This was Emma’s last week in elementary school! She finished fifth grade and is officially moving up into junior high next year. I’ve been homeschooling her for the last two years, and it has certainly been an adventure for both of us.
When I share with other moms that I homeschool, the first response I get is being told how patient I am. I am patient, but I have to say it is really easy with Emma because she’s a really good kid. She’s just super easy and laid back and for the most part does what I say or what she knows she’s supposed to be doing.
Our homeschool program is through our local school district. The school puts together our base curriculum and provides all the materials we need along with lesson plans. I get to add to it and also have the freedom to change things around, which has made this experience so easy. Emma still does all of her state testing and is using the same books and materials as the children at our neighborhood school. The standards are the same for her including learning common core standards. So she has the attention and help she needs without all the social drama. She is allowed to take music at our local school and next year she’ll take math and science at school and do the rest at home with me. We are very blessed to have this much freedom with her education.
One of Emma’s final assignments this week was to write an essay about her fifth grade year and what it meant to her. When I read her essay, I have to admit, it was hard not to get a little choked up. It reminded me why I’ve made the decision to do this. I could be building my business and making photography, but I really wanted to be with Emma before she grows up and away. I wanted to make a difference in how she learned and what her childhood was like. After reading her essay, I was reminded how important this time in her life is, and how happy I am that I can be an influence in it.
I thought you’d enjoy reading it too.
“Fifth grade has taught me so many things. I have matured a lot through the year because of my mom and my school. I’ve learned how to do so many forms of math and language. I’ve been able to take aerial arts, and violin over the year. I have grown in maturity and confidence. I have also learned to cherish my life. These are only a few of many highlights of my fifth grade year.
I have been able to take classes such as violin and aerial arts. I get to go to aerial arts and take my mind off of the stress of getting things done in school. At violin, I get to really work my brain, and I’ve learned to read music. I love that I am able to take part in those activities.
In homeschool, I have become much more confident in myself. In public school, I was constantly emotionally beat down about the way I looked. I was told how I was hated, and I was talked about behind my back. Now, I don’t have to deal with all the drama and unkind words being said. Again, I thank my mom for saving me from having that type of childhood.
Most of all, I have learned to cherish my life. I have learned to sit back and enjoy this “movie” we like to call life. I have had the opportunity to travel and watch movies that encourage me to look into history I’ve learned about in school. I have learned so much that has applied to my life outside of school. I love my life my mom has worked so hard to build for me. I could not have done any of this without her.
As you can see, I have had a wonderful year. Yet, I could have never done it without my school, or my mom. I love the way that we can take a day off of school to go swimming, or maybe even spend the day at Disneyland. I get to be myself.” -Emma Simpson 11 years.
When I was 11 years old, I didn’t feel this way about my life, then again, I certainly couldn’t write an essay either. I’m just so happy when she says she loves her life, and she says it often. I’m thankful for her, our relationship, and for my ability to be here with her in this moment and to be a part of it. I’ve taught her a lot of stuff over the last two years but everything I’ve learned from her is what really means the most to me.