"Though we originally planned on sending our kids to public school, as the time got closer, we decided that homeschooling was a better fit. Even though my wife and I both grew up in the public school system, we wanted to have a more active role in our child’s education and thought homeschooling was the best way to do that.
When my wife and I found out our due date for our second child was a few days before our son started kindergarten, we adjusted our plan and sent him to the local public school. I have no doubt that the teacher and other individuals working there cared about our son and were working very hard. But it quickly became apparent that our son was going to struggle in that kind of learning environment.
Unfortunately, because of the way they test and have to teach in light of the assessments, my son struggled to show what he actually already knew. For example, one of the first things they pointed out was that my son didn’t know how to write the alphabet, even though he had been doing so at home since he was three and a half years old. Since the test was taken on a computer, our son struggled because he hadn’t really used computers before.
We know the teachers work hard and we are thankful for his teacher this year, but his experience only affirmed our desire to homeschool him moving forward. As we started to explore homeschooling options with friends from our church, we discovered a whole world of options. We ended up enrolling him in a homeschooling pod where he will be with about five or six other kids two days a week and then home to explore subjects he’s interested in on the other days.
We’re very excited and can’t believe the support we’ve found through friends and resources online. However, there was no real support or information available for this choice through any official channels, including funding.
We’re really blessed to be in the position we are in. We have the financial stability and family infrastructure to make a choice that will help benefit our son. But that would not be the case if certain circumstances changed. For families where both of the parents have to work, or families with single parents trying to provide for their children, this is just not a viable option.
Allowing funding to follow the child and providing easily available information on the different choices families have would be a game changer for so many families that have kids struggling with the public school model. I'm really encouraged that the legislature has taken notice this. School choice makes all schools better and gives parents the freedom to ensure their kid thrives."
Arkansan, dad of two, and industrial safety consultant