When you are a homeschooler you get a lot of comments on a daily basis. “You homeschool? Oh- I could never do that!” or “How do you do it?” are the most frequent comments we receive. We have been homeschooling since 2008, so we have heard these questions and statements over and over again. But it always amazes us that people do not ask, “Why do you homeschool?” While it may not be so important for these people to know why we choose to homeschool, it is essential that we know why we do it. If you homeschool- you know exactly what we mean.
When you choose the less-traveled path in any area of life- you have more opportunities to question yourself and experience doubt. In homeschooling circles you hear why homeschooling is good or why homeschooling is better than x. But the only thing that matters is that you need a very strong “why” to keep you grounded and moving forward in your journey and daily experiences. There are ups and downs in any lifestyle you choose, so it is important to know why you are doing what you are doing. Knowing your “why” can also help you regularly evaluate if you are still on the right path, and in this circumstance, if homeschooling is still right for you and your family.
So why do we homeschool? Here is a list of several things that make homeschool the right choice for our family right now:
First off- it feels natural. We feel like we want to be with my family. We want to experience life with them and have really strong relationships. We want to really savor this precious time we have together. Kids grow up so quickly.
Another reason we homeschool is that we care about our children more than anyone in this world. We want them to know that they are loved and important. When we are together more often, we have more opportunities to nurture them and let them know how great they are. We have more opportunities to say “I love you” and “you are so awesome.”
Individualism is something that is very important to us. We love how homeschooling allows us to design our school and lifestyle around our children’s interests, learning styles, strengths, weaknesses, and natural rhythms. We can nurture their natural gifts and keep their love for learning alive.
We teach the whole child and see the whole picture. When a child is grumpy or tired during school work, we often know what is going on because we are present for the whole story. For example- if our son went to bed late and did not finish his breakfast, we may know that we need to get him a nutritious snack and keep the lesson a little quieter. We are also able to add things like “exercise” and “chore” to their school lists. We teach healthy lifestyle skills.
Flexibility is another wonderful bonus to homeschooling. Your school schedule can work around your family schedule instead of the other way around. You can plan family vacations, field trips, adventures, and rest days when it is best for you. You can start school at 10 am and sleep in. You can stay up late reading stories, because you do not have to worry about getting to school early the next morning. You can wear pajamas or costumes all day. Your kids can hang out with dad at work. You can go camping with Grandma and Grandpa for school, which leads me to the next point.
Homeschooling allows for more relaxed family time. Our oldest son went to kindergarten at a wonderful Montessori charter school. He was gone all day, and we missed each other so much. By the second half of the year, we decided that Stephanie would go to his school and eat lunch and spend recess with him once a week. She did this and it was a lot of fun. It wasn’t enough though. We needed more time to just hang out and connect. The next year is when we started our homeschool journey. We now have more time to just hang out and talk with each other. We feel more relaxed, because we don’t have to worry about getting everyone off to school in the early morning, and we don’t stress-out after dinner trying to do a bunch of homework. If we stay up a little too late, we are able to let the kids sleep in. No sweat! We also have many more opportunities to hang out with Grandparents and friends.
Another reason we like to homeschool is for the many opportunities we have for hands-on and real-life learning. There are many different learning styles, but we think that everyone benefits from gaining skills and knowledge that they can apply to their lives instantly. We also think learning is more powerful when you engage all of your senses and emotions. If we are cooking for our fractions math lesson, we can instantly experience the importance of learning about fractions and will be able to use this information right away. Also, as we go about our daily lives with our children a lot of questions come up. Our kids have the most amazing questions. We love it! We can learn while we are in the moment, which makes learning more like detective work and play. We also learn a lot about relationships and how to work on our own challenges. We work at becoming more resilient, responsible, and independent. We want our kids to learn facts, but we also want them to learn practical skills so they can live happy and healthy lives. This leads us to the next reason we homeschool.
We homeschool with a long-term family perspective...like eternal perspective. We believe that families can be together forever, even after death. We feel like family is central to a happy life, so we want to do our best to have a strong family. We feel that our relationships with our boys are so important that we are willing to give some extra time and energy now so we, hopefully, will have strong relationships with them when they are adults. After all, they will spend most of their lives as adults. We could be grandparents in the next decade, and we want to be a big part of their lives! We only have our boys to raise for a short time before they are out on their own. With this perspective- our present life with our young sons seems priceless.
At this time, homeschool is the answer for us. Will it always be the answer? We don’t know. As our kids start turning into teenagers we will have a lot of decisions to make. Their personalities are so unique. It will definitely be an adventure. We feel lucky to enjoy their fun personalities every single day. We love discovering the world together. We love growing together. We love being ourselves on our own schedule. So for now- we homeschool.
It feels great to get our reasons for homeschooling all written out. Whether you homeschool or not we would love to know your reason or question about “why to homeschool”? Please comment below and let us know!