Why did you decide to homeschool? It’s a question we get asked often. Usually, I’ll get anxious, or overly excited they asked and say stupid things like, “it’s so nice to sleep in” (which we usually don’t) or “it’s easier on us.” These two things aren’t even on my radar when it comes to why we’re a homeschooling family. The signal from my brain to my mouth seems to always malfunction in times like these and I just want to scream, “Wait! Come back! That’s not what I meant to say!”Oops. So, here are the top five reasons (Yes, another list) we choose to homeschool our kids:
To be closer to the children. I started homeschooling thinking it was all going to work out exactly how I planned it in my new planner and if we got off course I would worry we were missing something, but then I realized the purpose of homeschooling is to enjoy being together. That is more important than what I had written in the planner or what that fancy, new curriculum says I should do. I still have rough days. Days where I would love the house to be quieter, or a mess just cleaned up to stay clean, but I can honestly say I enjoy it all. The good and the bad days spent with the kids are just that; time spent with them.
To allow them to be who they want. Hubs and I are firm believers that not everyone is going to go to college, get a great paying office job, and live in the suburbs. If our children want to work with their hands, or stay home and raise babies, we support that one hundred percent and want to help them be successful by laying the foundation to those trades. (I’m getting on my soapbox here) I feel the ability to see the success of celebrities, and self-made billionaires is so accessible with T.V. and social media that the world sometimes forgets some people enjoy blue-collar jobs and working hard. Herman is a hard worker and wouldn’t last two days in an office job. He likes working hard and being able to step back and see the work he has accomplished with his hands. In a lot of fields, experience trumps a degree. If Hayden wants to be a woodworker (which unless there’s a techy way to do it, he won’t) I want him to start NOW. I want him to be able to spend all of his free time whittling away so that he can start young. I want him to learn the essentials of running a good business and how to build one up from the ground. If Lylah wants to stay home and raise babies, I want to teach her all of the things about running a house I didn’t know when we started out. If Ella seeks to be a doctor, we will make sure she’s taking the right high school courses, learning everything that will be helpful to her in college, as well as give her the opportunity to take college classes during the day as a teen if she’s able. We can grow their resumes with jobs or volunteer work other kids can’t do because they’re in school and they can work odd hours to earn money for college (or life). These things will help set them apart when it comes to college applications or job interviews.
To shelter the children. Uh-oh. I said the “S” word, but I want to shelter their young hearts. I don’t want them to be hardened by the world. Not even a little. I want them to have soft, kind hearts so that people can see and feel Christ in them. Being hyper-aware of worldly things only leads to trouble. We will shelter our children so they can be the good in the world. We’re a pretty open family and always answer questions they have and never say things like, “mom just goes to the doctor, and the baby comes home with her. Just like that!” That’s right; heads up play date mamas, my kids KNOW how babies come out. Hard subjects are discussed in our home openly and without deception. So it’s not like they’re hiding out in our bomb shelter and are vitamin D deficient. (HOW COOL WOULD IT BE TO HAVE A BOMB SHELTER, THOUGH!?) We only want them to learn about things as they become curious.
To allow them to be themselves. I don’t ever want our kids to waste one second of their life trying to be like someone else or worrying whether or not the popular kid likes them. If they’re quirky and goofy, that’s who I want them to be. If they’re serious and an old soul, I want them to feel comfortable in their skin. I’m not living in a bubble. I know children can achieve this in school, but I know my kids and can already tell who would and wouldn’t. I don’t want them to follow the crowd and then after high school is over realize that’s not the kind of person they want to be in life. (Speaking from experience here.)
To let them be little. This one is newer. Starting out this never crossed my mind. Now, I wholeheartedly support learning through play. It’s what childhood should be made of. The goal of school in our home is to foster the love of learning. Elementary school teachers all across America are wishing they could spend more time playing during the day but they can’t. Their jobs depend on it. We homeschool so our children have the opportunity to learn through early childhood play and I’m so grateful for the ability to do so.
We’re proud to let our homeschool flag fly!