Monday, June 3, 2013

Why Do We Want To Homeschool?

What made you decide to homeschool?  Why do you want to homeschool?  How did you come to that decision?  Lots of ways to ask:  What are you thinking, crazy woman?

The short answer:  Chewy still sucks her thumb. 

Kidding, kidding.  Kinda.  No really, I'm kidding.  There is no short answer.  I don't even think I can explain why we're homeschooling this next year in a long answer.

Homeschooling is a personal choice and as I talk to more homeschooling families, I'm encouraged by the many different ways it's done.

We are fortunate that our family can homeschool.  And we want to do it.  Not everyone can homeschool and not everyone wants to do it.  I would never discourage anyone from public school.  We enjoyed the school our kids went to and loved their teachers.  It's just time to try something different. And neither would I discourage someone from wanting to homeschool.  It's lovely to have options.

Here's some reasons why we are going to give it a go this year, but not every reason and it's in no particular order.  I may find myself coming back to this list when I have a rough day, so this is more for me.  I don't think I need to explain myself to others  (that would just confuse people even more), I just need to clarify things for myself sometimes.  I know there will be the rough days homeschooling, but that's okay.  There's rough days in any aspect of life.

Scheduling.  With our surprise trip to Florida, we got a truancy call.  I ignored it.  The kids are good students and their teachers knew they would be gone.  But we'll also be gone quite a bit during this next school year.  Homeschooling lets us set our own schedule.  We can vacation when it's cheaper and take off on weekend trips earlier.  We have to school 180 days a year and that won't be a problem.  Time doesn't factor into that, so if we can do school in 4 hours a day, that'll be wonderful.  The kids will have more time to play.  I'm all for playing.

Play.  The kids need time to play and be kids.  With them being in school, they didn't get the play time at home that we thought they should have.  Scooter had homework nearly every night, it wasn't that he was assigned much, it just took a lot of time.  He had a spelling worksheet every night, a math one every other, then we practiced spelling words, sometimes remembered to practice math facts, and then he read for 20 minutes.  Sometimes we might have time for Biker Boy and I to read to the kids, but there wasn't much time left to play.  Especially since our kids went to bed earlier than some other kids.  (Chewy at 7-7:30 and Scooter at 8-8:30).  And I didn't get play time with the kids like I would have liked.  I was either helping with homework, getting dinner ready, or getting kids ready for bed.  I hated not being able to play dolls or Legos as often as I should have been.

 Interests.  I can cater to the kids' interests more.  Scooter would love to do more science.  With the schedule in the public school, the teachers don't often get the chance to do science as much as they would like to.  Since I'm a former science teacher, I'm excited that Scooter wants to do more science.  We're going to try to do it at least once a week to start.  Chewy wants to do more art.  So we plan on spending half the year learning about famous artists and half the year learning about famous composers.  We'll also have an art activity once a week and I'm sure we'll have plenty of other hands on activities throughout the week.  The kids are so excited about their US Geography curriculum, that they've already been looking through it and exploring places on the globe.  (The globe has a pull-out section of the United States.)

Abilities.  I can cater to the kids' different abilities.  Scooter is a great student and right at his grade level.  But with going to school he wanted to come home and play and not work on anything school related.  He wasn't into challenging himself.  Maybe with homeschooling he'll be motivated to get his work done so he'll have more time to play.  And maybe he'll push himself a bit more.  Chewy loves doing school work.  She's already went through 2 weeks of first grade spelling words in 2 days and did 3 days of first grade math lessons in 20 minutes.  Since she wants to do the work right now (and it's easy for her), I'm letting her.  She needs to be challenged more, so I've already got second grade work and other items stashed up for her.

Socialization.  I don't really think that's an argument to put kids in public school anymore.  Homeschool kids aren't sheltered from the world.  There are so many groups and things for homeschool kids to do, especially in our area.  Frankly, the socialization the kids were getting in public school was really bothering me.  My kids make good choices for the most part (they're not perfect by any means) and they made really great friends, but some of the things they were being exposed to were not things Biker Boy or I were happy with.  It did present opportunities for talk and behavior direction, but some of that stuff can wait for a later date.  Call me old-fashioned and conservative, but I want my kids to be kids.  I have no idea how to explain this without being long-winded.  But mostly, my kids still need me as the biggest influence in their life...not their peers.  If you have a different opinion and don't agree with homeschooling, that's fine. The beauty of the world is that we all have different ideas and opinions. I know there will be a point when we can't supervise our kids, but if I can still take the time to be their biggest influence...I will.  And it makes me happy that they want me to be their teacher.

Direction.  We always said we would try public school.  And who knows, our kids could go back at anytime.  We may homeschool a year or we may homeschool up until they go to high school.  We don't know.  We'll take it a day or a year at a time.  I always said that God would have to shove me if He wanted me to homeschool.  Well, a whole bunch of nudging is the same as one big shove.  When we made the decision to "officially" homeschool it was like a weight was lifted off of me. After thinking about, fretting about it, praying about, and weighing the pros and cons...we decided to do it.  And when I said "yes", it felt like the right thing to do.  The kids and I are really excited about homeschooling this year and all the possibilities it will present us. I'm having a blast preparing their curriculum and getting their input on what they want to do.  I'm enjoying meeting other homeschool families and hearing what they do, they are all so encouraging.  And the kids made some wonderful friends in public school and I'm sure we'll still see them when we can.   

Yes, this will change my life.  I won't have time to myself like I did when the kids were in school, but I will have time with my kids.  My oldest is nearing 9, that's almost half his life with me.  And while he wants to be with me and be homeschooled, I'm willing to sacrifice my time.  I'll have plenty of it when they leave home someday.  For now, I'm going to cherish every moment I get.  And every moment they want to be with me.  Which is why my blogging now occurs at 10pm and I'm getting to bed later than usual.  Many things will change, but I'm happy about it.

That's my slightly long-winded, not as long as it could be, thing on homeschooling.  We're currently working on getting a "school room" ready, so I'll have to update on that.  And what curriculum we decide to use.  But in the meantime....any tips, resources, or encouragement about homeschooling?

Have a great week!  


  1. Oh, my goodness, AMEN to ALL of this!!! We are just starting out homeschooling our oldest in kindergarten, so my kids have never been to public or private school. But all of the reasons you list for wanting to homeschool are my same exact reasons as well!! So glad you shared. It makes me feel a sense of ease and relief because many of my friends are putting their children in public school. So I kinda second guess our decision sometimes! And we always get a lot of resistance from some family members. But I KNOW that this is right for us and to do anything different feels so wrong. Loving your blog!! :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have fun with the homeschooling! We are 4 weeks into it and loving it! We just got back from a field trip to the zoo to study habitats. It's so refreshing to be able to go to the zoo on a "school day" and not have to compete with crowds! Plus the kids got to eat lunch with their Daddy at his office. Enjoy homeschooling, relish the good and the bad. I still second guess my decision sometimes when I go by the school the kids went to, but when I hear them tell people how much they like second guessing is wiped away. You are doing what is right for your family, I'm sure your extended family will come around after they've seen you homeschool for a bit! Take Care!

  2. Just stumbled upon your blog - LOVE IT! We began homeschooling last school year, too. I was more shocked than anyone when both my kids said they wanted to be homeschooled again this year. It has been wonderfully eye-opening and I am so blessed to spend the day with them!

    1. Yay! Gotta love us crazy moms who don't send the kids off to school and enjoy it (most days)! Enjoy your schooling year!


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