Why I Choose to Homeschool

I get asked this a lot.  A lot.  Why do I homeschool?

So many reason.  So many.  But what it really came down to was time.  You see, I like my kids.  I like being around them.  I like being the prime influence in their lives.  I like seeing what they do, answering their questions, having them involved in my life as well as me being involved in their lives.  I like knowing who they play with and having a say in who they spend their time with.  I don’t want the majority of their time being spent with strangers who don’t know our family.  Don’t understand our values.  Don’t hold the same truths dear to their hearts like we do.

We haven’t always homeschooled.  My oldest was in the public school system from age 3 through kindergarten.  When we moved halfway through his kindergarten year, we decided to homeschool because we didn’t feel comfortable in the public school system where we were moving.  We moved again partway though his first grade year to a better area and we re-enrolled him and Ninja Boy ( preschool at the time) in the local school.  It was a great school.  They had great teachers for the most part.  I had very few qualms, yet I still decided to pull them two years later.  Why?  I missed them.  God gave me the responsibility to parent these children and it felt like I was pawning off most of it to a stranger.  The bus picked them up at 7:30 in the morning and got home at 4.  That’s nearly 8 hours, 1/3 of their lives, 2/3 of their awake time, with someone other than me.  Too long.  Way too long.  Not to mention the fact that they expected the kids, even in kindergarten, to do homework.  Like 8 hours of school wasn’t enough?!  The short amount of time I have with them, I didn’t want to spend fighting over homework.

I also got tired of getting notes sent home telling me how… boy-like my children were behaving.  “He can’t sit still”.  He’s 5, of course he can’t sit still.  Show me a 5 year old boy who can sit still and I’d be worried there was something wrong with him. “He’s easily distracted”.  Yep, still a 5 year old boy. “He keeps trying to sit upside down in his seat”.  Sigh.  While they never outright said it, I know what they were thinking.  “Get your kid on ritalin.  We can manage zombies better than boys who act like boys”.  *For the record, I strongly believe none of my children have classic ADHD.  I know many kids who do that actually do benefit from medication so I’m not blowing that horn.  I also know plenty of kids who are just active boys behaving like boys mislabeled as ADHD for the benefit of their caregivers. But that’s a whole ‘nother story…

So we homeschool.  I know I’m not the ideal homeschooling mom.  Who is?  I’m an organizational mess.  Total disaster.  But I have happy children who can sit upside down in their seats if they want and they blow all the standardized tests out of the water (yes, we’re required to test every other year and I’m happy to send that test in to show them how awesome my kids are).

Maybe that makes me a control freak.  I like to think it makes me a great parent.  Yes, their younger years are controlled by me not their friends.  But I hope that as they grow older, they will take what they learned from me and apply it to their lives so I can step back and know they will be ok.

I homeschool because I like being around my kids.

*Disclaimer* I have many friends who choose to homeschool and more friends who don’t.  I’m not judging anyone.  Homeschooling isn’t the answer for everyone just like public school isn’t right for me.  Sending your kids to school doesn’t mean you don’t like your kids.  Please don’t read that into what I just said.

4 comments to Why I Choose to Homeschool

  • kami

    though we do go the school route currently all of the reason you have brought up ( and even a few more) have made me consider homeschool several times, and I keep considering it more. I have many friends who homeschool and many who don’t, but there are just so many things currently with schools that I think homeschool is becoming a much better option for many people ( and probably myself soon). You forgot that you can go on vacation or on any educational trips that you want, whenever you want without having to worry that the schools will be upset.

  • Melanie

    That’s reason #2 that we homeschool, though I guess it could easily be tied in with #1. Being able to take a 2 week vacation whenever we want is awesome. Especially with being a military family, the local school would only give one or two days (giving us maybe 4 days if we’re lucky) for most holidays making it impossible to go home ever.
    We’re actually doing things a little different this year and joined a homeschool coop that gives us the best of both worlds. We go to “school” once a week but the bulk of learning happens at home. Public school seems to have turned into more of a day care to accommodate two working parents than anything (again no offense to women or men who choose to work outside the home, more power to ya!).

  • kami

    I would like to join a co-op, I really think those are so great. Caleb and I were discussing it, but there doesn’t seem to be one in our area, oh and another good thing for homeschooling is that you can take your kids on many fun great field trips that the schools can’t, and you don’t have to worry about when ou stay up late, you can start your day a little later if need be, no yelling at the kids that you have to leave so you won’t be late.

  • I have a lot of friends who homeschool and their kids are geniuses :).

    I also work in a public school. I had no idea until I worked there how much of the day is crowd control. That’s why homeschoolers can knock out everything in a couple of hours, There’s not a crowd!

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