So... Tell Me Again Why You Homeschool?

There are a few different reactions that I get when I first tell people that I homeschool. Some nod and smile, and I can tell that they just think I'm crazy. Some make comments that aren't particularly well thought out, like the dad at my middle daughter's gymnastics class. When he heard that I homeschooled, he asked if my daughter ever got the opportunity to go and do things with other kids. He asked me this as we were sitting in the gym watching our kids at the gymnastics class they took three days a week for three hours each day. Hmmm.

Some people have expressed sympathy for my poor kids who won't get to go to prom. Really. And some ask the question, "Why? Why do you want to homeschool?" Some of the folks who ask this are just making conversation. Some are incredulous- "Why in the world would you want to do that?" But some are legitimately interested. And for these, I like to explain why it is that we homeschool.

Reasons for homeschooling


I first try to make the point that families choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons. We aren't all the same. There are families who homeschool for religious reasons, for academic reasons, for safety reasons, for the health needs of some kids. If you ask five different people why they homeschool, you'll probably hear five different answers.

So why does our family homeschool? Here are five reasons. (And, as other families all have their own reasons for homeschooling...you can check out below what other bloggers have to say as part of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair.)

I believe it's God's will.


Long before we even had children, my husband and I discussed homeschooling. I had friends who had been homeschooled, and as an adult I knew people who already were homeschooling their own children or who were planning to do so. I loved the idea from the start. My husband agreed, and with discussion and prayer, we decided that homeschooling was God's will for us.

When we first began homeschooling, we didn't know if it would be long term. Originally we thought I might go back to being a classroom teacher at some point- my career before having children. As time went on, however, we saw so many benefits to our family from homeschooling. And we've continued for the long haul because we believe this is God's will for us.

I want to spend time with my kids.


Can I share a little secret? I really like spending time with my kids. Really. I don't wake up every morning and wish I could send them away to school. I don't get tired of being with them all day every day. I like my kids. I've had people respond when they found out I homeschooled by saying, "Wow! I just couldn't be with my kids that much." That makes me sad because I think they're missing out on what spending time with their kids really is and how great it can be.

Now...I'm not saying I love every moment. Let me be clear. I'm not a saint, and I won't tell you that homeschooling is all sunshine and roses. There are times when I could pull my hair out, and I think, "Wouldn't it be great to stick them all on the nice, yellow bus that stops just outside our house every day?" But once I settle down from whatever has me in an uproar- like fighting siblings or huge messes made or a child who has stared at a paper for an hour without even getting started on an assignment- I realize that I wouldn't ever want to lose the time I have with my kids.

I want my kids to have strong relationships with each other.


My oldest child and youngest child are six years apart in age. If we hadn't been homeschooling, my oldest would have headed off to school the year that the baby was born. And with eight hours a day spent in school and an hour- or more with older kids- of homework in the evening- those kids would have had very little time together. They would have missed out on the opportunity to build strong bonds with each other.

Most of my favorite homeschooling memories don't have a thing to do with the curriculum we've used or academic lessons we've learned. As I look back, my favorite memories are of times when all the kids were laughing or talking together when we took a break for lunch. Even now, my younger two girls who are still school-aged, love that lunch time when we take a break from doing school and they can just talk and be silly. I know that if they had all gone to school with different schedules and different classes, they would miss out on some of those times.

I want to help and encourage my kids who learn differently.


I recently posted about the fact that I have one child with a special needs diagnosis, and I have two others that I think would probably have had labels if they were in school. (I've taught elementary school, middle school, and special ed high school classes and have a master's degree in education, so I'm making my own "diagnosis." :-) ) If these kids were in a traditional school, they would likely be struggling in a classroom where they were consistently not on the same wavelength as everyone else. They learn differently. They need different tools and adaptations to help them learn.

At home this has never been a problem. I didn't seek labels for two of my children because I didn't need to. I was already making accommodations and personalizing their education. They've been able to learn in the way that fits them best. They've never been "behind" the rest of the class and struggling to keep up. And I've never had to worry that they would have a teacher who didn't have their best interest at heart and didn't make the accommodations they needed.

I want to give my kids the freedom to choose their own paths.


So far I have two students who have graduated. One has scholarships and is attending a liberal arts university for four years- or more. One is taking a semester off to work full time and then possibly taking some classes at a technical college. I have two still in middle school whose paths after school are yet to be decided.

Every single one of my kids is different from the others. They have different likes and dislikes and different strengths and weaknesses. It's been my experience that traditional schools tend to funnel kids down particular paths. And if students don't fit the mold and move nicely down the expected path, they are penalized in tangible or intangible ways.

They fail classes. They are sent to resource teachers. Sometimes teachers don't know what to do them and don't have time- with twenty other students- to figure it out. Homeschooling has given my kids the freedom to choose their own paths, to do things differently but still succeed in their areas of strength.


So, there you are. That's a glimpse into the why behind our homeschooling decision. Why does your family homeschool? Have you ever had to answer that question for anyone?

Reasons for homeschooling



Now, let's see what my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about The Reasons We Homeschool.
Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST.

5 Reasons to Homeschool High School by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Weird Homeschoolers by Kim R. @ Good Sweet Love
How We Make Homeschooling a Lifestyle by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Our Ever Evolving Homeschool Story by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
5 Reasons You Will Want to Homeschool by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue) by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
Home Education - 10 Reasons we keep going...even when it's hard by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 - Week 1 - Why do I Homeschool  by Joelle@Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Reasons: Bullies, Faith and More by Annette @ A Net In Time
In Pursuit of Purpose by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided To Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
5 Reasons We Love Homeschooling by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Why We Homeschool - It's What We Do by Kristen H @ Sunrise to Sunset
Why we Home Educate and Extra Benefits by Sarah@Delivering Grace
Homeschooling: The Big WHY? by Lisa @ True North Homeschool Academy at Golden Grasses
Regaining Your Homeschool Focus by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
Why do we homeschool? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Our �Homeschool� Why by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
It's Worth it! Why We Homeschool, Even After All These Years by Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully
Because Life is Precious by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
1998 vs. 2018: Why We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

Virtual homeschool fair




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4 comments :

  1. Excellent reasons....spending time with them....huge!

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    1. Yes! It's been one of my favorite parts of homeschooling for sure!

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  2. Great reasons, thanks for sharing! I too have children that would be "labeled" if they were in public/private school. Homeschooling allows me to gear their education and to help them succeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, I'm so glad I can teach my kids the way they need to be taught!

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