At any event we attend that is put on by our local homeschool group, there are always people I haven’t met before. Each conversation begins with the same three questions: “How long have you been homeschooling?”, “Which one [child running around] is yours?”, and then “What made you decide to start homeschooling?”.
You would think that this kind of regularity in talking with fellow homeschoolers would make a socially awkward and anxious person like myself more comfortable. It doesn’t. I think I am doomed to be socially awkward all the days of my life. But I digress. I’ll save these kind of talks for…another time and place.
So, let’s dive into our “Why?”.
1. My first reason is probably the longest, but also the most important. Public school is great for some, but it’s not for everyone: The months leading up to Rosie’s first days of kindergarten found me looking into alternative options to public school. She wasn’t yet 5 years old, but I knew with her artistic spirit, public school wasn’t the place for her. I looked into other options but let’s be real. I didn’t have the money to back any of that up. My husband jokingly brought up homeschool and I completely laughed it away.
Fast forward a couple of years in public school and my oldest has begun to lose her love for school. Where she would usually could have been on her deathbed and still would have wanted to go to school, she now would miss it for anything…or nothing. And her math skills seemed, to me, a little behind but since none of her teachers had concerns so I let it go. Third grade came. And it came with three teachers. The first one stayed until Christmas, then left followed by the second. The second was in over her head and lasted only a short time. She was the followed by the third teacher who finished out the school year. It was this year that more math skills fell through the cracks. We tried doing extra math at home, but after 8 hours a day in school followed by hours more of homework at home along with dinner and bedtime, there just wasn’t ever enough time. We hit our limit of what we were willing to overlook while Rosie was halfway through fourth grade and we pulled her out. Even though Ladybug was doing well, we pulled her out at the end of her school year. We wanted both of our girls to be able to move however fast or slow they needed in order for them to learn what was in front of them.
2. I want my kids to love learning. My oldest loved learning, and then it was squelched by having the wrong teacher at the wrong time. (Having this teacher later in her school career could have been beneficial, but it was the wrong time.) I wanted Rosie to have that love back. I feel like they will be better served later in life (like when they are in college) if they are always craving knowledge, always wanting to learn more. Also, studies show that we are more likely to retain what we are reading (or researching or whatever the case may be) if we are interested in the subject. We wanted to give our kids the chance to pick the topics that they wanted to study, instead of what they were told to study.
3. Also on my list of pros, I wanted my kids home with me. [I would like to take a moment to throw in a disclaimer. I know that not everyone who sends their kids to school does so because they don’t like spending time with them. I also know that not everyone can afford to stay home. I don’t say what follows to incite a debate. This is simply what holds true for me and my family. If you comment, please keep it respectful.] I missed my kids dearly when they were gone for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. We counted down to track outs and lamented having to return to school and carpool. I loved being able to spend time with them and getting to know them. This is more of a selfish reason to be sure, but I wanted our family to have stronger relationships.
4. I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with this next reason but it somewhat stems from my previous reason. Kids grow up so fast these days. They lose their innocence so quickly. I’m not trying to shield them from the world forever, I simply want to allow them more time to just be kids. They don’t need to be learning about some things from their friends before they are ready. They have a right to grow up slow without being pressured. I just wanted to give my kids time to get a better grasp on who they are before they have to start defending themselves.
5. I was called to do it. This journey was set at my feet and I finally listened. The idea to homeschool my kids had been on my heart for some time and the topic had been coming to my attention more and more. It took me longer than it should have, but I finally answered the call.
I am happy to say that I love having my kids together and watching the bonds grow. I will tell you, just because I love having them home does NOT mean we all always get along. No. My girls still fight like sisters and sometimes ignore their brother. It’s what siblings do. But ya know what? My girls *adore* their brother. To my Little Man, the girls are his world; it doesn’t make sense without them around.
Also, after a year and a half of homeschooling, Rosie loves learning. She can’t wait for school to start after breaks. She helps pick some of the topics and doesn’t fight me on any of the topics. She will watch Bob Ross on Netflix and paint along with him. She enjoys learning again.
So what about you guys? How long have you been homeschooling? If you want to share, what we were reasons to start?