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Today’s “Why Homeschool?” Post comes from Sanz. She blogs over at From The Mrs. Her site is darling, so be sure to stop by and check it out! I am so happy to share her post with you today! If you are interested in writing for this series, see more info HERE.
One year ago if you would have asked me why my husband and I decided to homeschool our children, I would have promptly replied, “Three reasons. Time, socialization and academics.” I had those three words typed up and posted on our fridge.
- We wanted family time. We didn’t want to say goodbye to our children for 7 hours each day.
- We wanted appropriate socialization.
- We wanted our six year old son to learn at his own level. (We want this for all of our children, but last year it really only mattered for him.) After reviewing our state standards for first grade and realizing he could already do mostly everything, I couldn’t stop thinking it would be a wasted year. Why not give him an opportunity to move on?
Now that we are finishing up our first year of homeschooling, you’d think it would be easier to answer the why of homeschool. But it’s not. It’s actually harder.
Now when I am asked, “Why do you homeschool?” I can’t answer by ticking of these three reasons. Those three words don’t suffice. They don’t say everything I want to say. They don’t say much of anything at all.
I wish I had a one or two sentence answer that I could give, something that could sum up all of the thoughts, experiences and feelings I have.
One year ago, my husband was unsure about homeschooling. It took a little convincing and I even said, “Look. If it is a total disaster we can always enroll them the next year. No harm done.”
Last weekend as we lay in bed he quietly said, “Thank you for homeschooling the boys.”
He is a man of few words. And so those few words meant a lot.
I asked him, “If I said I needed a break, that I wanted to give up or that I thought we ought to put the boys in school, what would you say?”
His response, “No.”
So, why homeschool?
I homeschool because I want to be with my boys. And so far, they want to be with me.
I homeschool because I get to be with my children when they are at their best. Not just when they are exhausted and hungry after a long day.
I homeschool because I want my children to feel confident to be themselves and not feel pressure to act another way or hide who they are.
I homeschool because I want them to love to learn. Learning is amazing. It is not a competition. It is not something we do to earn a grade or external reward. Learning in itself is the reward.
I homeschool because I want my children to really know each other, to rely on each other, to guide each other, to teach each other, to grow up together, to spend their days together.
I homeschool because I don’t want our evenings being rushed as we try to cram in more “stuff” each day. Our evenings are wonderful and slow. They are full of board games and wrestling with their dad and family dinner and stories. Our days are full of wonderful activities and extra curriculars, that leaves evenings free and relaxed.
I homeschool because we are efficient. When working one on one, we get a lot done, quickly.
I homeschool because we are effective. The literacy rate in the U.S. used to be 98%. That was before compulsory education, meaning children were being taught to read at home. Once compulsory education began, the literacy rate immediately began to drop. It has never climbed up again. As of 2005, the literacy rate in the U.S. was around 81%. I can assure you the literacy rate of our homeschool will be 100%.
I homeschool because I don’t want my boys to have to sit still or quietly for 6 hours a day. I want Mowgli to be able to pace the room as he practices spelling. I want Bud to be able to whistle while he colors or writes.
I homeschool because I don’t want the government saying I have to give my children to them 7 hours a day, 180 days a year, for 13 years.
I homeschool because I want my children to be outdoors, to move, to be in the sunshine, the dirt. I want them to be sweaty and active and energized by time out of doors.
I homeschool because we get to have breakfast and lunch and dinner together and they get to help prepare and clean up these meals. I don’t want them to have a “silent lunch” as some schools have implemented.
I homeschool because we can learn in real life. We attend plays, ballets, museums. We run errands, we go to the doctor, the library, we visit and help an elderly widow each week.
But really, that whole list doesn’t sum it all up. It doesn’t fully capture what homeschooling is to us.
I guess the best response really is:
I homeschool because it is a beautiful and natural way of life.
And we are happy and thriving.