Hi friends, Steph here.
I’m sure you’ve noticed Indy Homeschool took quite a hiatus in 2017. My last post was published at the beginning of April, and I honestly did not log back in again until today, January 6, 2018.
Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2017, in a nice condensed version: I went through an ugly divorce. It was exactly the kind from a nightmare, complete with my being accused of educationally neglecting my children by homeschooling them.
The upside to being a homeschooler in Indiana: there isn’t a lot of paperwork we need to keep or officials monitoring what we do. The downside: when you’re being investigated, and you (like me) have taken full advantage of that upside, there isn’t a lot to prove you’re NOT neglecting your children’s education. I didn’t have test scores or portfolios full of projects. I had a calendar with dates checked off (the only thing required here) and two smart and well-rounded kids. Ultimately, it was my word against his.
I fought. Hard. My children wanted to continue homeschooling. I wanted to continue homeschooling. But ultimately, if it came down to homeschooling or losing custody of my kids, I had to choose keeping my kids. So they enrolled in their neighborhood public school in August. It was heartbreaking for all of us. And in addition to losing our way of life, I lost my business (what with my business being homeschooling and all).
My ex was on the warpath. He wanted to hurt me. He wanted to take away the things that made me ME. And he chose to use our children to do that. I mean, really, in an evil way, it’s genius. What more effective way to hurt a mother than through her kids?
The good news: my kids are fine. They’re adjusting pretty well. The Bug (now 12) jumped in headfirst and has blown away everyone with his abilities. He’s excelling at sixth grade. He has off-the-charts test scores. The Monkey (10), had a harder time getting used to it. He struggled in handwriting and spelling. He, too, scored at the top of his class in reading comprehension, though. And he’s worked really hard to improve the areas he’s had trouble in. This is not the path any of us would have chosen, but they’re rolling with it as best they can, and I am so, SO proud.
More good news: I am fine. Thanks to the ugly court experiences, others were able to see the true colors of my situation and help me get the help I needed to be a stronger person. I’ve been given a great opportunity to work more in the digital marketing world, doing the things I loved about Indy Homeschool for other businesses. What was referred to as my “expensive hobby” has become my career, and I love it.
For a long time, I couldn’t look at Indy Homeschool. It broke my heart, and I didn’t believe there was any way I would ever be able to look at the homeschool community again. It felt like someone had died, and every tiny reminder made all the pain fresh again. But as the months passed, I began seeing great opportunities again, and it was just a tinge of regret. Mostly it was the feeling that compelled me to begin this site in the first place: I want others to know about this opportunity. So slowly I began sharing the events on our Facebook page again. And then I started thinking, “maybe I should write a post about this.” But life was too busy and it felt like too much work.
Today, my birthday, the beginning of a new year, I’m reclaiming what is mine. Five years ago, I felt a calling to help the Indianapolis homeschool community. On a whim I created Indy Homeschool, and I never dreamed how much it would change my life. It gave me a voice, it introduced me to amazing people, and it allowed me to help my community. Today, I am no longer a homeschool mom. It is still so hard to write that. And maybe it’s not even true. Maybe once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler. I love this community with all my heart. I love what you do. And I still want to help you and make a difference in our community.
While I was going through all of the terrible things I endured, my mom said to me, “promise me no matter what happens, you will never stop being an advocate for homeschooling.” I wasn’t sure I could keep that promise. But now I’m back. I truly believe that Indianapolis needs this resource, and I want to continue to give it to you.
All that to say, I apologize for leaving you guys in a lurch. And I apologize if you don’t feel a public school mom is the best source of homeschooling information. I’ll admit, I questioned it myself. At first I thought it might be a little disingenuous for me to revive this site. But the past year has taught me to trust my heart, and right now it is pulling me to come back and be the resource your community needs.
Over the next few days (weeks?), I will be working to update all information and provide you with the best resources for local homeschool opportunities, field trip ideas, book reviews, and more. You can look forward to all the things you loved about Indy Homeschool in the past, and hopefully see some improvements as I grow. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see all the latest events and updates. Thank you for your continued and renewed support!