Sunday, February 12, 2012

why we homeschool

Homeschooling is on the RISE....the number is increasing dramatically each year. People are choosing to homeschool for many different reasons, so I thought i'd share why WE have chosen this path for our family. =) 

So why did we choose to homeschool?  Why not? Up until a couple of hundred years ago, the public school system didnt even exist. As with everything else,  we get looked at like we're crazy if we choose to do something that's outside the box. But I want our children's education to have roots in two things...God and family. These things are being lost.....lost to the hustle and bustle of "life"...lost more and more with each generation.

Our children will learn how to deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly of civilization, but it will be when they're mature enough to handle it.  Right now, they just need to be kids. Their minds are not ready for the filth of this nation at such young ages....they shouldn't have to hear about the immoral behaviors taking place around them at the ripe old age of 8.

We decided that this is what's best for our family...does that mean we think everyone should homeschool or that we think less of those who don't? No, not at all! (although some people automatically take the defense when they find out we homeschool).

I love that I can weave bible truths and character training into nearly every lesson we do. I love that we can strive to keep God at the root of our learning. I love that we can simply TALK about God in our "school" and maybe even , *gasp* say a prayer mid-studies.

It makes me uncomfortable when people automatically assume I'm the most patient person in the world just because I homeschool.....I'm just as impatient as the next mama down the street. And I honestly believe that having children is just as much "character training" for US. Each day is a test for me...a test of my patience, a test of my priorities, a test of that God can give me the strength to deal with the 4 year old attitudes that are trying to chip away at me. We as mommies are being we deal with bad we deal with we deal with loved ones in our lives. And we are teaching them every single second that they are around us....and for us homeschooling mommies, that's ALL THE TIME! Talk about an overwhelming feeling! Some days are harder than others, but it's all worth it!  Do I fail these tests???  Daily!!!! But I'm a work in progress.

I'm selfish. Time is fleeting. I want to be with my children as much as possible. Our children are small for such a short time.....I don't want to give up my time to some teacher, no matter how great he/she may be. These are my children and I'm confident that the good Lord will give me everything I need to educate them and enstill a love of learning. Sure, I need my breaks just like everyone else. And yes, I have a stack of projects a mile-high that could be accomplished in no time if I had a few free hours every day. But I do not like the idea of sending my kids to school for the day, working on homework for hours, doing bathtime, bedtime routines, and BLINK, time's up. Do it all again tomorrow....that just isn't enough time for me to bond with my kids. I WANT MORE!!  I want to have my morning snuggles. I want to teach them responsibility with chores with time left over for more fun stuff. I want them to help eachother learn a new idea/concept. I want to see their lightbulb moments when they finally get it.

I want to tailor their education to their interests. It's a proven fact that we learn best (and retain) when we're learning about something we're interested in. If they become obsessed with frogs, I can tailor their science, math, reading, english, and handwriting lessons to something pertaining to frogs.  I don't have to fit their love for frogs (or whatever interest it may be at the time) into weekends or the short amount of time during the week that they're not either eating, bathing, spending time with the family, or doing homework. I wonder if this whole concept of tailoring education to interests is why there are so many homeschooled kids who grow up to become entrepreneurs?

I love the flexibility. There's no alarm clock in the mornings...the kids sleep as late as they want ( cut-off is 930 but they usually start waking around 800'ish). We're not bound to vacations during peek seasons. We can have shorter homeschool days and school all year IF we choose to (who can stand to play outside when it's 90+ degrees outside anyway). I like the idea of a continuous education and not having to spend time reviewing from 3 months "off".  We haven't decided what our schooling timeframe will be, but at this point, I'm definitely leaning towards schooling all year.  If we want to schedule a playdate in the middle of the week with other kiddos (obviously homeschoolers, otherwise they wouldn't be available midday) we can just not do school that day. There's no need for a rigid structure. We can do it all in the morning or do some of it in the evening with daddy. Learning doesnt have to take place behind a desk for hours and hours....It doesn't take 7 or 8 hours of "schooling" to cover all of the needed information. A couple hours and you're done. The rest of the day can be spent exploring interests. I keep hearing of the hours of homework that my friends' kids are coming home with these days.....and I cannot imagine having to spend "my time" with "my children" doing all of that homework after having them away from me all day!!!

I want to teach my kids in whatever style they learn best. I don't want them stuck in the know, the public school system mold of how "most kids" learn best. Sure, they try to tap into all sorts of learning styles, but if you're excelling in one area and a little slow in another you're out of luck. At home, extra attention can be given to the problem areas to get caught up.  And if you need to go up a grade-level to be challenged, then go for it. I want my kids to have a custom-education...whatever is best for each of them!!

Many people wonder about the "socialization". That's the biggest misconception about homeschoolers...that they're weird and don't know how to socialize (okay, so for some this IS true, but it doesn't have to be). There are sssooooo many opportunities for my kids to socialize with other homeschoolers around here (moreso in kanawha/putnam counties than boone at the moment, but still, opportunities nonetheless). There's actually so much stuff to be involved in that it would be easy to become over-extended. lol. I've just been waiting for that magic age of 6 months for Levi to be old enough to take meds (if he were to get sick)...we're almost there and I'm ready to get out more.

So anyhoooo.....all of this is just to give a little insight into why we are choosing this path. We in no way think less of people who choose different paths. We might try to talk you into homeschooling because of how much we love it, lol, but we don't judge. It's not for everyone....and it's not easy....but the rewards are endless!!!