I never would have guessed that I would be homeschooling my kids. I went to public school. Elementary school was pretty awful for me on the social front, but hey, all my teachers liked me. I don’t have anything against public schools. Without them, lots of kids would go uneducated. But as our kids got a little older, my husband asked me to consider homeschooling our kids. I was resistant at first. I was kind of looking forward to that time when I would send the kids off to school. Maybe I would get a part-time job and bring in a little extra income. Maybe I would be able to volunteer somewhere. Maybe I could have more time for writing. But those hopes were all me focused, and once I started thinking in terms of our whole family and what would be best for my kids, I started to warm up to the idea of homeschooling them, at least through early elementary years. Here are the top 5 reasons my husband and I decided to homeschool:
- We believe homeschooling strengthens our family dynamic. My kids are closer to each other and closer to us, their parents, because we are together all the time. I don’t believe that this will always be the healthiest thing for our kids. One day they will need to branch out and become independent. Even now, through play groups and church, they have a place, for the most part, to be one their own. Soon my daughter will be old enough to be on a sports team or in dance lessons or karate or something like that. There is a good chance that we will send our kids to school for things like art class, since our public schools do allow homeschool students to participate in some classes (or so I’ve been told). And eventually, unless our kids don’t want to, they will probably be attending school somewhere else, public or private.
- We believe our children will learn better with curriculum chosen just for them and lots of one on one attention. My daughter loves paperwork. She loves following directions and getting things done. But my son…yeah, he’s a little different. He wants hands-on-learning. He wants to jump and be loud sometimes. He does not want to sit still. They both need something different. And with homeschooling, I can choose curriculum that fits them. I can also add in subjects, like Bible, that our family find very important.
- We love the flexibility. We aren’t bound up by school days. We can learn anywhere. We can take a break anytime. We can go on vacation in November and it’s alright. We can visit family and take school with us. We can take a Tuesday to do something else and make it up on Saturday. Homeschooling is so flexible.
- Our kids, and our family, are free to pursue our interests. What if my daughter is really, really good at math? Well, I can incorporate that into our field trips, into our learning in unique ways. Our family likes road trips and history. We can, at any time, take a road trip to visit a monument or museum. What if my son is really interested in farms? We can take a period of time to study farms, maybe even take him to one. What if one of them loves art? What about music? Mechanics? Whatever interests pop up, whatever skills shine through, we can work with and incorporate into our learning.
- We can, at any time, if we believe it to be better for our kids and our family, put our kids into a private or public school. Yes, I love homeschooling. Right now. Right now it is best for my kids. But I’ve learned over the years that what is best now can change later. Our lives may change. Our kids may change. And if that happens, we will enroll them in a school.
So, those are the reasons we believe homeschooling our children is the best option for now. A lot of thought and prayer went into this decision. Before having kids, I never would have guessed the amount of effort that goes into making decisions like this. How to educate our kids? How to feed our kids well and keep them healthy? How to foster kindness? How to discipline? These things don’t come naturally, at least not to me. Every parent has a lot of decision-making to do, and I know that we rarely do it lightly. All we can do is what we believe is best.