It’s no secret here. I love homeschooling! As I reflect back over the past 18 years of our homeschool journey, I have to admit that I really have never had any naysayers or unsupportive people questioning our choice to home educate our children. I know this is not the case for many of my homeschool peers, yet I do believe the homeschool stigma is slowly dissolving. In my particular case, I think that my confidence to choose to homeschool is what avoided negativity around me. We don’t have to have all the answers or even know what we are doing, because that will all come over time. We do, however, need to know why we’re choosing to follow a different path towards educating our children.
10 Reasons Why We Homeschool
- God inspired– We felt led to follow scripture and take “Train up the child in the way they should go” literally. We should initiate instructions, guide behaviors, develop self control, and build responsible moral character. In other words, we felt led to educate our own children as we prayed and sought answers on what would be best for our kids.
- Best option for us– it’s a lifestyle decision. No longer did I desire to rush around every morning, no matter how well organized I was, frantically finding that one missing shoe, shoving breakfast at my child, diffuse meltdowns because a favorite shirt isn’t clean, and discover last minute homework assignments, all the while pushing them out the door to be on time. Can I admit one of my favorite all time things about homeschooling is calm carefree mornings, focused structure midday, and creative afternoons.
- Freedom to choose– what is best for our kids. No more slowing our quick learners down or rushing a child who needs more time to process things. The freedom to allow our kids to work at the their individual maturity and ability levels has been our biggest game changer. No holding back or pushing our kids, but letting them go at the pace that they best operate at. This builds a solid foundation and creates limitless learning opportunity.
- I’m a No Drama Mama– I have no desire for my kids to play the comparison game, put up with gossip, or deal with bullying. Life will be hard enough to handle as adults but they don’t need to endure these things as children. Yes, these things will still happen, but as a learning objective rather than a daily dose of drama to digest.
- Flexibility– I’m a control freak. I absolutely love choosing a schedule that works best for my family. We start school a month earlier that our public schooled peers, and get out of school a month earlier. We love that. I’ve chosen 9 week quarters with the following 2 weeks off. We don’t take government issued holidays off which affords us to enjoy our 2 weeks off between quarters. I will claim sick days as needed as well as mental health days (which mainly is “wow, our house is really unruly, everybody gets to clean today” so that mom can maintain her sanity). I’ll even throw in a teacher inservice day if we need to regroup some purpose and direction. I like me deciding these things, not a government issued calendar.
- Time to explore– Because we limit our independent studies to the core foundation of reading, writing, and doing math (approximately 3 hours), this leaves us room in our day to follow rabbit trails of learning and discover new interests. Sometimes it’s together as a family like with history and science related things, and other times it’s things that become hobbies like fitness training, drawing, photography, etc… I love that each child gets the time to discover themselves better.
- Family Connection– less distractions outside the home equals more connection in the home. My kids were gone 9 hours a day when they were in public school. They were the first stop on the way to school and the last stop on the way home. I didn’t have kids so that someone else could raise them. period.
- Learning Styles– What a beautiful opportunity to let each child work within their learning style. I’ve had one student rise early and whip out his school work before his siblings even woke up so that he could explore other interests the rest of the day. Some of my kids learn better kinetically where as other are totally visual. Basically we work with their strengths while building their weaknesses.
- Our Own Daily Rhythm– We are a late night family. Commonly, midnight is our bedtime. We love it. It works for us. My two youngest sons like slow mellow mornings and are great to go in the afternoon for their independent studies. We frequently enjoy history, geography, and poetry before bed. Drawing and more literature reading are added in for kicks if we’re really in a good rhythm. Selfishly, I actually enjoy my early mornings to myself!
- We like each other- yes, that is actually one of the reasons that we homeschool. I recognize that we tend to stand out a bit for being a bigger family, but more so because we actually enjoy each others company. Oh, for sure we have some bickering and nit-picking on some days (typically with the pre-teen/early teen age range), but over all, as half my kids are now grown, we still find time to hang out atleast weekly with each other. Most of us on the daily still. I find it a glorious blessing.
So in a journey where we are no longer counting up the years of homeschooling, but rather are now counting down, with only six more years to go, I seem to treasure each year just a little bit more. Providing a home-based education is not always easy, but either is parenting, yet we do it. I have no regrets, and a whole lot of joy in the journey!