I don’t think homeschooling is for everyone.
In fact, I didn’t think it was for me.
I wrote about modern mothers choosing to homeschool last year. Homeschooling has always intrigued me but I never thought I would actually take the plunge. I was concerned my kids would be weird (er), my friends would freak out and my parents would disown me due to my supposed hippy-ness. I felt and still feel quite concerned about making such a socially unpopular choice for my family. I don’t like to be criticized or judged on my parenting anymore than you do.
So, I will kindly ask – please don’t judge my decision just because it’s one you may not choose for yourself.
So, why homeschool?
There are no serious issues to warrant me taking my child out of mainstream school. In fact, for the most part my son likes school. I just don’t believe that mainstream school is an optimal environment for my kids…for now. Would they be harmed if they stayed ? Probably not! But I know my eldest son needs an opportunity to regain his confidence and love for learning away from the negative social pressures and dynamics of the school environment.
I want to teach my kids..stuff
I love learning with my kids. I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching my older boys to read and count and play the piano. I love answering their questions.
I’ve probably always been ‘homeschooling’ without realizing. I grew up in a house where I was surrounded by activities and educational games so I thought this was normal. I love the idea of catering to my kids individual personalities, interests and strengths and helping to foster a love for learning. I can achieve a full days schoolwork in one to two hours of 1:1 time.
I want to teach my kids values….
I used to believe strongly that I wouldn’t send my children to a Christian or private school because I wanted them to experience diversity. I imagined being surrounded by different cultures, religions and socio-economic backgrounds would help them grow to be respectful and tolerant of others. It would prepare them for the real world.
However, the reality is that a 5 year old is still very young to be thrust out into the world to ‘toughen up’.
At the age of 5, 6 and even 7 children are yet to establish their own moral code or value system. This allows them to be easily influenced, easily distracted and easily mislead. It’s hard to stand up for what you believe in – when you don’t actually know what you believe yet!
I don’t want to hand over the role of shaping my kids character to a stranger who changes every year and isn’t allowed to teach values beyond behavior management. I feel a personal responsibility to teach my kids to be kind, thoughtful, considerate, compassionate and loving. I can’t compete when they spend the majority of their day with other people.
I want to learn WITH my kids…
My eldest son goes to school 30 hours a week. When he gets home he’s tired, grumpy, non-compliant and fights with his brothers. I don’t get the best of him and I miss that. I know he’s a good kid but only his teacher gets to experience that now if she even notices.
But, won’t they become weird?
Homeschooling won’t make my kids any weirder than they already are!
What it will do is help them build confidence in their uniqueness. It will give them more time to develop a sense of security so that when they are a little older they can go out into the world knowing that who they are is exactly who they are supposed to be.
This excerpt really inspired me.
“When kids are homeschooled no one makes fun of their outfits that don’t match. Or the fact that they like to memorize things and wish the math assignments were harder. No one looks at them askance when they know every answer to every question and are eager to share their knowledge. When an annoying (wierd) kid like that finds a new hobby and wants to learn everything they can about it and talk about it incessantly, no one treats them like there’s something wrong with pursuing an interest like that, no matter how dull it may seem…
They are not ridiculed into trying to be who God didn’t create them to be.
If they spend their whole childhood trying to be something they’re not or believing that what they are is weird and weird is bad, they’ll enter adulthood with those same perceptions, that same lack of self-confidence.
If, on the other hand, they’re able to cultivate their interests, learn to be comfortable in their own quirky skin, encouraged to achieve as much as their little over-achieving hearts desire, they’ll enter adulthood with the confidence to continue on that path. They won’t automatically wonder if people will disagree or make fun of them when they make assertions or cling to ideals. And if those people do disagree or make fun of them they won’t care. Because they won’t be kids anymore. They’ll be grown up!”
How long will we do this for?
We may homeschool for a few months or maybe a few years. I may send one child to mainstream school and homeschool another. For now, this feels right and I’m excited about what this means for our family as we learn and grow together.
To follow our homeschooling journey in more detail….My homeschooling blog