In my last post I laid out 4 reasons NOT to homeschool your kids, but today I wanted to talk about the reasons why we DID choose to homeschool this year. Miss E is only four, so we’re not going super hard core yet. But I am using specific curriculum and am planning to set aside some structured time for English and Math each day. I wasn’t originally planning to do anything too structured for preschool, but she has been asking about going to school, pretending to “do school,” asking what words say and how to write numbers and letters, so I felt she was “ready.” So, here we are… homeschooling!
Note: I’m saying we chose to homeschool “this year.” My hubby and I envision homeschooling for years to come, at least through the younger grades. But what’s right for this year might not be what’s right for next year. I greatly respect the parents I know who have made changes based on the needs of their children, their family, and their season in life. I hope I will be open and willing to make a change in the future if it needs to be made.)
One more note: I don’t think homeschooling is the right option for everyone, and this post is not an effort to convince you that you should be homeschooling your family if you aren’t already doing so.
Below are some of the reasons why I’m homeschooling this year, but some of them may be the same reasons someone else chooses to send their kids to school outside the home. There are so many factors involved in the decision… I just think it’s important to take the time to consciously decide! If homeschooling, why? If public/private school, why? Consider your family, what is important to you, what options are available; and when you make the decision, rest in knowing it was a thoughtful one!
So here are some of the reasons we chose to homeschool this year:
One of the things I’m most excited about with homeschooling is the flexibility that homeschooling provides!
– in academics: we can move at our own pace, spending more time on something or moving ahead quicker as needed! When there are particular interest shown, we can dig deeper and learn more. I want my kids to be challenged academically while staying in the grade level of their peers.
– in our schedule: we can start the day when we’re ready, make time during the week for activities and outings, and we can structure the school week and year however words best for our family (i.e.: 4 day school weeks, work through the summer, etc.)
– in family life: schooling at home means we can structure our days to fit our family, and make plenty of play time for siblings, enjoy time with daddy in the morning before work (or stop by to visit him at his office), etc.
There are SO many fun ways to teach concepts (what better way to learn fractions than baking in the kitchen?!), and being home and one on one we have the time to do that! School can happen at the table or it can be outside, on the couch, or by the fireplace. We can use math counters or cheerios or ponies or princesses. There is also so much room for learning how my one student learns and then capitalize on that.
Another reason we’ve chosen to homeschool is because I have the desire to do so! School supplies and books and teaching and charts and all that teacher-y stuff really excites me. I also love being home all together (I’m happy as a clam on days we don’t have any plans to leave the house), so it fits my personality as well. (Miss E, on the other hand, appears to be quite extroverted, which is why the three weekly commitments I currently have on my calendar are all her activities. :))
Homeschooling fits the lifestyle and pace we want for our family. We love being home together much of the time. Family meals are important to us. I know there will come a day when life will get busier, but there are choices we can make to maintain what is important to us. I love that by homeschooling it allows for extended amounts of family time. Craft time. Reading time. Exploring and outdoor play time. It cuts back on a lot of the go-go-going that seems to characterize our culture. Homeschooling allows us to slow down a bit and move at a pace we’re comfortable with.
It really is important to both my hubby and I that we take the primary role in teaching our kiddos – about life and the world around them and people and most importantly, about our Creator God. This doesn’t mean you have to homeschool to take responsibility for creating a foundation in these areas, but it certainly is a wonderful opportunity to do so! Being with them day in and day out I have the incredible privilege and responsibility of teaching always… even when I don’t realize I am. They learn from not only what I say but how I act and react and respond to life. *gulp* It’s in incredible responsibility. But it’s one I feel I’ve been given. So I’m going to look for the teaching moments in everything… in the fun and the games and the math and the phonics and the frustrations and the field trips.
My children will be responsible to decide for themselves one day what they believe and how they will live their lives. Each of us are ultimately responsible to choose for ourselves. But I can take the opportunity now while they’re young to teach them from the Bible about who God is and what life looks like through His eyes and how we should then live and respond and view the world around us… I can teach them to recycle and plant trees and pick up litter because this is world God created and has given us the great gift of taking care of… I can teach them to ask questions and do experiments and look for answers because God created a world of stunning beauty and order and intricacies…
We’re at the very start of our schooling journey (already?! Can’t believe my baby is old enough for me to be saying that), and it’s exciting and overwhelming all at once. These were some of the factors that played into our decision to start homeschooling. Now how about you?
What are some of the factors that played into your decision to send your kids to school or school them at home? If you don’t have kids or they’re not school age yet, which way would you lean?