Why would anybody choose to homeschool?
Have you ever wondered that?
When I was young I thought, Homeschooling probably turns out lonely, socially awkward, uneducated adults... When I have kids someday I will want them in school.
But then something really weird happened.
I had my first child and I wanted to homeschool!
It all started with the feeling that I didn't want to give him up. I didn't want us to spend our days apart. I had given up my career for him... I had lost countless hours of precious sleep for him... I had nursed him to a point of being feverish and bloody... I had loved him like I had loved no other... And now I was supposed to hand him over to a stranger???!!! Never!!! So I thought, Well, while he's little I'll keep him with me at home. All I'll have to do is teach him shapes, colors, and letters... How hard can that be?!
Well, before I knew it, first grade was upon us.
And I flipped out!
I went to Micah, a little panicked, and said, "I can't homeschool! I don't know what I'm supposed to do! I'm not a teacher!!!" He listened quietly as I continued, "What do I do when the time comes for him to learn Algebra? How am I supposed to teach Algebra? I don't even get Algebra!!!"
At that point Micah stepped into the conversation and said something that instantly calmed me and changed my line of thinking on the matter. He said, "Why are you talking about Algebra? You don't need to worry about that right now. He's six. Why don't you just place an order for some first grade curriculum, and do it for a year. No one's making you commit to homeschooling for the next twelve years. Let's just take it one year at a time."
Ahhh... What a breath of fresh air his words were to me.
Let's just take it one year at a time.
His words breathed hope into me because I thought,
I can do that!!!
Well girlfriends, last year was Roman's first grade year and I must confess... I loved, loved, LOVED it!
Homeschooling is a very peaceful life.
So... We're going to do it again. Second grade here we come! Sign us up!
Are any of you wondering But, why? WHY homeschool?
Well, that's the topic of today's post.
I've written about homeschooling on this blog in the past, but I've never written about my reasons why. The closest I came was in a post from last winter titled, "Homeschool Mornings" where I share one of my reasons. In that post I wrote, "One of the many reasons why I homeschool my children is so that they can have a hot, homemade breakfast every morning. Homeschool moms all know that academics are only a part of it. A well-rounded, good quality life that is relationship-rich is our goal for our children. Homemade meals with family is a tool I use to accomplish this."
Would you like to know some more reasons why?
Before I list them I want to tell you what this post is not. This post is not me criticizing public schools. I am not anti-school. There may very well come a day when I send my kids to school. This post is also not me trying to talk you into homeschooling your children. I don't care what you do. Your kids are not my responsibility. Each mother must make her own decision about this based on what she believes is right and best for her family. This post is only my own little record of why I currently homeschool.
So! With that being said, here's my list of ten reasons why I homeschool...
1. I want to give my children an idyllic childhood.
A childhood filled with days like this...
Free from the confines of a classroom and desk, they can read in fresh air...
And learn lessons in sunshine...
2. They will bond with me and their siblings, not with their peers.
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Prov. 13:20
They are becoming each other's best friends...
We are always together...
And I get to be their primary teacher, influencer, and nurturer...
3. I can teach them whatever I want them to know.
I pick out all of the books and curriculum...
If I want to spend an hour teaching them Psalm 23 and forget about fractions until next year, I can do that! That leads me nicely into number four which is...
4. I'm the manager of our time.
I don't have a school telling me when I have to deliver my kids to them and when I can get them back. I decide where we go, what we do, and for how long...
"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." Matt. 22:21
5. We take field trips together as a family.
(That's Micah with three of our children at a dairy farm last year. I was lagging behind pushing the baby in the stroller.)
6. They are free to work on their own activities and interests.
(This is Nola painting stones from her rock collection with nail polish.)
7. There's plenty of time and opportunity to teach life skills.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Prov. 22:6
Life skills such as work ethic...
Helping out around the house...
Satisfaction in a job well done...
And meal preparation...
Speaking of meals, one of my most favorite aspects of homeschooling is being able to eat all of our meals together.
8. Three meals a day, everyday... Together!
Sometimes we take a break from schoolwork to eat lunch down at our favorite nature spot...
But if the weather won't cooperate with that, I enjoy knowing that my children's meals are eaten with people who love them and at our family table, not in a school cafeteria.
9. My children are learning contentment at home.
I've met people who don't know how to be content at home. I think it's sad. I tend to be a homebody, so maybe this is just personal preference, but if children are constantly being yanked from their homes and dragged all over town, they will never learn contentment at home.
And since their hearts aren't being tugged by the influence of peers, they also learn contentment with their own people, their own family...
(This is my children's cousin, Cecelia.)
There's more time and opportunity to invest in family relationships...
(This is my children's cousin, Elijah.)
I hope to teach my children that even though friends are important and can be such a blessing, they come and go throughout life; whereas family lasts forever.
10. We do life together. Everyday experiences are our classroom.
Since becoming a mother, I've learned to live my life alongside my kids. I've never out-sourced them. They literally come with me everywhere I go. Children absorb so much by watching the world around them. I believe it's a better teacher than just reading about something in a textbook. And they get to learn about the world around them being surrounded by people who love them...
(This is a four-generation photo. My children's great-grandmother, grandmother, aunt and cousin.)
This isn't an exhaustive list of every single one of my reasons. This is just ten of my favorite proactive reasons why I homeschool. I have reactive reasons, too, such as I worry about bullies in public school, and my children being taught humanistic and godless ideas that would contradict our Christian values. But most of all my reasons to homeschool aren't out of fear but out of my desire to be the best steward of my children's hearts and minds that I can be!
"Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:5-7
A friend of mine just said to me the other day, "You know, no one ever reaches the end of their life and says, 'I wish I had spent more time at the office,' or, 'I wish I had worked harder to make more money.'" She is right! Spend time with those you love! Pour your life out for your family! When our children are grown we will either say, I wish I had or I'm glad I did!!!
When I left my career years ago I knew deep down that anybody could step into my position and do my job, but only I could be the wife and mother in my home!
As I said in the beginning, A well-rounded, good quality life that is relationship-rich is our goal.
Thank you for reading about my reasons to homeschool! I'm looking forward to beginning our next school year!
What a wonderful life this is! And at the end of it I want to say, I'm glad I did!
Take care my friends,