Top 5 Reasons Why We Homeschool
We get asked this question all the time. And, it usually starts by “what school does your child attend?”. I smile and respond “we homeschool”. And, sometimes those words brings out puzzled and confused looks from even the closest relations, let alone outspoken strangers. Then, it’s followed by, “why”? So, I would normally just shrug and claim that homeschooling is what works best for our family. That’s it—end of story. In my head though, what I really want to do is state all 5478373 reasons why. I have become so unbelievably passionate about our decision to homeschool. I know this is my calling to provide to my kids and family and I’ve become a huge advocate for home education because I see the quality outcome in our day to day life. Before I explain our motivators, allow me to share a little backstory and how the homeschooling topic has done a 180 turn.
I am a homeschool convert. I wasn’t a believer of homeschooling until we had kids. Way back when my husband and I were dating, my husband asked what I thought about homeschooling and if it was something I’d consider when we had kids. He was inspired by a colleague whose wife was homeschooling all their five kids at the time, with the oldest two children successfully in college. Bear in mind I had just graduated with a degree in elementary education and was continuing with my Master’s degree in Public Administration, in hopes of getting my foot into the school districts. So when he asked me, I was sort of close-minded about the idea of homeschooling and thought how weird it is for kids not to go to school and be social with their peers. To me it was not the norm. I had studied to become a teacher and had plans to have a career in public education. Thus, homeschooling was on the total opposite side of the spectrum. Looking back, my opinion on homeschooling was based heavily on the stereotypes I had heard and learned from our society. But, I never said never to my husband and told him we will see what happens until we have kids.
Fast forward a few years later when our first child was of school age, the time had come to decide which education route we were going to take. We looked at all our options, homeschooling being one. I began researching everything from A to Z and talked to other homeschooling parents about their experiences. We received nothing but good and positive feedback and without any hesitation, I felt it in my heart that I needed to give it a try. So, when our son was starting transitional kindergarten that year, I told myself if I want to try this journey, now is the best grade level to do so. And, so we did and we couldn’t have been any happier with our decision. After a full year of homeschooling, we learned that we both loved and enjoyed the experience. And, definitely knew we wanted to continue the following year—the rest is history. Now he is in grade 1 by law, however, he’s a grade or two above his level on most of the subjects. Funny how life works out, ha?
So one might ask—Is he thriving? Absolutely YES! Is he weird and antisocial? Oh not even close. He’s a friendly kid who knows how to interact with all ages, involved in many extracurricular activities and has made so many connections from all over. Will he be ready for college? Of course, in fact, top colleges and universities are seeking homeschoolers to apply more so now than ever. The homeschooling community continues to grow every year by families of all backgrounds and all with various reasons. Just google the statistics and you’ll be surprised.
Here are our top 5 reasons why:
We control the curriculum.
As parents, WE have the responsibility of their education. As long as we meet state standards, then we are free to choose the curriculum that is fit for their learning styles. If our child is a visual learner, then we incorporate that. If we want to include bible stories in ancient history, then we can do that as well. There is nobody to stop us from how we teach and what we teach. The lesson plans are personalized to meet the child’s needs. They are free to learn and grow at their own pace. Homeschool education is not a one-size-fits-all system. My son loves to ask questions in the middle of a lesson because something sparks in his head in that exact moment and curiosity takes over. And, we pause the lesson to research his questions because we can, unlike traditional schools. We also like to build a curriculum around the important things in life that really matter: Faith, Family, Fitness, and Finances. We teach them how to create, build, think, speak, work, budget, invest, plan, lead, troubleshoot, cook, garden, start a business, etc. These are the things that make up our lives.
More family time and flexibility.
We can choose to do lessons however we want and from anywhere we please. We can start the lessons right when we wake up or later in the day after we go on adventures. We can go on field trips whenever we want. We can do co-ops within our homeschooling community. We can all be together as a family. The most common question asked is do you worry about the kids not having friends or being social. LOL. My answer to that is kids have all their lives to make friends. They’re always making friends. I’m still making friends from meeting other moms all the time. Right now, their siblings are their most important friends. However, my kids experience socialization all the time—we are not in a bubble or under a rock. They are active in church, always playing with the neighbors, playing sports, taking chess classes, scouts, dance classes, you name it and they’re doing it. They are not interacting only with immediate peers, as children in most public schools do, but with children and adults of all ages. And, most importantly the memories we’re creating on a daily basis of togetherness will reside in the hearts and minds of my children and me for a lifetime. And, that’s irreplaceable.
Our home, our values.
I don’t like how much the government is trying to exclude parents from the school system today. Also, many of the new curriculums and teachings do not match up with our beliefs. The world has changed tremendously and the childhood innocence that used to last until about age 11 or 12 has shifted dramatically. I want to be the one discussing controversial topics with my children, not having them taught at school. That being said, I do want to be super clear that I have nothing against teachers. I have nothing but respect for all the teachers in the school system who I know are working tirelessly and above and beyond what they are paid to do. However, I respect a parent’s right to choose how to educate their children, and for us that choice was clearly homeschool. I’m not gonna lie – I love that my kids are not exposed to a lot of the crap that is in schools today.
Being with my children
I love being with my children, watching them grow and learn. Of course, we have days that I want to pull my hair out of my scalp because it can get so chaotic. But, that comes with the territory and with patience and love, everything falls into place. Most importantly, seeing the twinkle in their eyes when they finally get the lesson we’re learning. My heart smiles from end to end when I witness their “aha” moments. Spending time with them day in and day out. Creating memories. Building relationships with me and their siblings. We have so much fun together living through their eyes. The season of childhood is so short and therefore I know I’m going to look back on these days and cherish all the moments spent together, the connection we built and the lasting memories we created.
Freedom and fun
This basically sums up everything. Freedom to teach what we want. Freedom to exclude what’s taught in schools that we don’t approve of. Freedom to travel and experience life—we’re not tied down to any firm schedule. Freedom to learn the things we’re excited about and interested to learn. Freedom to learn at their own pace. Freedom of not having daunting homework. Freedom to have fun and explore. Freedom to allow children be themselves and preserve their innocence for as long as possible. Freedom to interact with individuals of all ages because that’s real world. Freedom to plant the seeds of good character and moral values without worrying about the “morals” your child is obtaining from their peers, teachers, and other individuals in traditional school setting.
I hope this encourages anyone who is feeling that calling on her/his heart, maybe for some of the same reasons, maybe different reasons. No matter what kind of schooling you choose to do, that’s the beauty of everybody having their own story. There is no right or wrong way of doing something, as long as it makes sense for you and your family. We all love our babies and all the choices we make is for their own good, regardless of public, private or homeschool. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
If you already are a homeschooling parent, what are your reasons? Tell me in the comments below.