Why do I homeschool?
This is a big question. It's a question I field every week, if not every day from someone in my life. At times, I field it from well meaning strangers, at other times I field it from friends or family. The neighbors have asked, the customers at our family business have asked, my parents and my in-laws have asked. I have asked myself countless times on those weeks where it seems that nothing is progressing and all I am doing is arguing with my kids. Strangely enough, my husband does not ask. He is completely sold on the concept and even though we've only made it 5 weeks into our history curriculum in 19 weeks of school, he's sure that our kids are doing great. And he's right, of course. And yet, I struggle with my answer, as many other homeschool mommas do, because I always feel like I could do better.
I homeschool because:
- I know my kids.
- My son, the middle child, is filled with anxieties. Some of those anxieties are justified; he has a life-threatening food allergy and has to be wary of everything he eats. He has had teachers and other school personnel offer him foods that would kill him if he took them, from kindergarten on. He has a soft heart. When dealing with a bully in fourth grade, he told his dad, "Dad, I just can't say those things to him. He's my friend. It would hurt his feelings and I don't want him to feel as bad as I'm feeling." This was about the kid who had been relentlessly bullying him and turning other classmates against him for 3 months.
- My youngest daughter, the baby of three. She is smart, scary smart. We've made jokes about her taking over the world since before she could walk. In first grade, she came home one day and grabbed a book her brother was complaining about being hard to read (he was in fourth grade at the time). She opened the book and read the entire first chapter aloud, missing only two words: Massachusetts and Chatapiqua (or some equally difficult Native American originated city name). Two days later, her teacher was explaining to me that she was recommending her to the slow readers extra help session (after school for an hour, four days a week) because she was 3-4 months behind in reading.
2. I work full-time and odd hours and in school, I barely get to do more than feed my
kids and put them to bed.
3. I love seeing them learn and get excited by what they've found out. I love seeing
the enthusiasm slowly creep back into their learning process as they figure out
the world is their classroom now.
4. Standardized testing gave my then-fourth grader an ulcer. You could walk into the
school and feel the tension in the building. The kids were stressed, the teachers
were stressed, and it was hard to breathe the air in the building for that last 5
weeks of practice testing.
5. I don't think the government and the school boards and the teacher's union have a
better idea of how to deal with my children than I do. I don't think strangers, no
matter how well intentioned and educated should spend more time with my
children than I do.
6. They are only small for a such a short time. I have a 23 year old and I missed so
much of her life by sending her to school and working full-time and sending her
to daycare. I don't want to make the same mistake for the younger two kids.
There will be plenty of time for them to experience the real world when they are
older and wiser and better equipped to handle it.
7. Although we are not super religious, the right to call a party a "Christmas Party"
as opposed to a "Winter Celebration" is important to me. I want to share the bible
with my children as well as morality and right from wrong. I want them to be able
to share their belief in God and defend it in an intelligent and thought out way
once they are out in the real world.
8. I want them to see the merit of hard work and accomplishment as opposed to
skirting by to do just enough because the teacher will probably bump them up
to a B because she knows their smart enough to get a B instead of the C- they
9. I want to read fantastic books with my kids, traipse through the woods and draw
pictures of butterflies and rocks, look at pond scum under a microscope, and take
fantastic trips with my kids and call it schooling, because it is and they will learn
so much more than just cracking open a text book for 6 hours a day!
I guess those are the biggest reasons :)
I choose to home school because I don't trust that the government really has my child's best interest as their priority. I believe that to raise a critical thinker and self sufficient learner happens at home. With the "No Child Left Behind Act" and corporate education taking over, standardized testing has become the norms for our educational standards in traditional public schooling. Children should learn what they want to learn and at the pace they want to learn it. I want a more personalized and individual approach and more fun. Education should be fun, exiting, and playful!!!
I want to be able to give my children the attention and love they deserve, and tailor their lessons to how they learn and what their interests are. They can't get that kind of involvement in our school systems because it's just not possible for one teacher to give much attention when the class sizes are so large.
We homeschool to encourage our children's talents and offer support to their challenges. I love being able to offer them a well rounded education, strongly based in art, music, and a global perspective.
Why homeschool? Because we can tailor the learning environment to suit our daughter. The alternatives here for her were not conductive to her special needs and we want to give her every tool for success. She's incredibly bright but her sensory issues make it so that she would have a hard time in a typical classroom setting, at home we can meet those needs and allow her to pursue whatever topic she's interested in without worrying that she'd be labeled a "problem child" or "disruptive."
My two youngest are now 6 and 7, DH and I had planned on homeschooling since before they were born. Homeschooling allows us freedom to pursue parallel interests, to move ahead, to focus on something a bit longer; it affords me daily quality time with my children and allows us all the excitement of discovery.
I homeschool because I don't believe in the 'one fits all approach' in schools where kids do not get enough play and hands on learning time. I want to let my children experience the world through play and art, hands on, with an open and exquisitve mind. I want to teach critical thinking and instill a love for learning and life. I want them to experience nature and human connection to the world around us. I want them to be children for as long as they can...
The joy that comes when they are in the mud doing sciences, in the kitchen leaning math and best of all they don’t even know it. Listening to them talk to their friend about things I don’t think many kids their age talk about. The eagerness that is on their faces when we read our books about Greece or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. So way to I Home school my family? I home school them to give them what they need that no one can give them Love of a Mother.
posted it on facebook
We homeschool for the freedom. Freedom to learn what we want, when we want, where we want, and how we want to. For the freedom to explore new places and ideas, and the freedom to sit just quietly when we need that too. We homeschool because we love our family and we like being together. We homeschool because we want to be able to enjoy our own activities and experiences without sacrificing family time.
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