Hi friends! We made it back to florida— and if I’m being totally honest, I cried a lot on the plane– but because of the turbulence more than anything. I’ve been getting A LOT better at flying– but the intensity of the super moon out the window + the bumps + the age of the plane really just got the best of me last night. Regardless, we made it home safely. I then slept for nine hours and completely fell asleep on a pile of clean laundry by mid day too. So tired. But it was good— really good. 

We had talked to Marlowe’s teacher last week– she said Marlowe is reading at a second grade level. She reads and writes incredibly well, she just needs to work on comprehension more– being able to explain what she just read. To be honest with you, I still struggle with that too. I’m a speed reader, but I often force myself to go back and re-read to really understand what my brain just half processed. I asked if we could take any work on our trip for Marlowe to do– but we were offered the suggestion for marlowe to keep a daily journal instead. Honestly, I might start making Marlowe do this every night– trip or no trip. I really like the idea. Even one sentence of her day would be nice for her to document while practicing her reading and writing.

Marlowe is a complicated little kid. She has a heart of gold– with absolutely zero mean energy in her body. She cries when she hears bees are suffering. She wants to change the world. She’s just a really good person. And she can be incredibly outgoing while sometimes being so painfully shy– reminds me of someone I know (cough cough me). She’s so in love with animals. And curious as they come.

I never really considered homeschooling that much before– I always had this big fear that she wouldn’t be socialized enough at home. Only in the past few years have I come out of my shell enough to really get up and out more myself. Wanting to push to be outside– to be around people — to take in everything that friends and strangers have to offer. 

The thing is– here– at home, in florida, you can most often find Marlowe in her room. It’s a struggle to get her outside. She’s a super happy kid, but every morning she says she doesn’t want to go to school. After school I ask her what type of adventure she wants to go on– and other than getting smoothies– she wants to go home.  In Guatemala? The shift is huge. She spent every single waking hour outside– she was excited and alive. I’m not sure what it is here– but too often we feel trapped in doors. School is her time outside– yet she’s still stuck inside learning. So now, I have been questioning homeschool more. Putting it more on the front burner of my thoughts– wondering if maybe this would be a good shift. And telling myself where I could do it in a way where I don’t allow her to hermit all day at home– forcing her to adventure, to meet new people, and explore the world around her. I know I mentioned it (no matter how hard it is here in Florida)– but I am really considering doing it– for at least a year to see how it goes. Worst case: she goes back to school. She’s already in the gifted program, and asking to learn more, saying it’s too easy– so this would give us a huge advantage of working at our own, maybe quicker pace. I know one of the biggest obstacles is navigating through all the curriculums– but we have time. I’m not in a rush to pull her out of school or anything like that. I told her she has to finish out the year in public school and then we can discuss it. 

That myers briggs text I’m softening mentioning is spot on for the parenting section and my personality. This explanation of my parenting type always rings so incredibly true to me: 

INTP personalities are not particularly demanding parents, at least not in the sense that they expect their children to live a traditional life of school/career/marriage/house/kids/retirement (and in that order, thank you very much). Rather, INTP parents are demanding in an intellectual sense – they want their children to ask if this path is the best path for them, and how to go about following a different one if they need to. 

I just want her to be happy– to find herself and be herself and make the absolute most of it. We all thrive more in our own proper environments and maybe she’s not wrong to ask if she can be homeschooled and shift out of the public school system here. 

Most of the kids and families we know in our area are actually homeschooled. And half of the ones that are not, want to be. The school system is pretty bad here. I mean, we love Marlowe’s teacher and we’re super, super happy she’s in the gifted program– but I don’t at all look forward to the future, especially the high school school system here in Florida. But of course, high school is a longgggg ways away and who knows where we will be then. If I’m being totally open right now, going back to visit Antigua only made me want to move there more. Marlowe too. And even Alex was like, “okay, how do we figure this out to make this happen.” We’re open. I’m ready. So ready. I already have Marlowe’s school picked out, (a montessori school that focuses on earth sustainability and learning outside on an organic farm). I actually decided on the school months ago– it was a pretty obvious choice. And Marlowe actually made a friend this trip that will be transferring to said school– so she’s extra excited now that she knows how easy it is to make friends there– and how nice they are. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know. If it works out that Alex wants to stay here, then maybe we’ll just homeschool. Take off here and there and school at home and on the road. Who knows. All I know is that I’m totally more open to homeschool now. If any of you guys have suggestions for how to pick the best curriculum, I’d love that. She’s a detailed oriented kid that loves nature and art. 

It’s pretty obvious that my mind has been all over the place this past month (my whole life) and I have no idea whats really going to happen next. But things are good. My whole mission in life is really just to do more of what I can for this earth, be as happy as I can be, help Marlowe be as happy as she can be, and give her the best life possible— which I really think she has an amazing life. We’ll see what happens next, but for now, we’re open to homeschooling and would appreciate any advice on how to navigate the process! 

