I recently was asked the questions –
Why do you homeschool?
I hadn’t been asked this for a while. Sure, I’ve heard the “you do what?” “Oh, that’s cool.” and I even got a “Wow, that’s really smart!” not long ago, which is a nice change of pace. However, I hadn’t really been asked “Why do you homeschool?” for quite some time.
So it got me thinking – why do we homeschool?
I think most people have a variety of reasons why they chose to homeschool their children. It can vary from, they were homeschooled and so they are homeschooling their children, to their child has a medical need that is better met at home, to they want a particular educational emphasis that they don’t feel they can get in a tradition, brick-and-mortar school.
However, to be honest, none of those are the reasons that we homeschool.
So why do we homeschool?
It’s really a list of reasons. We first started out homeschooling because, frankly, I felt that we were being called to do it. I felt that something was telling me that that is what we were supposed to do.
Neither my husband nor I were homeschooled. In fact, I don’t have a single friend that I knew that was homeschooled. I did not have a single friend that was homeschooling their children and I didn’t know any homeschooled children. I just thought I should homeschool my children. Interesting, huh?
I was so SHOCKED by the shear number of resources, curriculum, and homeschool groups, once I started researching the possibility, that I almost didn’t do it because it was overwhelming. Funny, now that I look back. But it’s true. When I first looked into homeschooling I couldn’t believe the whole world of homeschoolers that were out there that I didn’t know anything about. And the fact that there were “different” types of homeschoolers – who knew?
So we began our journey into homeschooling without a clue.
Without a friend or mentor. Without much of a plan other than to give it a try and see how it went. I vividly remember saying “It’s only Kindergarten, how much could I really screw that up?” – also a funny memory.
Now 6 years later, we are still homeschooling. Homeschooling a 5th grader, a 1st grader and have a toddler in tow. What an adventure! And, I’m a homeschool blogger – I certainly didn’t see that coming!
So that’s the answer of why we STARTED homeschooling but you are probably wondering – why do we continue to homeschool?
Well, because it works for our family. That’s the short of it. It works! But here is a list of some of the reasons that we keep homeschooling and why we like it so much.
Flexibility – my husband works a varied schedule so it’s nice to be able to adapt our daily schedule around his so we get school, family and daddy-kid time together regardless of his schedule. If we attended a traditional school, there would be weeks where we would barely see each other. This way, we typically get at least 1 meal together if not 2 each day. That is truly a blessing!
Freedom to study subjects of interest – one of the things we agreed on when we started homeschooling was that we would put an emphasis on foreign languages and life/practical skills. If we were going to homeschool we wanted to make sure that the kids were getting the things they might not be able to get in a traditional school. So my 5th grader studies 3 languages and has time to learn to do chores around the house, learn to sew, work on her art, and play 2 instruments. My son is studying 2 languages (very slowly) and learning one instrument. We don’t hit all this every day or “hard core” in any way, but exposure is imperative to us and the freedom to expose them to these things is a luxury we have with homeschooling.
Traveling – Dad travels with work from time to time and homeschooling gives us the freedom to travel with him sometimes. We don’t do it much, maybe about once or twice a year. But being able to go with him to a new place and be together instead of away from each other is great. And we have discovered some great places. Places we wouldn’t have gone. And, of course, the swimming pool at the hotel is always an added bonus to the kids!
Family Ties – One of the biggest blessings that homeschool brings is the ability to nurture the sibling and parent-child relationships. Homeschooling gives the kids a chance to learn and grow and experience things together. It gives me and my husband the opportunity to teach things to our kids and be there for the ah-ha moments. And it gives my kids a chance to grow up spending time with us and with each other for the majority of their time instead of other kids that will probably not be in their life later. Though they have friends from Sunday School, skating lessons, summer camps, intramural sports, scouting, and youth groups, as well as from around the neighborhood, they get to spend quality time together with their siblings each day. Though they are not perfect – there is certainly sibling rivalry, I believe that cultivating their sibling relationship is important for the long term and homeschooling lends to this in a special way.
There are a million other reasons that I love homeschooling. I love teaching my kids (most of the time), I love seeing them grow and get excited about learning. I love reading to them and learning with them. I love watching them help each other and take responsibility and a genuine interest in learning and helping their siblings learn. I love taking a break on a beautiful day and playing outside. I love exercising as a family. I love fun field trips and mid-week ice cream runs. I love vacationing in the off-season because we don’t have to go when everyone else is vacationing. I love the people we meet and the homeschool groups to which we belong (Classical Conversations). I love sitting on the couch and reading a book and taking time for another chapter because the kids want to and we can. I love learning in the car while we run errands because someone asks a great questions. I love that my kids can work at their own pace and working to mastery and not worry about passing grades and failing tests. I love playing classical music while we learn and coloring with my children while we listen. I love letting the kids sleep in because they needed to and seeing them rested for school and not overtired. Like I said…a million reasons.
But that is some of the reasons that we homeschool. I’m sure each homeschool has their own unique and valid reason for homeschooling.
Why do you homeschool? Have you considered it? Are you considering homeschooling now?
If you are interested in homeschooling here in Indiana, you should check out the website for the Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE). And I highly encourage you to check out the IAHE Homeschool Conventions, or at least a homeschool convention near you. I began my homeschooling journey just 6 years ago by attending my first IAHE Homeschool Convention and it was the best step I ever took for my family.
Come and meet the IAHE Social Media Team!
We are all excited to meet you and share our love of homeschooling with you.