Why I Homeschool

Why I Homeschool

“Why do you homeschool?”  I hear this question a lot from family, friends, neighbors, and perfect strangers.  For me it was an easy decision because it was Jason’s.  (Insert smile here.)

From the first time he heard of the idea of homeschooling he thought it was wonderful.  Me?  Not so much.  To homeschool I thought you had to be weird or crazy–maybe both!  Homeschooling was for the kind of people that don’t cut their hair, wear all home-sewn matching clothes and have children that sit still for hours with smiles on their faces.  You’ve seen the pictures.  If homeschooling parents weren’t strange, they had to be what I like to call super people like some friends of ours who live on a farm.  Their kids raise their own animals, milk the cows, and churn their own butter.  The wife writes her own curriculum and has a blackberry business on the side.  These were my two images of homeschoolers, and I knew I did not fall into either category.

Once Jason made up his mind that “we” were going to home school, it did eventually become a desire of mine as well.  Maybe not for the same reasons as my husband’s, but I began to see a lot of value in homeschooling.

First of all, my main job as a parent is to “Teach them (God’s Word) to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:19).  So it occurred to me that if I have my children at home most of the time, I will have more opportunities to teach them.  I’m not saying I couldn’t teach my children Biblical principles if some day we should choose to put them in school, but my opportunities would be fewer.  So I think this high calling becomes more difficult for those who don’t have as much time with their children.

Secondly, academically, I had taught in a small Christian school for several years before I had children.  Even in that environment, as a teacher I realized I was pretty much shooting for the middle of the class.  What I mean is that there were always bright students who were being held back somewhat, and there were always slower students who had a hard time keeping up.  I couldn’t go faster for the bright students and leave all the others behind, and neither could I go slowly enough to benefit the other students.  Teaching my own children, however, I can go with the pace of each one and bring out the particular things that are interesting to them.

I also really like having more control over who my children are with right now while they are young.  I know that homeschooling is not a guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to them, and that ultimately I have to trust in God for their well being.  But at the same time, I need to do everything I can to protect them.

Another thing that drew me to home schooling was meeting and being around so many home schooled teens.  Now, granted, there are all types, but the majority I have been around possess qualities that I want for my children, that I find lacking in many regular schooled or even Christian schooled kids.  They seem to demonstrate a love and desire for spiritual things at a younger age.  They are not so concerned about having all the “in” things and dressing a certain way.  They seem much more content.   They are more likely to converse and interact with people of all ages.  I see much more respect for their elders.  I’m talking, of course, about kids from groups that I have been around.  I do realize that home schooling alone is not a guarantee that kids will develop these qualities.  I have spent much time asking questions and talking to parents of some of these teens.  What stands out to me about the home school families I have met at church, regardless of their teaching styles and methods, is a genuine love for and commitment to the Lord.  This is what challenges me the most.  For whether I home school or not, I am teaching my children by the life I live.  Homeschooling is just one way that I endeavor to purposefully teach my kids what I believe.  So although it probably would not have been my first choice, and I do not promise to always home school, I am thankful to have this opportunity.

This post it linked to Simply Helping Him, What I learned, Gratituesday, Cornerstone Confessions, Time Warp Wife, Works for Me Wednesday and Women Living Well.

28 comments to Why I Homeschool

  • I can see why you homes school I use to ask that question to parents who did that because I never knew the reason. I thought they just did not want their kids on the public school system. I am sure home schooling and public school both have it’s advantages…And every parent must do what is best for their family. It’s not easy making those decisions I know my sister she scent both of her kids to a Christian Academy School and both there grades soared through the roof. They di did much better there then in public school.

    God bless you and have a blessed day…Desiray http://chosenwoman.wordpress.com

  • This is a fantastic post! We are homeschoolers too. I know that hs’ing isn’t for everyone, but I really feel that the benefits are amazing. People are so amazed that my kids can converse politely with adults and refrain from screaming/running/etc. in stores. Homeschooling gives such a greater opportunity to guide your children in the habits you wish them to display, and that will be invaluable in their future, because you are with them more.