Thanks friends. Que sera sera, right? 🙂

21 Comments

  1. Hi drea! We are pretty new to homeschooling. This is only our second year, but wr love it. I have 2 kiddos. I don't have any suggestions as far as curriculum because we unschool. And honestly. I wouldn't worry to much about the socialization. Kids really don't get a whole lot of time to socialize in school to begin with. They're always told to sit down, pay attention, and be quiet. My kiddos are in a gym class and they have a bunch of neighbor friends they play with. Not to mention going to the library, stores, field trips etc they actually socialize more than kids in school do. Look into different groups that may be offered in your area. Maybe Marlowe could join some sort of art group or nature group near you. With all of the traveling you guys do that's also great learning experiences! I say give it a try for a year and see how you guys like it. Like you said, the worst case is that she goes back to school. Good luck with your decision!

    • Do you have a good site or book you'd recommend for unschooling? I do like a lot of the theories behind unschooling– I know we'd kind of do a mishmash of things. but any sites or book recommendations would be highly appreciated! 🙂

  2. Homeschooling is a great idea, I imagine you would both love it and learn so much about the things you are really interested in. I hope it works out well for you all. CJ xx

  3. I am an INTP too and, as I have a just turned 2 year old, I am seeing more and more my personality govern how I am parenting. It is fascinating and so exciting but so very exhausting, trying to give your child everything in you and all that isn't natural to you but so important to instil!

    • I don't know if it's a good or bad thing, but Marlowe is also an INTP– she is me to a T. Sometimes I think it's better because she doesn't crave the emotional stuff as much. I ask for hugs and cuddles or ask if she wants to sleep in themed with me and she's like "no I'm good over here" haha. We're an interesting combo together 🙂

  4. We homeschool. First out of necessity (leading disabilities + bad district) but now by choice. I think there are things you will love about homeschooling: watching Marlowe blossom in new ways, lack of school schedule rigidity, the complete freedom of choice in almost everything (curriculum, schedule, days off, book work vs project work, tailor it to both your personality styles). And there are things you will HATE about homeschooling. I hate any state imposed testing and any legalities for that matter (don't know the laws in Florida), the freedom of choice in almost everything can be overwhelming, you really have to let go and trust your kid IS learning, it's scary to be solely responsible for your child's education, not to mention the fact that it's less freedom/time/personal space for you. I've been homeschooling about 5-6 years now and it really is nice to be able allow your kid more fluidity in following their passions and help to find a school style that parallels their personality. We experience less stress, even for my extroverted kids, but especially for my introverted kids. You already know people who homeschool so you have a ready made social group, and those are pretty easy to grow now that homeschooling has grown so much. You can do fun things like day time nature hikes and piano lessons, my daughter (14) is going on local archaeology digs with a very nice archeologist I found because she's really interested in it for awhile now. There's so much flexibility. But. It's a trade. You really are giving up a lot. 6 years in and I still panic about not doing a good enough job. And I definitely still wish I had more me-time. But the trade, what we get, is worth it. I never expected to homeschool and I am 100% not the type, but we've made it work for us. You could always try for a year. Or do a "practice" over a holiday break. i personally think you'd be great because you're so passionate about what you want Marlowe to learn and understand and already are very involved. Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck!

    • both marlowe and I agree that doing things on our own schedule would be amazing. She says she wants to learn later in the day– that she doesn't like waking up early– though I don't think she realized that we only wake her up about 30 minutes before her natural body time. But yeah, my biggest fear is that she won't be learning enough. Which I know is crazy because I can see how much she knows now, and while a big chunk of that has been school, a bigger chunk has been what she has learned at home. But I'm always too hard on myself– so it's hard not to panic with that. And the mean time in a bit scary too. For now, it could work out though since Alex could actually spend time with her in the day before he goes to work and then she could homeschool with me in the afternoons. Also: local archaeology digs sound amazingggg!

  5. I wish home schooling was even an option here in Germany. My daughter will have to be enrolled in elementary school next year and I am dreading it. I don´t see her in a typical state school but private schools are expensive, so I don´t know if we can make it work for her to go to a Montessori school or something along these lines. I am totally overwhelmed, because for the same reasons I think she is not made for a state school I think she should go there…if that makes sense. Good luck with your decision, Drea. I am sure you´ll figure it out.

    • Yeah– our schools in florida are pretty terrible. We had to pay 400$ just to get her tested to see if she could enroll into the gifted program. Luckily she qualified otherwise she would be in the standard public school class here– as we don't have the extra cash to spend on private. Many of the private school around here cost more than our mortgage. It's insane. Are you not allowed to homeschool at all in germany?

    • sadly home schooling is prohibited by law. we went to a private school today and it was so amazing, the teachers, rooms and how they teach
      are great. still i am not sure what is best for my daughter.

