I have the utmost respect for parents who homeschool their children. I wish I had made that commitment many years ago when my children first became school aged. Unfortunately, I didn’t and I sent my kids to public school. Elementary school went well and I really liked their kindergarten and first grade teachers. I felt that they really cared and caused my children to care about school as well. It was middle school where I really started to see a change. Teachers had to spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with behavior issues. Many of the kids in our district were unruly and troublemaking. Several of the teachers seemed to have given up and they showed an extreme lack of care with regard to educating. I felt as though I was sending my children off to a cesspool everyday. I had always had a very open, pleasant relationship with my daughter and son. I had never bought into the whole “teenage angst” idea and I let them know from early on that it didn’t have to be that way. I had always taught them that we will treat each other with respect and through that we will stay in tact as a loving family. Well, the more time my kids spent in their public school atmosphere, the more defiant they became. They were adopting bad attitudes and I would have a lot of damage to undue at the end of each day. I noticed that if my daughter spent a lot of time with other girls from school she would become almost unrecognizable. I had to work long and hard to get her back to the reasonable, respectful, low-drama child she had always been. School was changing them.
One day my daughter indicated to me that she might be interested in attending private school. She was hungry for a richer school experience. She wanted to be around teachers and other students who had a higher dedication to learning. We of course supported her desire and enrolled her in a reputable private catholic school even though we are not catholic. Long story short, she spent a year there and was even more dejected than she was before. She didn’t want to go back to private school or public school at this point. My son was also voicing his dislike for public school so we decided to look into cyber school. We scheduled a meeting with an enrollment counselor who walked us through the whole process. She told us how they would take virtual classes over the computer and they could also choose self-paced classes that they would complete on their own. She told us about the Italian language class with a teacher who was actually teaching from Italy. She explained the many enrichment activities that were available to them. She even showed us the many social activities that were offered. At the end of her presentation, I wanted to attend cyber school.
Flash forward to present day. Both of my children are in cyber school and loving it. Not everything was completely smooth sailing but it was definitely worth the change. My daughter was made for this style of learning. She has never been so vibrant. Her grades are phenomenal, she has learned so much more than she ever would have at her other schools and she has much more time for her hobbies and busy social life. My son struggled a bit in the beginning because he was not used to this more independent style of learning. But it also exposed his weaknesses and we were able to work with him to become a much stronger learner. This was an invaluable lesson that will carry him forward for the rest of his life. We are extremely pleased as a family to have made the transition to cyber school. It has added greatly to our quality of life and I believe it will improve the futures of both of my children’s lives as well.