I’m not sure we fit the stereotypical homeschool family mold (although we seem to be heading that way with our country living and larger family…) when it comes to our decision to homeschool, and I wanted to share some of the reasons behind why we do what we do.
To explain the whys of our decision, let me start by telling you a bit about myself.
I had the privilege of attending a Montessori school until 8th grade, and that experience played a huge part in who I am today. I then attended a public school followed by a Christian school and finished out high school at home through the University of Nebraska’s High School Correspondence program.
Another important thing to know is that I love school. Despite the fact that worksheets and desk work are pretty much the antithesis of the Montessori philosophy, I love those things. And I loved my college classes (which were just as eclectic as my high school experience, with community college, CLEP tests, university classes and online coursework rounding out the lot). I would be a professional student if I had the time and money, and the list of degrees I would love to earn grows longer each year.
So I guess you could say that the number one reason I decided to homeschool (and really, it was a decision I made when I was 16 years old) was because I wanted my children to have a unique and rigorous education that challenged them and was tailored to their interests and strengths while helping them overcome their weaknesses.
Thankfully, my husband agreed, and we’ve always known we would homeschool our children.
Add to that the fact that we built a house on the lot we’d always dreamed of, which just happens to be in one of the worst counties in one of the worst states in America, educationally speaking, and our decision was sealed.
Then I had kids, and you know what I realized? I realized that I don’t want to send them to someone else for 6-8 hours a day. I don’t want someone else to have the privilege of teaching them new things and watching their eyes light up when they discover something new.
They’re still my babies, and I want them home with me. I’m sure I’ll have moments when that might not motivate me as much as it does now, but I also know that they’re going to graduate and leave my home soon enough as it is, and I plan to make the most of every moment with them in the meantime!
Which brings us to Reason #3: I want them to have time to just be kids. I think one reason kids end up overbooked these days is because they spend so much of their day at school, commuting to and from school, and doing homework after school, and it doesn’t really leave that much time for extracurricular activities or free time.
Most experienced homeschoolers tell me that school should only take a couple of hours in these early years, which leaves plenty of time to just, you know, play.
If you’re expecting one of my reasons to be that I want to shelter my kids from that evils of this world and from non-Christian influences, I’m afraid I’m about to disappoint you. Our fourth reason for homeschooling is actually the exact opposite of that. I want to expose them to the real world and other belief systems. I want them to question and wrestle with their faith and deal with the hard questions.
I just want to be there with them along the way to answer their questions, pray with and for them and use every opportunity I can to tackle those hard issues together!
So that, in a nutshell (depending on your definition of a nutshell, I suppose), sums up the reasons behind our decision to homeschool.
Are you a homeschooler? I’d love to hear your reasons for homeschooling (and it really is okay if you disagree with any of mine!). And if you’ve consciously chosen not to homeschool, I’d love to hear your reasons too. Just remember please be respectful of other people’s decisions and their right to choose what they believe is best for their family!