    I love reading encouraging posts from fellow homeschoolers!
    God bless,
    Tori Banks

  • Anything I’ve ever heard about homeschooling has been positive. I say if it works for you — excellent! It must be much work for you and I salute your love and dedication to your children.

  • What a great post and great thoughts about homeschooling.

    My children are enrolled in an online public school, so we school at home, but I can relate to so many of the reasons why you brought your children home to school. I love having my children at home, learning with them, having the flexibility to school when they are ready to learn and not just doing “seat time”, and to be able to school at their own pace. Whether they are ready to move on or stick with a subject a bit longer, it is doable in this type of model.

    I think it’s so important for parents to have choice for their children’s education. It’s so great that you found something that works for your whole family.

  • We too homeschool and I am loving it! I love that my four year old daughter has such a hunger for the word of God. I love that she considers people of all ages her friends. I sometimes think that my friends would rather chat with her. :) I love that I do not force any lessons on her, however she loves to learn and has advanced beyond her public school peers just by asking me to teach her. And I LOVE that we do not have to wake up early every morning, stress about getting ready on time, and then fight traffic to make it to the carpool lane. Instead we can wake when we please, we can go on trips at whatever time we like, we can spend time with Da-da when he is home (works odd hours and times), and we can serve the Lord when He asks, not when the local public school says we can.

  • I can definitely imagine with your teaching background you could give your kids the type of attention and adaptive focus not possible in a public school. My experience with home-schooled teens is very limited, but I must agree, they were among the nicest, well spoken, educated young people I’ve met. I must, however, credit their mom for much of that. I’d have to imagine as the standard product disclaimer read, “results my vary”. Have a great evening.

    –Michael (aka: adaddyblog.com)

  • Great post! We, too, homeschool, and both my husband and I have taught in two different Christian schools. I have to comment on the comment above mine that it’s not because of a “teaching background” that we are able to teach our own children. My bachelor’s degree is in Management Information Systems–not anything remotely in the teaching field–and I was hired because of my computer experience rather than teaching interest. (Still, I was hired to teach the 9th grade English classes in addition to the Typing/Computer classes.) The thing I learned as a teacher in the classroom was crowd control more than anything else, and I completely agree with your comment about “shooting for the middle of the class.” Unfortunately, this concept was backed 100% by the administration of this particular school.

  • Oh, Oh, Oh!!!! I love you already Esther!!!
    Great blog here.
    I have to say that you don’t have to be super smart to know that regular schools are just missing the target for the last few years (dare I say a few decades?)

    When my husband and I first started talking about homeschooling, before even making the big decision, we were not 100% sure of what it all entailed. He even doubted my ability to stay focus on the whole thing (nice huh?)
    We eventually made the big jump, and we just know in our hearts this is what we need to be doing at the moment with our daughter.
    It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children the way of the Lord. They do not learn this in regular school (notice I’m not saying Christian schools. I can’t comment on them because I’ve had no experience in one).

    Oh I’ve heard it all from people who are against homeschooling– how are her social skills? isn’t that unfair to the kids? she’s not gonna cut it in the real world? (REAL WORLD? REALLY?) and much more.

    Let me tell you first of all that I would have given an arm, and maybe even a leg, if I would have had this opportunity with my mom. The extra time with mom, the attention, the individuality that children get, it is all so important in this day and age where you see young girls having sex at such alarming age; where you see young kids getting into drugs, even heroin has entered into the ages as young as 14! 14??? That is nuts! By the way, I KNOW this because my husband and I run a ministry for those who struggle with drug and alcohol.

    So many parents are so busy with THEIR lives that they forget to be in their children’s lives.
    So yes, homeschooling is crazy. Homeschooling is not for everyone. It is hard work. And I believe it pays off.

  • (I saw your link at Homeschool Hideout in Mom Bloggers Club.)
    I never thought I would HS either. But moving abroad made it a necessity. I love it, though, and wouldn’t trade the memories with my daughter for anything.

