Friday, February 7, 2014

Why We Homeschool

Many people homeschool, for many different reasons. I'm not your typical homeschooler. I do not homeschool for religious reasons, or because I'm against the public school system. There are some very good public schools out there. I'm just not impressed with the ones around here. We did have our oldest son in public school for kindergarten through third grade. His third grade year, kids were already bringing knives to school, and several FIRST GRADERS were caught performing various sexual acts in the bathroom. What will they be doing in middle school, or high school?! Yikes!

Our daughter was to begin school the next year, as well. So we moved them to a Private School 45 minutes away. This had me, and our at the time infant son, in the car for 3 hours a day, just transporting the kids to and from school. It was daunting, to say the least. On top of this, the kids had to rise at 6am to eat and be ready in time, for the 45 minute ride to school. They were going to bed at 7:30, but were still overly tired. We were never home from school until after 4pm, leaving a very short window of time for crazy amounts of homework, dinner, baths, and activities, like karate and basketball. Family time? Forget about it.

I knew several homeschoolers at the time, and must admit I found the idea absurd. I laughed at these people, as I'm sure others laugh at me now. After actually talking to a few of these silly homeschoolers about what they do, I began to change my thinking. Then, I began doing a lot of research, and found that homeschoolers DO in fact attend top colleges (my biggest concern), and weren't social misfits (not that mine were normal before, seriously). I didn't have much confidence in myself, though. I'm a self educated woman. I did not attend college, because life led me down a different path. I study constantly, on my own, always have, but is this enough? Well, I'm not teaching college. I'm teaching preschool through high school. These are grades I have completed, and did quite well in actually (but thank God for teacher's editions).

I took the plunge three and a half years ago, and began homeschooling. I've never been happier, and the kids have never been happier. They're retaining more of what they learn, as is proven by their much higher standardized test scores. The hands on experiences they get, and the moments when they grasp a concept and their eyes light up...I can't believe I missed so much of that in the older two's earlier years. I wish I could have those moments back.

Since we first began this adventure, three and a half years ago, so much has changed. I'm more relaxed than I was the first year. I also don't buy whole curriculums, but pick and choose each subject and tailor it to fit the child (I'll try to do a separate curriculum post, soon). We take more field trips, do more science experiments, and do fewer worksheets, than before. I have no stress over dropping our textbooks, when things get tense, and heading out for an afternoon, to regroup. I love what I do, and I love this time with my children. I really don't care that some of my "friends" are laughing at me, regularly.

I love moments like these...

....and THAT is why we homeschool.

Do you homeschool? Why?

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