May 9, 2013

Why We Home School: Part I

I've been working on a new post for a month now, in which I explain many of our reasons for choosing to home school.  But it's turning into a novella.  So, I figured I should break it down into bite-sized pieces rather than one large post.  Easier to digest that way.  Let's get to it, shall we?

Three years ago, my husband mentioned that he'd been thinking about homeschooling our two boys who, at that time, were in Kindergarten and 3rd grade. It wasn't something I had ever considered before.  And the idea did not appeal to me at all.  I have difficulty adding and multiplying, and I don't remember much about history.  How in the world could I teach my boys?  Not a chance.

A few months later, though, as our oldest son struggled with math and testing and was relentlessly bullied, the idea of homeschooling popped back into my head.  He came home nearly every day in tears, and it was a constant battle to get him to do his homework without fits of rage.  He became a boy I didn't recognize.  The further into the school year we got, the more I wanted to take my son out of public school.  My original fears disappeared, replaced with thoughts of how beneficial homeschooling could be.

After much prayer and thought, we decided to take the plunge.  We began our homeschool journey for the 2010-11 school year, when our boys entered 1st and 4th grades.  What follows are many of the reasons for our decision.  This probably won't be complete, so as I think of more reasons, I'll add them.  In no particular order:

Why We Home School:  Freedom and Flexibility
Homeschool happens when we choose.  If we're not feeling well one morning, we can choose to sleep in a little, and school later in the day, without missing out on any of our work.  If we want to school on Saturday and take Monday off instead, we can do so.  If we want to play in the morning and afternoon and school in the evening, we can do so.  

Stress-filled achievement tests don't apply.  Our children spend their schooling time actually LEARNING.  They aren't sitting in classrooms studying for state tests, filled with anxiety about performing well and finishing in time.  They don't spend 3 weeks filling in little bubbles with #2 pencils.  Instead, they're sitting with their books in their laps, learning new things, not worrying about flunking a test or making their teacher look bad.

If we want to pack up and take a week-long vacation in the middle of September, when public schools have already been in session for a couple of weeks, we can do so, because schooling happens wherever we are, not just in a classroom, sitting at a desk in silence.  Geography can be taught while driving between states.  Math can be taught by having the children keep a budget of their spending money during the trip.  Science can be taught when driving through a thunder and lightning storm.  History can be taught by talking about historical landmarks passed on the trip.  The possibilities are endless!

How much time are public school students made to waste on an average day?  Moving between classrooms.  Stopping to wait for a few of 20 students to understand the concept being taught.  Waiting for the class clown to stop disrupting the class.  Fire drills.  Bomb drills.  Test preparation and test taking.  Lunch time.

Homeschooling provides the ability to school without unnecessary interruptions or delays.  The work a public school class completes in a 7 hour day, we complete in about 4 hours, leaving so much more time for us to spend together, as a family. 

Coming up... Why We Home School:  Family.


  1. Hi! My name is Nadia :-) I am a mother of two awesome daughters ages 3 and 9. We live in NYC. My oldest has been attending charter school since the first grade. She is now in her fourth year, but unfortunately it has been extremely rough. She knows the material very well but doesn't complete her work in time. My husband and I have made several trips to her school to discuss different solutions to help her....not much progress, and her teachers aren't very helpful :-( so we have decided to start homeschooling. I was at first very panicked on how to begin the process but thanks so much to your VERY INFORMATIVE BLOG, I am so excited to begin this new journey with our daughter!

    1. I am so happy to hear that! Big grin on my face right now. Don't sweat it; you got this! Good luck on your journey!