When people find out we’ve chosen to homeschool (we are doing a charter hybrid), they want to know why–especially since I was a former teacher and my husband is currently a public school teacher who has taught every age from preschool to college at one time or another, if not simultaneously.
Let me first be clear that this post is not a more-holier-than-thou-cuz-I-homeschool-type of post (just NOT true). Nor is it a shame-on-you-for-not-homeschooling-rant (my LAST intention). I’m just sharing about our lifestyle in hopes of inspiring others to live intentionally, whatever their family choices.
First, we’re not homeschooling out of fear. Just wanted to throw that out there.
Reason 1: Relationship–at the heart of our lifestyle choice of homeschooling is relationship. First and foremost, our relationship with God. I have only a few short years to teach my kids to love truth and abhor sin, to learn the Gospel, and to point them to God, and I want to make the most of that block of time. Secondly, I want to fortify my relationship with them, and build bonds between them, which comes more easily when we’re home learning and living life together.
Reason 2: Involvement–I want to be a part of my kids’ childhoods and education. These childhood years are so few and I don’t want to miss out on them. There are approximately 180 school days out of 365 days in a year, which is 49.31%. School days take up nearly half of a kid’s year. I’m not okay missing out on half of my kids’ year. I was there when they took their first step and I want to be there when they read their first word. I was there when they beamed after going on the potty for the first time, and I want to be there when they beam after counting by 2s.
Reason 3: Learning–I don’t want to compartmentalize learning, which is what school does. Kids go to a building for 6 hours where they “learn”, then they leave the building and are “done”. Rather I want my kids to be life-long learners who learn not only during ‘school work’ but throughout the day as we go about life together. I want a balanced mixture of book learning and real-life learning that happens in our home together.
Reason 4: Time–I want to lavish this precious gift on my kids. It only takes my kids a few hours to complete school work at home, which means they have time to be kids. They have time to play, bond with their siblings, explore interests, be curious, be bored, be alone with their thoughts, exercise creativity, have conversations, make memories, relish life.
Reason 5: Education–I can offer them tailor-made education that reflects my values, and provide them with a holistic education that is not a slave to test scores, state standards, and assessments. I want them to read, do math, write, memorize, speak. Also I want my kids to be deep thinkers, clear communicators, problem-solvers, passion chasers, truth defenders, wisdom seekers, creative expressers, team builders, beauty appreciators…to name a few. Education goes far beyond phonics and math facts; it is the very shaping of the heart and soul.
Is homeschooling hard? Yes, but then so is parenting. Is it a lot of work? Yes, so is raising kids. Do my kids and I sometimes strive over school work? Yes, but also over chores and bedtime and finishing meals. Homeschool is just another part of our lives together. It’s what we do, right along with keeping house, taking vacations, going to church, playing with friends, visiting family, grocery shopping, celebrating holidays, and growing up together.
It’s our lifestyle.