Why we are a homeschooling family. Up until now we have always had the idea “we can still send her to kindergarten in the fall” but after much thought and discussion, we have realized that we always intended to home school our kids for the long haul. But as a former classroom teacher, I had to really think about what that means and WHY. I wanted to be sure I was doing it for my kids, and not for me. There are a many reasons, some funny, some serious, some silly, and some very real reasons why as one who does truly believe in our public schools would make this choice. So, in no particular order…here are some of them…
1-We have the freedom to follow our kids interests, where ever they may take us.
2-We can move at their pace. If they are “ahead” in one area, we can keep going. If they are struggling with things, we can take the time to really make sure they understand the concepts before moving on. Something many classroom teachers do not have the time or ability to do right now.
3-No teaching to a test. Yes, as a homeschooling family my kids will need to take a few standardized tests (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, grades) but other than that, no testing.
4-Learning can and will be found in all areas of life, including field trips, community events, and volunteering. It can even happen on vacations!
5-I won’t have to get my kids up and moving in the morning. We can move at our own pace.
6-There is and will be lots of time for play. Kids learn the most through play, especially at the early ages, but even older kids need to play. Everyone needs an outlet!
7-We will have time for extras like gymnastics, and dance, and swimming, and other sports that strike their interest.
8-No school car pick up lane!
9-No selling of random stuff to raise money for our schools. I don’t mind supporting our schools and sometimes those candy bars are yummy, but we are putting too much on the kids to raise money for their classrooms when they (and their teachers) should be focused on learning.
10-We can do school in our jammies any day we want!
11-We don’t have to stop a lesson, or a project simply because “it’s time to move on to the next thing” but we can explore and continue until WE are done. The opposite is also true, if we are struggling with a lesson or concept, we can simply set aside and come back to it later, or tomorrow, or next week.
12-We have greater control as to what our children are exposed to by others. This includes language, books, movies, concepts we don’t feel ready or are appropriate for our kids at that age.
13-We can take breaks and go outside when ever we need it. We can turn a trip to the park into an amazing learning adventure and they may not even know it.
14-Sick days? No problem. Snow days? Ah, no worries. We can do school when ever it works for us. Morning, afternoon, evening, weekday or weekend. As long as we hit the required number of days/hours in a given year, we are good. And we have a full year, not an academic year. And since school at home looks very different from school in a traditional setting, this is not really all that difficult!
15-No worries about sending “forbidden” food in school lunches. No worries that the lunches I send may be deemed “not nutritional enough”. No worries about what my kids actually pick/do eat from the lunch program.
So there you go. That is not to say that this includes ALL of our reasons, as there are many many more. But this gives you a little insight into some of the reasons. As times goes by I will likely address some of the more influential ones in separate pieces. If you are homeschooling family, what are some of your reasons to home school? If you send your kids to school, what do you like about it? Remember, there is not one right answer….just what is right for your family/child right now.