Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why We Chose Homeschool

You might be wondering why we have chosen to homeschool since both of us attended public school as kids. There are lots of answers to that, but I thought I'd lay out a few of them in the event that someone stopping by these parts of the humble internet might be weighing their options on how they'd like to handle schooling their children.

First, let me say that I absolutely think that this is something that every family needs to consider for themselves... what works for us, won't work for everyone... and I'd like the same respect. Disagree with me, no problem... but I won't tolerate attacks on my family because of our choices.

1) The initial decision came because of our family's unique situation in that our boys are only 6 months apart in age. We didn't feel like it was fair for Tyler to have to wait to go to school for another year because of his birthday month being just after the cut off period for traditional school. He is a very advanced learner, and while his maturity might not be quite there -- I don't think that he should be held back from learning. They are so close that we felt like they should be in the same grade together. They can help challenge each other.

2) James has some challenges with his motor skills, but he is smart as a whip! He needs some extra time to get his cutting, writing, and other skills developed - so we can work with him one on one to get those skills caught up. He is crazy smart though - it's amazing what he can do if he is given the right environment and encouragement.

3) I've wanted to be a teacher since I was very young, but I'm not 100% on board with some of the things that are taught in the public schools. Additionally, I wanted to have some Bible study as part of school without having to pay for the boys to go to private school. Having a program that is all integrated together using the Bible as a basis for everything is good as well. The program we chose has 5 major subjects covered, but also has everything set up in a very user friendly way. That way the kids can use all of their knowledge as they gain it in each subject. For instance, there is spelling and vocabulary covered in all subjects -- and when the subject matter can tie back to the Bible, they cover that as well.

4) There is a lot to learn outside of the classroom as well: like home maintenance, car maintenance, health, cooking, baking, menu planning, budgeting, grocery shopping, time management, and so much more... that they can learn everyday while they are going through life. These things can be taught on the weekends and free time from school, true... but for us going through our whole day is a learning process.

5) This one might be harsh, but there is a lot going on in the world these days that I don't think my children need to learn from right now. While I don't want to completely shelter the boys from everything, I do think that kids are far too exposed to the bad things too early these days. I want to reserve the right to be able to talk to them about the good and bad they see around them on my own terms and in ways they can understand. While there are some bad things thought about Christianity these days, I want to teach them about the good that comes from our faith. I don't want to spread hate - I want them to learn that while there are things (sins) in everyone that aren't good, but you love them anyway - just as Jesus would.

6) Even though we went to public school when we were kids - life sure has taken a drastic turn. I mean, there weren't school shootings in the 80s and 90s when we were in school. There weren't teachers paraded on the news every night for raping students or anything else for that matter. Life was simpler then, and while bad things can happen anywhere... I'd like to protect them as much as possible.

7) All of that being said, we do have a FANTASTIC network of homeschoolers that we are able to interact with and share our experiences. We do lots of field trips together, and have a Moms Night Out once a month to let the moms get together and refresh our batteries to teach our littles. So, we do have a village, but it's a village of our choosing. A village of like minded families for the most part - not just people thrown together by geography.

8) Another reason would be standardized tests -- when I was young, they were a part of our schooling every year, but they just happened... there wasn't any taking months to prepare for them and teaching just what was on the tests. It makes me sad that this is what schooling has come to. I want my kids to have better than that - I want for them to learn without the pressure of an annual test. Our program does have tests, but they are done differently and I will be intimately aware of what we need to work on again vs what they have mastered.

9) As their Mom, I am uniquely qualified to be able to give them proper encouragement for their work. I can help them work when they are at their best, and around our own schedule. If someone gets sick - we can always work on the weekend to get caught up... if life gets in the way for a month... we can work during the summer. We have the flexibility to do what is best for our family.

10) Their Dad gets to participate as well! We call him the principal, but he is intimately involved in choosing our curriculum... he helps teach when needed too. He helps drill the boys on certain aspects of their learning, goes over their worksheets with them. He encourages them, and is a big part of our reward system as well. He truly is a huge blessing and help!

These are some of our reasons for homeschooling our children. I know it's not the right choice for everyone, but it is right for us.

1 comment:

  1. Great reasons!! I share a lot of your same concerns regarding public school and definitely think homeschool is in our future within the next few years. I'm glad homeschooling is going so well for you and your boys!


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