The decision to homeschool was not an easy one for me to make. Although my husband has always been in favor of homeschooling I thought public school served me fairly well and it could do the same for my children. A few things have changed my mind recently as I have watched my children blossom, struggle, and grow in different areas. Since several people have already asked my reasons I decided to put it all in this handy dandy post. Please note that I am not saying you have to homeschool your child nor looking down on you for putting your kid on the bus. This is just why homeschooling made sense for our family.
1: Because we can use a curriculum that aligns with our faith
My children are all adopted and were not originally raised in a very religious home. Because of this there are a lot of things they haven’t learned yet. The situation they came from also contributed to learned behaviors that are not in line with the teachings of the gospel. When the gospel becomes more than just praying over meals and in conjunction with getting out of or going to bed on a daily basis, testimonies grow. Homeschooling gives me the ability to teach the Roman empire in conjunction with the life of Christ and use the scriptures as a text in class.
2: Because I understand the abilities and disabilities of my children best
My children have some wonderful skills. They also have skills that helped them survive in a world I never had to endure that now work as a disservice to them. As a parent of five children “from hard places,” as Karyn Purvis puts it, I understand this. I also understand that even though my child’s public school teacher may really want them to succeed they may not have the ability, even if I went to the trouble of getting an IEP or 504 in place, to give them the individualized attention they might need to thrive.
The brains of my children likely do not look like the brains of your children and that just means I need to help them rewire some things and be patient as they learn skills to cope with the deficiencies that may be lifelong. I may not always be as patient as I should be but at least I know that my child may need that extra reaction time and retraining and can try to give it to them.
3: Because I can teach them things they want to know and foster a love of learning
My oldest daughter likes to learn about herbs with me but when she was in public school by the time she got home and did homework and chores it was dinner time and soon the day was over. We never got in the amount of teaching moments I would have liked to have had with her because we only really had time to sit down and learn about stuff like that on the weekends. My oldest son is bright but doesn’t sit still for more than a few seconds at a time unless you are talking about dinosaurs or cars. Since I decide what method I use to teach, you better believe we will be studying things that interest him on a frequent basis.
4: Because my kids need more hands-on learning
The public school in our town has small class sizes that enable hands on learning more than in some schools my children have previously attended but they still don’t get nearly as much as I feel they need. When I only have five kids to deal with, science projects can look like making slime or cultivating natural yeast. Field trips to reinforce learning are not a once a year thing because when we learn about animals we can go to the zoo and when we learn about the transcontinental railroad we can visit Golden Spike.
5: Because it gives me more time to bond with my children
Having missed a portion of the lives of all of my kids I feel it very important to spend quality time with them. I also feel like time spent working and playing together is often the most valuable way to spend my time. Homeschooling gives me the ability to learn with them, play with them, and work with them in a way I otherwise wouldn’t get to do. Yes I still had time with my kids when they attended public school but being there for those magic times when my child understands something they didn’t before are precious payoff moments I don’t want to miss.
6: Because we can plan our breaks whenever we want
In the past my husband’s breaks and my children’s breaks never seemed to match. That meant we either pulled kids out of school to go on vacation (which yes we have done) or I took the kids somewhere without him (which isn’t nearly as fun but happens too). As an added bonus my hospital stays (I have Cystic Fibrosis and require them regularly) don’t mean we have to pull kids out of school when babysitters can’t take them because we can just schedule those times as breaks off of school.
7. Because I know how my child is acting towards others
Bullying is a huge problem in public schools and one that I don’t want my children to contribute to. I know most homeschoolers take kids out so their kids won’t be bullied. I don’t want mine to be the bully. We have had to deal with actions that I wish had been reported to me so I could work to correct them early on in the year but instead were only brought to my attention when they had escalated to dangerous levels.
If I am the teacher I know when one kid isn’t being nice to another student. You may think this is too much control but my children learned violence as a way of life and survival. In their mind I am basically asking them to give up what has enabled them to live just trusting that they will somehow be alive after letting it go and that isn’t easy.
8. Because nature is a wonderful teacher
I often feel the best learning comes in those impromptu moments when a child asks questions about the world surrounding them. Living on our homestead offers us so many chances to learn from Mother Nature and I don’t want to pass them up. I want them to learn math by counting the number of seeds that have sprouted and read a book under the shade of a tree. I want them to learn about biology and the circle of life from our animals. That kind of learning isn’t in a worksheet or a textbook no matter how hard the textbook writers try.
9. Because I want my family to be healthy
Some of you may scoff at this one but public schools are breeding grounds for germs due to attendance policies. I also have a chronic illness that makes simple bugs more dangerous than they otherwise would be. Schools are places where my children are fed a ton of candy and sweets to weaken their immune systems. Therefore not only am I dealing with extra germs but also having to fight extra hard to keep up the immunity in my children so we don’t all get sick.
Even if I take them out to places with germs (like the zoo for example) I can make sure my kids have an extra dose of Elderberry syrup that day and wash their hands frequently to avoid the pathogens landing me in the hospital. I don’t want my kids to live in a bubble necessarily but I do want to keep immunity as high as possible.
10. Because I want my kids to be able to go at their own pace
The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that if a child is behind you can do a little more work with them but still let them figure it out without pressuring them to move on if they don’t understand the concept. If they are ahead they can be exploring new things others their age can’t learn very much about yet. I anticipate we will have children on both ends of the spectrum in different subjects and I like that. Sure you can take this to extremes and watch your child drop to knowing a lot less than their peers but as long as you are responsible it can actually help them learn more in the long run.
So there you have it, my top ten reasons to homeschool. If you are a homeschooling mama or papa I would love to hear the reasons you started homeschooling in the comments. There are so many reasons to homeschool your child!