Homeschooling….it’s such a controversial subject. Somehow, within the distorted lens of society, saying you are a homeschooler means you are against all people who send their kids to public school. Can I tell you something? I have lots of friends who don’t homeschool their children. In fact, some of my best friends send their kids to public school….and we are still friends, really good friends, actually, who don’t judge each other on our schooling choices.
After observing my friend and her family for awhile, and being intrigued by their lifestyle, I approached my husband about the idea of homeschooling Evan. He flat out said “No way.” I finally, after much persuasion, convinced him to at least attend a homeschool conference with me so we could learn more about it before we made a final decision. After attending the conference, my husband was sold on the idea. He couldn’t get over how well behaved the kids were at this conference. They were sitting there with their parents not misbehaving or acting bored. In fact, some of the older ones were taking notes while the main speaker was giving his talk. I laugh about this now because I get it. It’s something my son would do today.
That being said, I receive inquiries weekly about homeschooling. I recently had a friend I met online through this blog who pulled her daughter from school and started homeschooling after Christmas break. I like to think I helped give her the courage to know she can do it. There are still a lot of questions out there about homeschooling, so I decided I would give you some of the reasons why WE made the choice to homeschool our son. First, let me say just because WE have chosen to do this for OUR family does not mean we think EVERYONE should do it. Would I love for more of my friends to homeschool? Uh…yes! Can you say play dates to parks and trips to restaurants during the week without the crowds…that equals awesomeness. Unfortunately, I do feel pretty lonely on this path at times. I do, however, have a great network of homeschooling friends in a town not so far from me and I adore them.
Here are eight reasons why we homeschool:
For those of you who have thought about homeschooling and feel like you could never do it, I’ll tell you something….I’m not anything special. I’m going on my sixth year of homeschooling and some days are not fun. My son and I fight occasionally, and we get sick of each other because we are both human and selfish at times. Sometimes, he doesn’t want to do school. Sometimes, I don’t want to do school. Some days, I call my husband up and say things like, “I’m done and I am enrolling him in school tomorrow!” I struggle with staying disciplined with lesson plans and keeping us on a routine. My son struggles with math. We have done five different math programs before finding one that works. Sometimes, I have to call my husband and have him explain things like fractions to me because I am not sure I understand them myself. I’m learning right beside Evan, and I love that part of it. I’m learning history, English (which I really need because my grammar and punctuation are pretty bad as you probably can tell), and all sorts of things I have forgotten over time. Last year we were able to read several missionary biographies and my son’s eyes were opened to how Christians are sometimes treated in this world. It was a life-changing school year for us. I cried while reading him the stories of Nate Saint, George Muller, Amy Carmichael, and Gladys Aylward. My heart was stirred for missions, and I was once again reminded how spoiled we are in America. My son learned that his faith is not something to take for granted and that any day things can change for us Christians in America.
My son is learning to forgive me when I make mistakes… after I ask him for forgiveness, of course. He is so smart, loving and thoughtful. Adults like to be around him and he has many friends. He is secure in himself, and yes, he is somewhat sheltered. I don’t necessarily believe that’s a bad thing. I know there are lots of folks out there who will disagree with me. I’m okay with him not knowing certain things until he is at an age that he can understand them. We don’t shelter him to the point he will not be able to function in society. We make sure to discuss with him lots of things that are taking place in the world right now. I refuse to be a mom who hides the topic of sex, drugs, drinking or any other controversial issue from him. If he’s going to hear about that stuff, it will be from me and his dad, not the kid on the school bus.
If you’ve thought about homeschooling but you’re scared, just remember all homeschooling moms feel this way when they make the decision. We all wonder at times if we are making a mistake. We wonder about the things they may miss out on and we feel alone sometimes. Some people say they admire a homeschooling mom. Some people say we’re crazy and ruining our children, and some people say even meaner things than that to us and about us. I’ll say it again…. homeschooling is not for everyone, but if you think it may be for you, I encourage you to check it out and research it.