  • Jenifer Gerlach

    I loved reading your thoughts about homeschooling. We are a homeschool family, too. Ironically, I used to be a public school teacher before starting our family but did not want to homeschool at first, thinking they needed the socialization that “real school” brings. However, once we made the switch, I saw within weeks why this was the best choice for my children.

    Instead of “teaching to the middle,” I could allow my kids to work at their own paces, which was much faster than the pace I’d set in the schools. When a concept was more challenging, we could hover as long as needed until mastery was acheived.

    When asked the question about “sheltering our kids,” my husband responds with this. It’s not that we are sheltering our kids from the issues of the world. We are simply controlling the rate at which they are exposed and explain things when they are ready to process that knowledge.

    Homeschooling allows me to teach to the hearts of my children. When I taught in public schools, classroom management was my primary goal, but I had no ability to change the hearts and characters of my students. It was not my role nor could I take the time. At home, I am able to instruct and discipline with the goal of changing my children’s hearts to truth and godliness and as a result, I have well-behaved children who are lovers of God and truth. People love my children and are amazed at how much fun they are and how smart they are.

    Two have now entered college and are excelling as well as we could ever have imagined. I have three more I am pouring my time and life into. We take each year one at a time and ask God to give us wisdom in regards to schooling our children. Perhaps there will be an end and they will transition into public or private schooling. However, they have had such a solid base, I know they will do well. I love being home with my children. They are the coolest kids.

  • all6forHim

    Love your description of typical “homeschoolers”! Some days I think I am crazy, but there is no way I would give up the chance to spend that time with my children. It may take extra work, but I am the one who gets the joy of seeing them learn to read, remember what happened in Bible class yesterday, and get excited about what they are learning in history. A major commitment, but what great rewards!

  • Your image of homeschooling parents sounds like the Amish. I’ve known my fair share of homeschooling families, and they are anything but that! But I’ve found homeschooling does tend to foster greater creativity in children too…

    I also teach English and Biblical Studies at a Christian school and, believe me, the majority of the children may have all the right answers but don’t necessarily live out a faith in Christ when they go home. I’ve also seen teachers at Christian schools with pretty weird theology – at least you know what you are teaching them!

  • Love your blog and this post! I just found you after you started following my blog. You have a lovely family–God bless you!

  • Liz

    Found your blog via mom bloggers community! So glad I did.

    You have expressed so many things that I want to express for choosing homeschooling. I just read another bloggers post about a first grader being bullied…and it made me remember what had initially started me thinking about homeschooling. Just because everyone else needs to use the public education system doesn’t mean that I need to. And just because bullies exist in the world doesn’t mean I need to shove my kids into the world before they are ready to handle it.

    Thank you for your comments. I would appreciate you visiting my blog. Thanks!

    lil-LIZ-bits

  • Your reasons are all in line with my reasons. Thank you for posting to the BF discussion, I definitely need to hear these stories of “normal” people homeschooling for reasons that make sense to me!

  • My oldest is in 6th grade. Unfortunately she has autism. She doesn’t do well with other people. That doesn’t mean she is stupid or slow. It just means she struggles a ton with social aspects. She does have friends, but finds it hard to develop new ones. She is a loner in many way. Unfortunately this does not bode well for me. As a homeschooling mom myself, they look at her and probably (I’m guessing) think that I have screwed her up, scarred her for life, or that I should have sent her to public school. I have to believe that what I did was God’s plan. If I don’t, I tend to feel like I did fail her. With that said, she loves the Bible and God and I know that is something that she will never forget. Even if she falls away for a time, she will always have those formative years of bible memory, prayer times, and learning about the Bible that she would not have had in school. So I gotta believe it was for her best, even if academically, she isn’t where she should be. Would she be had she gone to public school? Who knows. I just know that she’s a wonderful girl with lots of talents and love. What more can one ask for?

