Well first off I have to say that I never really saw myself homeschooling my children but after our latest move it turned out to be the only viable option for us. It all started a little over 3 years ago when we moved to Clovis NM. My 3rd child developed eczema on her feet and legs and over the course of the next 3 years we tried everything you could imagine to get her skin to clear up.
From what I understand about eczema is that it flare ups occasionally and that you treat the flare ups with steroid cream until it goes away. Well that would've been just fine for us as well but we quickly realized that something was different in our case. As we repeatedly told all the different doctors we saw at the base during the next 3 years nothing worked on the flare ups. Basically what we were facing was a flare up that lasted 3 years with no receding, in fact it got worse as time went by.
Finally in February it had advanced onto her face and the doctors then referred us to a couple of specialists on the next town over. During the course of this new round of testing we found out that our child was allergic to quite a few trees and grasses and the like that we were surrounded by. In April, after exhausting all other treatments, the specialists informed us that her eczema was being kept inflamed because of all the environmental allergens that she was reacting to.
That then threw the ball back into the military doctor's court and started a 6 month process for us to remove our child from an environment that was detrimental to her health. Well anyone that has ever dealt with the military knows the old saying "hurry up and wait" and that's exactly what happened for us. Eventually the wheels finished turning and we were sent to our new home in the nations capitol.
Now normally when you receive a new assignment there is a few month gap between receiving the orders and actually leaving. In our case however it was only a matter of a couple of weeks. So after a whirlwind of out processing and packing and cleaning for inspection and trying to see all of our friends it was time for us to hit the road to our new home.
Because this was a short notice assignment I wasn't able to get a lot of information about our new home until we actually arrived. Once we arrived my first priority was to talk with the school liaison officer to find out where my kids would be attending school. To say it was an interesting meeting is a gross understatement. The first thing we were told about was just how great the homeschooling community was on base. I was a bit taken aback by this until she started showing us the schools test scores. I was shocked at just how low the scores were, we're talking about a grade level proficiency rating for math of 9% and reading wasn't much better at 13%.
After getting all the information we could from the lasion officer we decided to do some exploring and seeing if we could find the school in question. It took a bit but we did find the school and talked to some of the teachers and the assistant principal to try and get a feel of the school environment. They were all very nice and very helpful but I was a bit put off by all the cops and security guards at the school. I had no idea that an elementary school would need that much security but I guess they did or they wouldn't have had them there.
Afterwards I talked to several of my new neighbors and went to the library to do as much research as I could while we waited for our own Internet service to be hooked up. I quickly found out that most of the folks on base either shell out a lot of money on private schools or they home school. After looking at it for a couple of weeks we decided that our best course of action was to home school the kids this year and reevaluate our options in the summer.