Why I Homeschool
(This post was written back in May of 2008 on my old Rose Cottage blog, but worth a repost, as it’s all still relevant!)
As I’m ordering books for next year and working on my lesson plans, I am thinking all the more about the reason why I choose to homeschool. I hope you find this list helpful in understanding why I do it, but I’m also posting this to help myself remember on those days when I’m irritated or discouraged. I must add this disclaimer: this is the right choice for me and my family, but there has been a lot of prayer and thought going into this decision. I absolutely do not claim to know what is best for anybody else’s family.
I do believe that every parent is responsible for their child’s education, but I don’t think every parent is called to homeschool. If you do not feel called to it, then it will feel like a burden and will not be the best for you and your child. But if you do feel called to it, it can be an enormous blessing to you AND your child.
I know there are a few professional teachers, both active and retired, that read my blog – let me say that I know that you have loved and cared about all your students, and my choice to homeschool has nothing to do with teachers. Teaching is a very noble and necessary profession and I’m thankful to all who have made it their life’s work to teach children, whether their own or someone else’s.
Now, onto my reasons…
- No teacher can ever love and care about my child as much as I do. Now, I’ve been a preschool teacher and I loved those kids, and I had wonderful teachers who loved me during my own school years. But a teacher’s love for a child in his or her class will never be the same as a mother’s love for her own child.
- No teacher is more qualified to teach my child than I am. I’m not talking credentials and teaching degrees here. My education in no way surpasses that of a professional teacher. But I know my child: the ways she best learns, and where her strengths and weaknesses lie. It would be impractical, if not impossible, for a classroom teacher to ever know all those things about every child in the class. But I do.
- We have complete flexibility of time, curriculum, location, and methods for schooling. We can sleep late if we’re tired and not worry about missing the bus. We can do school in our pajamas if we feel like it – wearing certain clothing sure doesn’t help learning (and can even hinder if uncomfortable!). We can do school on the couch, on the floor, outside in the grass – learning can happen ANYWHERE! If a curriculum isn’t working for us, we can switch anytime we need.
- Family life doesn’t have to revolve around school schedules and activities. We have time to pursue other interests. We can skip a day of school during the week if necessary and make it up on the weekend. We can do school even on vacation, or camping, or anywhere and anytime we want.
- We can nurture the love of learning for a lifetime. So many kids lose that natural desire to learn because the way they are taught doesn’t work for them. Either it’s too hard and they get left behind and give up trying, or they aren’t challenged and it becomes boring. We can adjust our way of doing things, take mental breaks whenever necessary, and keep learning fun.
- We have more time for exercise and outdoor activities, and free reading. We can get a full day’s worth of school done in a shorter time period because we don’t have all the distractions of a class full of kids, and we we don’t have “homework” (or I suppose you could say that ALL we have is homework!). This allows us much more free time.
- Learning can be more hands-on, so it applies more to our lives and we remember it better. Or as Charlotte Mason taught, we develop relationships with what we’re learning about. If we’re familiar with a pond, we can better understand the Great Lakes, or the ocean. If we are familiar with the squirrels and birds in our yard, we can begin to comprehend more about true wildlife.
- We learn to interact with ALL ages. I have to admit that I that I have never once been concerned about socialization. I would rather my child be able to “socialize” with both young and old equally well. When we’re in the “real world”, we’re never separated strictly by age. You don’t find a corporation with employees assigned to work on the 3rd floor because that’s where all the other 30-year-olds work!
- We have a great grasp of the workings of “real life” because we’re involved in it every day. My child knows what the termite inspector does when he comes to check the house each year. She helps with grocery lists and grocery shopping. She has sat in the long line at the tag office when it’s time for a new car tag, and she knows how the process works. She has opened a bank account and knows how to make a deposit or withdrawal. “Real life” things will not be hard for her when she begins to do them on her own.
- I have a more intimate and meaningful relationship with my child. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to not have those 8 hours of alone time during the day when the kids are in school. But it’s worth it for the closeness we have.
- My child isn’t bombarded all day with ideas that are contrary to what we believe – and when big issues come up, I have the opportunity to explain things myself, rather than letting her learn about difficult concepts from a young classmate.
- Homeschooling works. It isn’t a new concept. Many of our founding fathers and other famously brilliant people were taught at home. Test scores for homeschoolers are usually higher than average. Colleges are eager to accept homeschooled students, and often even actively seek them. “No Child Left Behind” isn’t ever an issue at home.
- The biggest reason I homeschool is because I feel that God has called me to do it. I felt that calling before Kathryn was even born. Some of the verses that inspire me are:
~ Psalm 127:3 ~ “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”
~ Proverbs 22:6 ~ “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~ “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”
~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ~ “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
~ Psalm 32:8 ~ “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'”
- I don’t have to get up before dawn to get ready and out the door to catch the bus. (I’m not much of a morning person!)
- I don’t have to attend parent-teacher meetings… those happen every time I talk to myself!
- I can wear my monkey slippers all day long!
- And I just plain LIKE doing this… it’s FUN!