Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Why We Homeschool
Homeschoolers are a diverse group (contrary to the media portrayal of us) and we homeschool for many different reasons. Most people assume that people homeschool for religious reasons and many do. Although we do incorporate our Christian beliefs into every aspect of our life (including schooling), this was not a primary reason that we chose to homeschool. We would have shared our religious beliefs with our children no matter which schooling option we chose (as do most parents).
Schooling choice is a decision that must be made by each individual family ... and there is no wrong choice! Whatever is best for one family will not work at all for another family. I think we should remember to respect one another no matter which side of the choice we are on. Some of my reasons for homeschooling may be someone else's reason for public schooling!! These are obviously Aaron and my specific reasons. Your experiences might be completely different than ours ... and there is nothing wrong with that!
Here are some of the main reasons we chose to homeschool:
1) To give our kids a better education than we received. The longer I live, the more I realize how lacking my education was. I was a good student and took the college bound classes and yet I learned very little. My husband has come to the same conclusion. We both went to completely different schools (his was suburban in Ohio, mine rural in Indiana) and yet we both had similar experiences. We both want better for our kids (of course the verdict is still out whether we will actually do better, LOL).
2) To give our kids a lifelong love of learning. I want our kids to love learning and not see it as something that only happens within an institutionalized setting. A love of learning and self education throughout their life will not only open doors for their future, but also make them more interesting people.
3) To allow my children to learn at their own pace. Every person is different. Some will learn things quickly and understand things intuitively. Others will struggle to understand certain concepts. I want my kids to be able to learn at their own pace. If they don't understand something, then we take the time to continue going over it until they do understand. If they do understand, they can move on and learn something new.
4) Introduce topics when we deem them to be age appropriate. I know many people homeschool to shelter their kids from the evils of the world. While we don't choose to shelter our kids, we do choose to introduce them to difficult subjects when they're ready ... which isn't necessarily when they are some arbitrary age.
5) Flexibility of Schedule When you homeschool you are not tied to the school schedule or hours. We can work during the morning, play all afternoon, then finish up in the evening. We can take days off for birthdays. We can vacation when vacation spots are virtually empty. When a family member is sick (like my MIL's extended sickness almost 2 years ago) we have the flexibility to take school on the road. When Aaron is working evenings, he can spend time with the kids in the afternoon. I also don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get them on the bus (yes ... I know that makes me lazy. But, I definitely see this as a perk of homeschooling).
6) I enjoy spending time with my kids. I enjoy my kids and would miss them if they were away from me all day. I like who they are as people and love seeing them understand new things. I'm not saying I don't enjoy time away from them ... and for them to go visit others sometimes. But, in general, I like hanging out with them.
7) Economy of Time When you homeschool you don't have to wait for a room full of papers to be passed out or a line full of kids to quiet down and move to another location. Much of the time wasters of public school can be cut out. This allows their school day to be shorter and play time to be longer.
How I try to achieve these goals is another topic for another time!
Why did you choose your children's schooling option??