The rambling answer to why we homeschool.
We’re on Week 2 of homeschooling for first grade and it’s going pretty well!
I’m not going to lie–it’s certainly *not* easy to find time to do “school” and still keep up with housework, plus taking care of the kids and pets. On top of that we are getting ready to put our house on the market, packing up everything besides the bare bones essentials, painting, etc. I am so busy!
Several people asked me what kind of homeschooling we’re doing and why we homeschool.
Why we homeschool is a question that could have multiple answers. Contrary to some homeschooling families I think the biggest reason is FREEDOM. My kids are free to explore what interests them. They are free to be themselves without being bullied, without being trapped in a building with 1,000 of their closest peers all day, every day. I’m free to be their parent without having to negotiate with a school system, without having to deal with a frazzled teacher lacking in compassion.
The second reason we homeschool is…morals? This reason is a little more difficult to explain. It’s not because I want my children to be sheltered, but simply because I enjoy spending time with them and want to invest time in nurturing them, not just educating them. There’s no reason they need to grow up too quickly. Childhood goes by fast enough. Now is my chance to help them learn right from wrong, to share wisdom, and to hopefully impress upon them how to be compassionate human beings.
We are Christian, but that’s not why we homeschool. I’m teaching Rosie about both evolution and creationism. We have the opportunity to discuss what our family believes, different dating methods, the findings of science, and what other people believe. We do read the children’s Bible as part of our daily studies. We’re also currently studying vikings, including Norse gods.
One thing I especially love about homeschooling is that my children are part of the world now. They won’t go to school for 12 years waiting to graduate and go out into the big world. They can venture out into the big world bit by bit as they grow and mature throughout childhood. They can live their lives now, not trudge through their school years looking forward to finally graduating and being free. They are already free!
Of course people *love* to judge homeschooled kids. It’s kind of laughable to me, honestly. For every person who has said something like, “I knew this one homeschooled kid who was weird…” I say to them, “I went to public school and I knew this whole group of kids who were really weird and had no social skills…”
Oh but what about this one homeschooled kid someone knows who didn’t do well in college? Hrm. I am on Facebook. Let me tell you how many of my peers from public high school did well in college, graduated, and now have successful careers. Uh, yeah…try not to laugh.
And hello? My kid does have friends and she is perfectly social. I don’t understand what people think we do. She doesn’t sit in a basement with no windows reading bible passages for all her waking hours. She plays with the kids on our street. She goes to dance class and homeschool co-op. At co-op she takes three classes and has play time with about 25 other five and six year old’s. We also participate in group field trips and play dates with other homeschooling families in our area. I was going to sign her up for Girl Scouts but I don’t think we have time for it right now, we’ve got too much other stuff going on. The homeschooling community in our area is very active and growing!
She also knows the tellers at the bank, the cashiers and baggers at the grocery store, and the greeter at Walmart. She’s able to politely greet them and have a conversation with them. Most of them know her by name.
When people say, “How will she EVER be socialized?!?” they must mean, “How will she ever learn what it’s like to be bullied and judged by your clothing!” Sorry guys, but I kind of hope she never learns that.
This is not all written to say that every kid who goes to public school is bad, or that it’s the wrong choice. Hi, I’m not ignorant. Obviously every family can’t stay home, some parents are not cut out to homeschool, some kids need special services that trained staff at school provide, and so on. But for us? Homeschooling is great and we love it.
I *have* to give a list of reasons we homeschool because it’s sometimes exhausting. I need to remember why I chose this!
And also because I’m not sending my kid to public school. If I’m not sending my kid to school then of course you would have the right to demand why…? Is this an unwritten rule? (Speaking about people in real life, not so much on the internet where it’s more normal to discuss these things.) I’ve never asked someone who sends their kids to regular schools why they aren’t homeschooling, but everyone feels they have to ask why my kids aren’t going to the local school. Then–oh, oh this is my FAVORITE part– they get defensive when I talk about it while answering their questions.
It used to bother me. Now I think it’s really, really funny because I have a list of sound reasons why we personally chose to homeschool, and I’m happy with it. Somehow in people’s brains this translates into me thinking they are doing something wrong…if only they knew! I am so busy trying to be a wife, a mother, a teacher, and myself that I absolutely do not have time to analyze or judge another family’s school choices. Why would I want to do that in the first place? The world is not black and white. Just because I am pleased with the choices we made (and we damn better well be pleased with them, we chose this path after all!) does not mean that we despise every other option.
That’s a stream of thought answer to why we homeschool. We homeschool for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because it’s really cool to hang out with your kids and learn new stuff right along with them!
See the next entry for info about what type of homeschooling we are doing!