  6. I chose to be homeschooled starting in middle school in order to get a better education and I loved being able to teach myself and take subjects I was interested in. I still participated in the music program at the school, and I know a lot of families will have their kids take one or two subjects at a public or private school just for socialization or subjects like math. 🙂

  7. I'm local to you and my kids aren't school age yet but you should check out wild + free homeschoolers south Florida (Central PBC) it's a great group of super helpful moms all doing different types of homeschooling and they have meetups and classes.

  8. I don't know much about homeschooling, but I do know a bit about the "whole child approach" I would check out ascd.org and the (WSCC) for curriculum ideas. My daughter goes to a "whole child school" its amazing.

  9. I don't have any personal experience with home schooling. Didn't know much about it, but when I started blogging and reading on natural parenting, eco living, spiritual awareness (you know the stuff haha) I found out that a lot of the people in my bloggers circle did home schooling. As much as it interests me and I see the benefits and also the shortcomings of traditional schooling, I wouldn't do it for myself. But I also see the downsides from homeschooling. It is a huge responsibiblity, you're always in doubt if you are the best suitable person for the job. It is also time consuming and expensive. All those trips to museums and educational programms. Trying to challenge your kid to do what is not a natural interest – because well…that's also what life is all about: doing something you don't really want to do and then finding out that you're pretty good at it or…that you definitely hate it :-).
    Also I wouldn't like to give up my role as a mother. I would prefer it to be a mother to my children, and teaching them all the extra's in life (like sewing, crafting, yoga, everything about the moon and what I think is good food). Instead of taking on the role as a teacher.

  10. As far as actual curriculum A Beka is one of the best math options for home school. Very easy to use for students and parents. You can also use history books that are published in other countries, which is super interesting to contrast with American US history books because there are some differences!

    If you have the opportunity at all to home school I would highly recommend giving it a try! I was home schooled most of the my life, attending public school full time in fourth and fifth grade while my mom got her masters, and taking a handful of classes in high school (Speech, foreign language, choir, debate, the stuff that helps to be in a group setting for). The pace I was able to learn was so much faster than public school (even in a district that is ALWAYS ranked as top in the state).

    We did traditional curriculum but also learned things in concrete ways. Like math assignments could be baking a double or half batch of cookies to understand fractions, or budgeting and factoring in tax on a shopping trip. We traveled with my mom and took tons of field trips. She officiated college track meets so we were regularly on the campuses of some of the best schools in the country, meeting students and athletes and faculty. We volunteered at local charities and learned how they work. We had science labs in elementary. Your kid can grow up learning job and life and social skills, instead of just "in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue" over and over.

    Home schooling fosters a different kind of thinking and behavior than the traditional system. Typically home schooled children are much better behaved and have no problem interacting with adults. In my experience, former home school alumnus are more likely to be entrepreneurs or to otherwise carve out a lifestyle they are happy with. I can't think of a single home schooled friend that I have that feels trapped in a miserable paper pusher sort of job or college debt load, while I have many public schooled friends who are. Obviously these are generalizations but I think this says something.

    I hope you can figure out what works for you guys!

  11. Check out Open Connections in Newtown Square, PA for some resources. Find a homeschool co-op.

  12. Have you thought about Waldorf Homeschooling? I have been following your blog for only a few months, but it seems like it would be a good fit for your wants/needs and personality. I am newly local (Boca) and could bring you some of my Waldorf books to borrow if you wanted some more info.
    http://www.christopherushomeschool.com/

  13. To help M with comprehension, when she's answering questions get her to highlight or underline the part of the text that she found the answer in. It requires her to actually go back to the text and look for detail rather than relying on her memory.

  14. My cousin lives in Canada and she homeschools all three of her kids. I think two are high school aged and one is elementary. They live on a small farm and are all pretty quiet, intelligent children. All three are learning different languages that they are interested in (one is learning Swahili!) and they have friends, but like Marlowe are often found in their rooms. The love art. They love their family. They love to read. And they're all perfectly happy kids.

    She is able to teach them the required material that they need each year, but she's also able to allow them the freedom to pursue their own interests, which is amazing. Sometimes certain schools aren't right for children, and that's okay. There are also alternatives like Waldorf, Reggio, and Montessori (I'm a Montessori early childhood teacher) that can help, too, because children are usually allowed more freedom to explore. I know those can cost more money, though. I'm lucky to work at a public Montessori school in a very high-needs area in NYC. The parents don't have to pay a thing.

  15. I gasp when I read your title! I have been thinking so much about homeschooling my 2 daughters over the last few weeks! I am also thinking that they would finish the school year and then we would just try in for a year and see how it goes. they are 4 and 7, so I can't mess up too much right?? I'm excited to read the comments here and learn more. We are in FL too, in Sarasota on the west coast. I'm excited to keep reading your thoughts on this so keep us posted!

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