By, Dr. Kerris Dillon
Have you ever thought about homeschooling your child? Are you tired of your son or daughter coming home from school in tears because of bullying? Is your child tired of watching other kids in the classroom get bullied? Does your son or daughter come home from school with the vocabulary of a sailor?
Maybe, it’s time to homeschool. I know! The word is scary, holds stigma, and people look at you funny when you say it. Trust me! I know! I was a public school teacher for 10 years and the homeschool children I encountered were either 2 grade levels ahead or 2 grade levels behind their peers. There never seemed to be a happy medium.
I decided to start homeschooling my son Kalan when he gained 17 pounds in one month at public school. I knew things weren’t going well for him, but our motto for each of the children was to “push through” and “it will get better” as each year progresses. It never really did get better for any of my children, though.
It killed me when I saw Kalan get off the bus each day, dragging his feet toward the house. He was physically and mentally exhausted and didn’t want to talk to me. I would hear bits and pieces of him and Gabe talking about all the bullying at school and how to avoid getting harassed, but I didn’t quite know how to deal with it. When I started getting letters from teachers telling me that Kalan’s behavior was at fault, this is when I drew the line.
Children misbehave not because they are inherently evil or naughty, but because something is wrong in their life and they don’t have the vocabulary, communication skills, or reflective ability to voice their concerns. All of my children are overwhelmingly quiet, sensitive, and very caring toward others. They do not approach others, but wait for them to befriend them. They take after their father because I am the opposite.
It was definitely the combination of the weight gain and the letters from the teachers that finally got me to act. The next Monday, Kalan and I went to the school and withdrew him from classes. We were officially starting our homeschool experience. I was very lucky that I was a teacher for so many years because I jumped right back into the process and figured out Kalan’s background knowledge, reviewed the gaps, and started filling in those gaps as quickly as possible.
I wondered how parents that didn’t have any educational experience were able to pick up these skills? I took to the Internet (specifically YouTube) to see how other parents were homeschooling their children. The first feature that I noticed was the enormous amount of love that each parent has for their child and wanting to do what is best for them. There were wonderful things about each parent that I noticed and then there were some things that drew some concern.
I didn’t judge, but I wanted to help. I was surprised at the level of knowledge these parents did have given that they did not spend 4 years toward an educational degree. I started writing down the potential gaps that I saw and eventually turned them into a book for parents. The book is called, “How to Successfully Homeschool Your Child” and is available on Amazon as an e-book. I am currently working on making a paper copy available as well.
This book includes how to choose a curriculum, how to access state standards, how to write learning objectives, how to write comprehensive lesson plans, how to assess student learning, how to differentiate instruction, and some tips and tricks that have worked in the Dillon homeschooling program. The e-book is $9.99 and definitely worth its value! Whether you are still thinking about homeschooling or have been homeschooling for years, this book will elevate and inspire you to create the best lessons possible. I am going to start sharing my homeschool and various lesson ideas on my YouTube channel starting in the next couple of weeks. I hope that you can join us and share your homeschool ideas as well!
I absolutely love homeschooling and so does Kalan! I have seen such a dramatic change in his self-esteem, confidence, and he has not gained any weight since he left public school. I have a blast watching him learn and ask questions about a variety of topics. It is amazing to watch his little mind work and put together all of the concepts that are swimming in his brain. You can do this and you can be successful! I promise you! Homeschooling is extremely hard work, but also fun and extremely rewarding. Please join the Dillon family on this journey and let’s help each other help our children to love to learn!