While we get many different questions about homeschooling, probably one of the hardest to answer is the “why” question, because there are so many different answers. There isn’t just one pat, easy answer. So, I sometimes tailor my answer to the audience. And sometimes I give a fuller explanation. But sometimes, it’s easier to just begin with:
Why Did We Start?
When it came time for Boo to go to school, she would have attended the school that I went to as a child—the school I taught in for six years. I had colleagues there that I loved. Our decision to homeschool had nothing to do with concerns about the education she would receive. But they had begun all day kindergarten the last year that I had taught, and Boo had some issues with separation anxiety when she was young. And I was running a home daycare, so she would have had to ride the bus. So, I would have put my baby on the bus at 7:00 and gotten her home at 4:30. I just didn’t think that would be good for her.
So, we decided to homeschool. I figured that she was only five. If it turned out that homeschooling wasn’t for us, she could go to public school as an older, more mature Kindergartener the next year. But it turned out that we were hooked, and homeschooling gradually became more of a way of life and less of an educational choice.
Other Reasons We Homeschool
While all day Kindergarten was the reason we really began homeschooling, we continue on for a varied number of reasons. The most important one being that we feel it is what God has called us to do, but there are many other reasons as well:
- I enjoy the extra time that it gives us to be with our children. When they were younger, my husband worked a rotating shift that would have made spending time with our daughter very difficult if she had been in school. Even now, with a much more regular schedule, homeschooling means we can work around his holidays and days off so the kids spend more time with their dad. And being home with them all day means that I spend a lot more time with them, too!
- We believe it is important for our children to have friends of various ages. Homeschooling has allowed us to be proactive in helping our kids find good friendships that will edify them.
- I love learning right along with our children, and knowing what they are learning. Children with parents who are active in their education tend to do better in school. How much more active can you be than providing the education yourself?
- My son’s learning style and activity level probably would not have lent itself to being successful in the classroom. He learned to read bouncing around on an exercise ball, and movement is an important part of our day. Having taught primary kids, I saw many boys who just didn’t do well with needing to sit.
- We can intertwine biblical studies throughout their education. While we do have “Bible” class, history, literature, reading, science—even math are presented from a biblical perspective.
- Homeschooling has given us more time. While we haven’t managed to completely avoid the modern-day rat race, we have been able to give our children the gift of more time—more time for play, more time for family—and more time for sleep.
These are just some of the reasons that we continue to homeschool. There are many more benefits as well. While we have sacrificed time, energy, and money in order to do so, it has been a sacrifice well worth it, in my opinion.
So, what about you. If your family homeschools, are these some of the reasons or do you have others? If you are thinking about homeschooling, have these ideas given you some food for thought?