This will be our third full year homeschooling our kids and I can tell you right now that it has gotten easier each year. We learn from our experiences, implement new processes and ideas, and ultimately move forward with new things that work for us. But it wasn’t easy when we first started. I will never forget when our oldest has started 2nd grade at a public school and after a month into it we were inundated with mounds of homework he was expected to complete each week, timed tests that were causing him anxiety and to struggle with learning any of the concepts. As he became more and more overwhelmed and upset, he started to withdraw from us and was no longer telling us how much fun he had at school or even what he had learned.
He was always a very excited child and this was a really dark turn for us. We had talked about homeschooling for a long time and this was when we realized that our time had come. With three children and only one in public school, we were ready to make the change and never look back.
I share this story, because I want you to understand how we turned to homeschooling, even though we had already talked so much about it. These were the circumstances that really pushed us into that direction.
There is a big difference between the how and the why. Now I want to review the Top 5 Reasons We Homeschool. Choosing to homeschool is a very personal choice for any family that journeys this path and everyone also has different reasons for making that decision. But one thing I’ve learned from this community of families that homeschool is there are a lot of common reasons why we all homeschool.
If you’re still on the fence about it, or just researching things about homeschooling, I hope these reasons why we homeschool will resonate with you in some way.
Do you remember what being in school is like? My husband and I were not big fans of either of our own education in public schools and the focus on dry material that you’re taught in the classroom. We focus each year on sitting down and understanding what subjects our kids need for their cre development and then add in the elective options that we know they want to learn more about. Having the flexibility to teach our kids a range of curriculum while also catering to our own personal needs of education.
We incorporate religious studies as a family because this is a foundational core value in our home. Our mornings during the week are always spent doing family activities like reading from the bible, handwriting or coloring practice, and then we read a chapter from whatever book we’re reading together. After that we break for a few hours while I work and then we do each child’s independent studies in the afternoon one at a time.
This was the biggest part of our decision to homeschool. For us, having all of us at home together to be able to spend our days and nights learning side by side, was the biggest reason we chose to homeschool. Both my husband and I spent most of our childhoods on our own with friends and very little time spent with our family. In today’s ryhthym in most homes the parents are at work all day, kids at school and then everyone comes together in the evening for a quick meal and then off to bed. So very little time is actually spent together doing anything.
We enjoy our time together as a family, but also emphasize to each child that quiet time alone is just as important. It can be overwhelming at times to do everything together, so while we do a lot together throughout the day, we also break for individual quiet time. The kids can watch something on TV, play with their toys on their own or whatever they’re in the mood to do. While my husband and I can work or focus on our own tasks around the house.
No two kids learn at the same speed and some subjects are more difficult for some children. Homeschooling allows us to spend more time where it is needed and less time where it is not needed. My two boys (currently 5th grade and 2nd grade) have very different strengths and opportunities. Our 5th grader is an eloquent writer and is in his best element when he’s writing or researching things. But when he’s faced with a math problem, his entire focus dwindles and anxiety sets in. We are able to structure his week with independent English studies that he can drive the direction and time spent on it, because we know he is fluent with it, while I spend an hour each week sitting with him and doing one-on-one math lessons.
In comparison, our 2nd grader is amazing with math and can fly through lessons without much thought to it. His anxiety sets in when it’s time to read or do his spelling list. Knowing these intimate needs of our children’s educational focus, allows us to build a schedule around the subjects knowing what they need more time to work on to be successful and feel supported.
One of the other big benefits to homeschooling is the ability to explore deep into subjects or interests with each child. Each one of our kids has very different interests in the things they want to learn about. So just like the flexibility one I mentioned earlier about building their curriculum, they also have the freedom to explore subjects deeply and intensely if they so wish. Some weeks our 5th grader will spend hours and hours researching different animals and writing up long papers about the things he’s learning. Our 2nd grader is deeply in love with technology and can spend hours learning how to build new games, explore his techie side and launch things he’s made.
Exploration comes in many shapes and sizes, depending on what your kids might personally enjoy and when you homeschool, they have the time and freedom to do it as much as they like. In our house, they have to complete their core work before they deep-dive into their personal subjects, but they are able to do this and it always warms my heart when they do.
Last but certainly not the least important, is watching them be successful. Being a part of every challenge they overcome, no matter how big or how small, is a pure blessing. Being by their side and holding their hand as they learn new things, helping them overcome the parts they struggle with, or introducing them to brand new concepts that open their minds and drive them in new directions with how they understand concepts. This is the best part about being home with them and being part of their educational journey.
There is nothing quiet like being their mom, educator and fill-time supporter in all the things they do. It’s what I’ve always wanted for my life and it will be the greatest experience not only for me, but also for their foundation as they grow up and then move on to do whatever they choose to do in their life. They will always be able to look back and see the support they received from their parents in exploring the things they enjoyed and us all being able to do it together as a family.
If you’re a homeschool family already or you’re thinking about it, what reasons drive your passion for this lifestyle?