have been in school than anywhere else. Then things sort of fell apart when she went into first grade. For the next 3 years she cried nearly every morning when she had to get up for school. She was stressed, she had stomach aches and she was exhausted. She never felt like her teachers were patient with her and crying in class happened a few times. As a parent it was hard to watch her struggle so much. My bubbly, outgoing girl that reminded everyone of Shirley Temple was miserable. I also wanted more time with her. She was gone for most of the day and then we spent most of the evening doing homework. She fell asleep at the table one night while “rainbow writing” her spelling words 3 times-every single letter in a different color. Our difference of opinion over creation vs. evolution was a factor that pushed us over the edge and we decided that even though Chloe was in the best school in our district, one that many a parent had applied to get their child into with dozens on a waiting list, we were going to homeschool.

I was nervous. What if I ruined her? What if I ruined, Halle who was just starting kindergarten? What if I couldn’t teach Halle to read and she was in kindergarten forever? How would I pick curriculum? Could I do this or would I end up sobbing in a corner somewhere while Travis enrolled the kids in public school?

As it turns out I did pick curriculum, Halle is reading, Chloe is happy and I never ended up sobbing in a corner or anywhere else for that matter.

How? I did a lot of reading and researching and picked a curriculum that has every day planned out for me. I knew that planning is a weakness for me so I decided to not use school as an opportunity to change that about myself. I saved myself a lot of frustration that way. I also hate math. So I found a program that would let Chloe do it on the computer rather than set us up for failure by trying to teach it myself. I also avoided chat rooms and forums because I know I have a tendency to get overwhelmed when presented with too much information. Plus I didn’t want to feel inadequate because I saw what all the other homeschool parents were doing that I wasn’t.

I also made adjustments when I realized that Chloe needed something different. Last year we homeschooled exclusively and this year Chloe is at a homeschool academy that meets two days a week. She gets instruction for all of her subjects except math and we do assigned work on the days she’s not in class. She needed to have interaction with other kids and enjoys being in a class two days a week and I enjoy not having to answer the, “do I have to do that?” question every day.

Halle is still at home full-time and loves it.

I love the sleepy-head looking through a book…we love doing school in pj’s.

Amanda comes home for breaks from school…and went with her sis to get her ears pierced.

This is my sweet, Chloe…and she’s happy…at school and because she got her ears pierced.

And now you’ve met the Button girls…except for me…hmmm…

There I am. I’m usually behind the camera rather than in front of it so I don’t have a plethora of pictures to choose from. Let’s see…did I forget anyone?

Oh, Travis….he hates having his picture taken. Why is he sitting on a fire engine? Our local station was having a Christmas with Santa event so we took the kids. It was the best.thing.ever.

He supports this whole operation and occasionally explains math concepts so that Chloe can understand them.

And who’s this?

This is Daisy. She doesn’t help me homeschool at all and sometimes she’s a big distraction. She’s cute though, with her big doggy smile, so we keep her around.

And that, in a slightly long nutshell, is why we do what we do.