As soon as you find out you are pregnant, the questions start. Hospital or home birth? Epidural or natural? Formula or breast milk? And these questions never end! When my first born reached preschool age, my husband and I enrolled her with high hopes of getting a head start on her education. I cried the entire drive home. She attended public school for two years before I decided that wasn’t the right fit for us.
Everything in my soul told me to homeschool. My husband? Not thrilled with the idea. We both knew how homeschoolers were viewed by others; unsocialized, awkward and ultra-religious. However, I was determined. And eight years later, I remain thrilled with our choice. Our kids have been afforded adventures they would have never experienced if we had chosen to stay in line with everyone else. We took a big risk which proved worth it.
Luckily, we live in Tennessee. Our state makes it very easy state to home school (especially after living in NY). We have a “cover” school who tracks our attendance, and that is about it. I choose our curriculum. We spend on average of four hours a day on the core classes like math, science, history, language arts, etc. And we look for homeschool groups to fill in any gaps in learning I don’t feel confidant teaching. These include dissection (makes me squeamish), music, drama and art.
You have your pick of groups here in the Nashville/Murfreesboro/Franklin area. A few I know of are:
- Nashville Homeschool Calendar
- East Nashville Homeschooler
- Homeschooling in the Boro
- Middle Tennessee Homeschoolers
- Classical Conversations
- Heart and Hearth
- Murfreesboro Homeschoolers Cooperative
These are just a small sampling of those available! You can also read confessions of other homeschooling parents if you have ever thought it might be the right fit for you.
The Nashville area is enthusiastic for homeschoolers. We have been very graciously welcomed to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Schermerhorn Symphony, Parthenon, Green Door Gourmet, and many other Nashville businesses and museums. Support and understanding from the community goes such a long way. We allow our children to follow their passions and could not have picked a better community for them to thrive as compassionate, generous, and well-educated individuals.
We feel so blessed to have discovered this method of teaching and learning for our children. I have no doubt they will excel in everything they do. A few of the benefits we enjoy because we home school are:
- Being able to spend more time together as a family
- Allowing our children to follow their passions
- Being able to have a firmer grip on who and what they spend time with and learn
- The freedom to travel
- More time to spend working on where they struggle—ensuring they “get it” before we move forward
I realize there are parents out there who, for whatever reasons, (health, financial, don’t want to…) choose not to home school. Additionally, I realize there are some amazing teachers and schools. I am thankful for them. I am excited to share our experience because I was scared, didn’t know how we would afford to home school, and was very afraid of failing. But it all worked itself out, and we are so proud of what we have achieved together. Most importantly, this is what works best for our family.