All homeschoolers have their own list of reasons why they do what they do. The more years you do it, the more reasons you have. So here’s the beginning of my list of reasons why I homeschool my kids.
So a Kid Can Be a Kid
As I started out in public school and then switched to homeschooling in my 3rd grade year, I personally experienced the difference in the amount of free time. Spending eight hours at school then coming home to do a couple hours of homework when you wake up at 6 am and go to bed at 8:30 pm doesn’t leave a lot of time for play or family time.
As a homeschooled child, I got to sleep in until 8 am and went to bed at 8:30 pm. I did my school usually between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm. The rest of the day was play and family time, unless we had somewhere to go.
Now I want my kids to be able to have the same control over their play time. School doesn’t have to take eight hours. I think if a child understands the concepts and material, they should be able to play as soon as they finish the assigned work.
No other school will have ratios as small as in my own house, as we are not about to be the next Duggar household anytime soon or down the road.
My children are always able to work one on one with me, and none of them qualify for such specialty education anywhere else. For some areas, like Spanish, I do hire a tutor and they receive the same level of education with the tutor.
By having smaller ratios in every area of their education, they are able to excel quickly, and we are able to ensure that they don’t have gaps in their education.
Teaching my children at home allows me to review everything, yes EVERYTHING that one learns throughout their years of education.
As an adult, I feel the reminder helps to sharpen my mind and gain new perspective on how things relate to the here and now. If I wasn’t teaching my children, I would not have that perspective.
If I’m Gonna Help with Homework, I Might as Well Teach
Even if I sent my child to a formal school, I would still be an involved parent that helps out with their homework and makes sure they are staying on track. By teaching them at home by myself, I can choose the curriculum that fits their learning style, and I don’t have to correct anything that they may have learned incorrectly.
I’m not saying that teachers in schools teach incorrect information, they teach what they are supposed to teach. But with classroom sizes as they are, there is room for misinterpretation and confusion. It is easy for a child to miss something, or fail to connect a few dots, and it not be caught until much later. I ensure they aren’t missing anything by choosing standardized materials and throwing my personal spin onto hard concepts.
For more on this, read how to Teach Effectively by Knowing Your Child.
In our home, there truly is no child left behind, and some are a grade or two ahead in some areas where they excel. Granted, if they are struggling in any area, I can hold off on those areas where they are ahead in order to catch them up or work on those harder concepts.
I have plenty of time to experiment with learning styles, to find the method to which each child gravitates. Sometimes I can choose a curriculum that incorporates that method on a daily basis. Other times I can make a note of it and use that method for when he is struggling.
For a Strong Parent/Child Bond
My kids love getting attention, and I love giving them positive attention. Being able to stay at home and teach them is such a joy. The ability to teach them a concept and see them connect the dots is so very rewarding. I am fully involved in everything that they are learning, and I am here to help them where they struggle and celebrate their successes. We work together on getting everything done.
At the beginning of the year I commit to teach and instruct, and they commit to learn diligently. It is a continual process of growth. Every day we learn something new about each other.
Social Reasons (and not what you’ve been told)
Many people choose to not homeschool their child because they are afraid their child will be socially inept. But I choose to homeschool my children because I want them to be able to easily communicate with anyone they meet, regardless of their age, gender or life status.
Homeschooling them gives them the opportunity to be around people of every age on a regular basis, rather than being around just people their own age. Studies have shown that because of this variance, homeschooled children across the board are better prepared for real life situations. They make better employees, have a stronger work ethic, excel in public relations, and make better parents as they spend most of their upbringing with their family and helping others.
This is one that many homeschoolers do not like to bring up, but it does factor in. By keeping my children in the home, they are safer. From everything between bullying to the violence of school shootings, the risk of my children being harmed inside our home is much smaller. Any sort of bad behavior is quickly dealt with, as teacher and parent are one and the same.
In a similar way, when there is severe weather, I am with my children rather than us both having anxiety about each other’s safety.
To Train my Children in the Way of the Lord
I firmly believe in God’s word, and that by training my children by it, they will not depart from Him when they are older.
Before I send my children out into the world I want them to have a firm foundation, a solid worldview. By teaching them God’s word and applying it to their lives and their studies, it gives them hope and an encouraging and loving worldview. They learn that God created the world, that he created them with love and purpose, and they can see His hand in everything they learn after that. Their studies are interwoven with scripture that is encouraging and helpful in molding their character. They also learn about other religions and people groups with an honest, straight-forward approach.
During our first 5 years of homeschooling, two of our children chose to put their trust in Christ as their Savior; one of them while learning Science. I imagine the odds of that happening in grade school Science would be very low.
I do feel called to teach my children, and not all parents share that calling. As a child, I dreamed of the day when I could teach my own children at home. When I went to college, I chose a major and minor that would help prepare me for teaching my children.
Homeschooling is not for everyone, and for some families, it simply does not work out well. My personality works well with my children, and while we do occasionally butt heads, for the most part we have a workable respect for each other and can communicate easily and effectively.
I do have a lot of patience, which is key. I also have a lot of determination to get our work done and out of the way so my kids can spend most of their day playing, as children should.
Above all, I believe God has led me to homeschool my children, to best prepare them for what He has in store for them.