August is near–it’s almost back-to-school time again. Most of us already have a plan. But some of us don’t. I have one friend who’s been praying on weather she should take that leap into homeschooling–and hoping for a decision soon. So I’ve decided to release a series on homeschooling. Today I’ll share why I homeschool.
- Initially with my oldest child, we became concerned when by four years old he was unable to tell us what he had done during the day. At dinner, we would ask him to tell Daddy what he did today–just one thing. He couldn’t do it. He’d be teary eyed and just say, “I don’t know.” He’s very smart, but he lacks the tools to communicate this way. My friend is a Speech Therapist and has given us cognitive assignments to work on in hopes he will learn to communicate better. It’s not that we believe that the school system is evil, we just understand that things happen in school. If something were to happen to this child, we worry he would be unable to report it to us–and we refuse to let him voluntarily be a victim. This is how it started. Had it been a different child, maybe we wouldn’t homeschool.
- Homeschooling was supposed to be temporary until our child learned to communicate more efficiently to us. I talked to a lady who was involved in the elementary school system in our district. She mentioned how well my child could read, and informed me that children who read so well became bored easily, and most generally became trouble makers. She suggested that I stop working with his reading skills, as the district does not begin teach reading until first grade. Being told (with love, I’m sure) that my child would likely be a trouble-maker because he was educated early and that I should STOP his learning confirmed that homeschooling was the right thing to do.
- Never planning to homeschool the other children, or even this one for more than a year or two, I began to panic. I didn’t believe I was equipped to teach my child all the math skills he needed, or to read and conjugate verbs. Then God reminded me, he doesn’t call the equipped. He equips those he calls. He equipped me to teach my children when He appointed me as their mother. I still have to remind myself this.
- My children like to homeschool. They ask “to do school” during the day. They ask what the next animal/science unit will be.
- The older ones like to teach the younger. The younger like to learn from the older ones. We school as a family, and with the exception of reading lessons, we school together on the same or similar subjects. Of course the older ones are expected to gain more knowledge than the younger. My children know at an early age how to get along, how to support each other, and they are growing together. They truly are each others’ best friends. This would not happen if I put them on a bus and they all went off to different classrooms for seven hours of the day, and then came home and worked independently on different homework.
- I control the subjects. We do devotionals and character building first thing in the morning. There are no schools around here that do that.
- If my children are sick (and it happens with a group of them–often), then we can take a week off, and then pick right back up again.
- I am able to take more 1:1 time with each kid than any classroom. I’ve heard the critique “You can’t possibly spend quality time with each one.” Did you know the average classroom has one teacher for thirty or more students? Even if there is an aid, I still have much better odds.
- I know how each of my children learns. I use curriculum in a different way for each different child according to their learning needs. My state has adapted the Common Core Standard. That is how they teach every student–no matter what that child’s preferred learning preference is.
- If my children never learn to read, if my children never learn to do math, if my children never learn any history, but they do learn their bibles like the back of their hands and come to have eternal life with their Savior–then they got a much better education than the average high-school graduate.
- Children are not ready for full-time job hours by first grade. If you are putting a child on the bus by 7:00 and they aren’t getting home until 4:00, they are gone for nine hours a day for 4-5 days a week. Homeschoolers will tell you it doesn’t take nearly this long to teach your children. When they are young, they can learn more in a couple of hours at home than all day at school. High school is a game changer.
- I didn’t plan every aspect of my life around and pray and beg God for children so someone else would raise them.
- My state is one that doesn’t have as stringent of guidelines as other states. I am blessed to live in a state that has no hour requirements, and believes that a parent knows how to teach their own child best, and trusts them to do so. I don’t know how I would feel in another state that told me when to teach my child and what to teach my child. I might honestly feel intimidated.
- I have been told by many doctors I would never have children. I thank God for each of my children individually every night. I can’t wait to see their faces in the morning–seriously–and I occasionally get to tell them this as they go to bed at night. If I’m at home with young children, why not be home with the older ones too? I never thought I would be given such a precious gift as motherhood. Now that I have, I’m going to give it my all–every day–even though I may fail some days. God had never failed to give me what I need. I know He’s not going to start now.
So, that’s my list. Maybe some of these reasons are reasons you homeschool or would consider homeschooling. Maybe some you’ve never thought of before. I’m sure you have different reasons of your own why you do or don’t homeschool. I’d love to hear them. Please continue to join us as we go through this series. Stay tuned for the next post, My Biggest Fears of Homeschooling.