Before I begin, I would like to share this excellent post from The Modest Mom on how determination is really the driving factor behind why we choose homeschool. I simply couldn't agree more with her on this matter!
Five of the reasons our family is choosing to homeschool this year:
- You get to train up your child - all day. Yes, I said "get to" because it is a privilege. Something not all parents around the world can legally do. Also, it is something God has called us to do. Deuteronomy 11:19 says, "You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up." Our number one responsibility as parents is to raise up God honoring children. We feel that training them in the ways of the Lord as well as in traditional school subjects, at home, provides the most edifying environment for this learning to take place. And, the answer is "no," I don't always feel like it is a privilege, but we think hard and pray hard about making decisions instead of allowing how we feel to rule the day.
- Welcome to the wide world of curriculum choices. Every child is different and has a different learning style with different interests. Choosing to homeschool offers the advantage of being able to customize the school experience through textbooks and style for each individual child as much as is possible. There are also book choices that help in keeping a budget (the local library comes in handy) and choices that help streamline teaching multiple grade-levels the same subject. I personally like several different curriculum companies and have an "eclectic" homeschooling style.
- The benefits to a flexible schedule. Who says school has to be from 8am to 3pm Monday through Friday? That box is too narrow for many homeschooling families. Its a beautiful day? Why not let your son go fishing before you dive into math? Its snowing? Why not take a longer lunch break than normal and build a snow man? The zoo is having a special event? Who says you can't just do school work on Saturday instead? Your kids want to show chickens in the fair? Schedule your fall break around the fair instead of around typical "vacation" times. You have those chickens that need fed? Teach the kids responsibility and let them do the feeding/watering and then start school at 9am. If I do say so myself, this may be one of the most appealing aspects of homeschooling to someone like me who doesn't always stick to a schedule that well!
- Preventing most negative influences. I've heard a lot of debate on this topic from both sides. I've also heard about negative situations that nobody wants their children to be faced with. Teachers or other staff at the school saying rude things to students (this one is rare but I have heard instances where this has happened!). Topics being taught that are the opposite of the family's values. Children that have very different standards influencing or "educating" your child behind your back on issues not age-appropriate or against your values. I am 100% for teaching my children to be a light in our fallen world. I am 100% for allowing my children to socialize and enjoy the company of other people - children and adults alike. However, it is not edifying to allow children around negative influences before they can properly handle such situations. In life it is inevitable - even for homeschoolers - that you will see or hear something that is inappropriate or against your values. However, as the parent that is almost always present you have the opportunity to immediately discuss those situations and direct their young thoughts to a Biblical understanding of why they are inappropriate and approaches for dealing with these situations. Sure your son might hear a bad word while you sit together at a restaurant or your daughter might question your clothing standards after seeing her friend from church wear something you wouldn't allow. These situations shouldn't be completely avoided because they can be used for valuable lessons.
- Family time. I really like this reason. I'm very big on family time. I don't like the concept of spending evening after evening rushing around to activities that "enrich" the children but often leave the family - as a whole - neglected. Young children are more enriched by an evening at home with their family spent doing devotions, taking a walk together, playing a board game, or wrestling with their dad on the floor than any organized activity can provide. While the education path that is chosen doesn't completely dictate your evening schedule, I do feel that homeschooling is a more compatible environment for encouraging family time. Another aspect of family time is sibling quality time. My children are very close in age and I thank God for that because I want them to be relevant and enjoyable parts of each other's lives. I feel that homeschooling will provide more opportunities for my kids to spend time developing bonds with each other than if they were in separate classrooms most of the day.
This post is linked up up here: