By: Krystle Crossman
Angie Kauffman, writer for Real Life at Home, never had a home-school mindset. She always thought it was kind of ridiculous and could not figure out how a child could learn outside of a traditional school setting. She went through college and got her teaching degree and still felt the same. She had two children and then her views began to change little by little.
Kauffman’s two sons were put into a developmental preschool at the age of three. One had an Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as ADHD and so he needed a little more one on one time. They thrived at the preschool and she knew they were in the right place and were getting what they needed. She loved the teachers and everything that they were doing for her boys. The oldest son transitioned into elementary school and that is where she started to notice some problems. He was accompanied by a paraprofessional to help him with his work and seemed to be doing fine. Then one day in second grade he told her that he wanted to be home-schooled. She was confused and when she asked him why he told her that he just wanted to finish something that he started but never got the time. He worked at a slower pace than the other kids and by the time he really got into it, the teacher would say that time was up and they would move on to something different.
When her second son entered elementary school and she watched them both struggle she made the decision that it was time to home-school them. They had a lot of people from the new church that they were attending who did the same. The transition was tough on all of them but they stuck it out for the first year to see how things went. The boys thrived. They were able to do their work and do it well because they were able to move at their own pace. They were learning and started to enjoy it. Her daughter was home-school when she was school-aged and never went to public school.
One day her daughter asked if she could go to public school the next year for third grade. Kauffman and her family went through a lot of decisions that summer. She realized that she couldn’t be completely committed to the idea of either public school or home-schooling and instead needed to be committed to what her children wanted. Since she realized that she has been able to have a much easier time with the educational choices that the family makes.