Many people ask about my decision to homeschool. Those who don’t ask, assume a lot of things.
Here are a few of my thoughts on homeschooling.
- I find it completely remarkable that I am able to birth children, raise them as I please, and choose to school them at home where I, an educated mother, can teach them. The entire process is beyond comprehension and a complete blessing.
- I am not the type of person that believes everyone should homeschool. It is a matter of where your child will receive the best education and upbringing. If you are not educated, motivated or have the available time, then homeschooling is not for you. Public school offers many great possibilities and I personally had an overall good experience growing up in the public school system.
- This is a big one. Everyone assumes that homeschooling is exactly what I am passionate about and love to spend my days doing. This is a completely bogus assumption. Keep in mind that I said that I would never homeschool before I had kids. I made a decision for my family that is currently the best choice for us. I don’t love to sit home and make crafts with my kids. Actually, most days I think, if I skip this craft, we will finish school much faster. But, those hands-on activities are what help my kids learn the most. I do them because I want my kids to learn and receive the best education I can give them.
- Homeschooling is not easy. I don’t sit home and fold laundry or surf Facebook while my kids do their work. I choose to be a teacher and completely invested in their learning. I have given up a lot of things because of this choice to homeschool. I have given up a 2nd income in our family and temporarily given up a nursing profession that I enjoy. I have given up a lot of freedom. The hours that my school age children would be in class, I spend teaching. I’ve given up a lot of free time in preparation in the evenings and on the weekends. I give up a clean organized home on a daily basis and also my involvement in many things that I care about. But, I don’t regret the choice to homeschool at all. For me, the sacrifices are worth it.
- I love that our learning is not limited. We take classes in a classroom atmosphere with teachers and students just like public school kids. But, we also get to be a part of many great activities. We visit business, museums, orchards, do outreaches, etc. We do all this on group field trips with our friends! Also, I get to buy those extra supplies that teachers can’t often afford to do science experiments, artwork and history projects!!
- I don’t have to worry about cultural issues like homosexuality being addressed by other teachers. My children will be exposed to culture. They are pastor’s kids! Trust me, they get a lot of culture! But, I will be the one who will explain these important topics.
- If we are having a productive day, we finish school by lunchtime and have the rest of the day to do what we please!
- I know exactly what level of learning my children are at. We can move ahead on topics they know and slow down for the ones they struggle with. I don’t cut any slack though! I’m a tough Momma teacher! Trust me, you can ask them. We can test regularly to make sure we are up to state standards just like public school! Most of the time we are well beyond state standards.
- We can go on vacation whenever we want. We are on our own schedule!
- My kids get to be a big part of the family. We spend our days together! They help me do everything and they learn a lot of life skills. They get to go to work with their Dad and learn from him too! They cook, imagine, create, plant gardens and anything else we desire. Our possibilities are endless.
- Our conversations are priceless. All those days we spend discussing science and history drives us towards many deep topics about God and our world. I feel I have much more control over their influences in the homeschool setting. Keep in mind, I’m not trying to brainwash my kids! Seriously, I let them think and figure things out on their own. I give them the facts and then we talk about them. For example, we were just discussing the Muslim religion and where it originated. I let them form an opinion. Of course, it is influenced by our family’s core beliefs, but it is better that they discover rather than be told.
- New doors are opening every day for homeschoolers. They can now join public school sports teams and apply for the same scholarships that public school students can.
- I learn a lot of interesting things! I must have either slept through elementary school or wasn’t taught much of anything. Regardless, I do find myself asking “How did I not know that?” on a regular basis!
I’m sure I could go on and write a book. I did not include all the things I appreciate about homeschooling. These topics I’ve addressed seem to be the most controversial. These are answers to many of the questions or assumptions I’ve encountered since beginning this journey. I did not list the cons to homeschooling. There are those too. Nothing is perfect. But, for me, in my current situation, homeschooling is the best choice for my family. We may not do it forever. Regardless, we take every decision to God in prayer and follow His guidance.