  • I never thought I would home school either, but it happens. I like that no matter the reason, you can really tailor a program for your specific kid.

  • Samuel

    I was home schooled from 1st grade to 6th grade then went one public school after that. Now that I am 22 yrs old and think back on what home schooling was for me, I appreciate that my mom did it for me because I was encouraged to live my life for God. But thinking back to my junior high and high school years, being home schooled made it difficult for me to transition from it to a public school. I wasn’t used to being surrounded by strangers and didn’t want raise my hand when the teacher asked us a question. I always hated high school because of the different environment and because the students attitudes to others and to God. It took me about three years to successfully transition from home school to public school. So while being home schooled was very beneficial to me, it created a terrible junior high and high school experience that I can never go back and re-do. Now that I am a Christian though, I realize that being home schooled was crucial to staying grounded in Gods word.

  • Heidi

    I would LOVE to home school my 7-year-old. He is in the bottom of his class (he has developmental delays due to a trauma at birth) and I feel like we could give him a better education at home with the help of my mother-in-law who was an educator for 30 years. We do an extra 2 hours of school each day (1 hour before school, and 1 hour after school) and he is getting caught up really well with the one on one time with his grandmother.
    Maybe one day we will take the plunge and FT HS : )

  • Great post! After homeschooling my two kids through high school (they now have bachelor’s degrees), I can see how it all really does work. Wanting to have a lasting positive influence over our kids’ values/character and wanting to individualize our kids’ education were some of the reasons for our decision to homeschool. And it was so wonderful to see our kids become those homeschool teenagers we always admired!

  • I believe it takes a special person to homeschool. I commend your commitment to your family. I have never homeschooled my kids, although I had considered it. I did not have the confidence in myself to do it. A friend of mine homeschools until her kids are in high school. One of her sons graduated with my son from a christian high school and he was valedictorian of the class. I was so impressed with what she had accomplished.
    Btw, I enjoy your blog, I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts! :)

  • Found your blog when I was looking at Valentine’s Day activities and saw the link to this post and was curious as we are homeschooling. My 3 older children have gone through the public school system and I am less than impressed. The plan is to homeschool my 3 little ones and any others the Lord blesses us with throughout. I loved your post and your description of a “typical” homeschooler. I admit that I became interested in homeschooling while a member of a conservative Mennonite church and the one family would fit that description. But since then I have learned so much about homeschooling and all the benefits.
    I am now following your blog.
    Blessings

  • Hi there! I’m cruising through your blog – wonderful, sad, funny, you are talking about a lot of things that I need to get my head around too. Why you homeschool, your testimony are two that I will be working on in my journaling/blog. Thanks!

  • Thank you for posting this. I know I’m coming late to the game, but I can relate in that homeschooling wasn’t necessarily our first choice either. My son went to public school for pre-k and k, and it wasn’t right for us.

    I totally agree that homeschooled teens are different from traditionally schooled kids. The culture of schools today lead to different attitudes and behaviors than the culture of home.

    One thing we still struggle with is how to navigate the social issues that come up with neighborhood (schooled) kids. They use bad words, talk about inappropriate things, bully each other. Kids have no business socializing other kids!

  • Simply, It’s a lifestyle.It’s freedom.We do it our way.

  • Another thing I’ve noticed about teens who homeschool is who sweet they are to their siblings. I agree, it’s not across the board, and I’m not saying public schoolers arent the same way ( I know a few who are!). But overall, you can just expect them to swoop right in and take care of siblings needs and wants. It’s something I cherish in my own daughters. It’s so special.

  • I totally agree with you – we’re going back and forth between private Catholic school and home schooling for ours. You make some really good points, especially about kids when they are young, about being able to give them learning opportunities that fit where they’re at academically. That’s one of my biggest concerns with traditional schooling options.

  • I was never a big fan of homeschooling until we had kids. Now I dread sending our oldest to preschool – for many of the same reasons you mentioned. The downside is we are so far from anyone her age and she is so social… That and my husband is really against the whole idea.

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