Friday, November 18, 2011

Why we homeschool

The reasons for homeschooling are as numerous as the people who live the lifestyle. It is a lifestyle, not just an educational choice. For some, the reasons are religious in nature, the lack of prayer, and exclusion of all things Christ, missing and disallowed in the public school setting, is counter intuitive. For some the student/teacher ratio is too much to tolerate. Some struggle with the curriculum. Still others can't tolerate the bullying, and school violence that is reported all over the news far to frequently. There are those whose lives take them on the road a lot and homeschooling allows their families to travel together. There are the military families station in foreign countries who have little or no other option but to educate at home. The list goes on and on.

My family homeschools for a lot of reasons. It started when our oldest child was a toddler. I was working from home as a child care provider. The kids and I did preschool style lessons on a daily basis. He began to read quite well by the time he was 3. I just adjusted his "preschool" activities to reflect his abilities and needs. When it was time for him to enter kindergarten, he was way too advanced, and without a really complicated and, in my opinion, ridiculous, psychological testing, the school wouldn't even consider him beginning in 1st grade rather than kindergarten. I was still working from home. I talked with my husband, and we decided to give homeschooling a shot. We only planned on one year, our son is in the 6th grade (by age and standards of public school) and we still homeschool him and now his brother as well.

Over the course of time our reasons have changed. We have attempted to put our kids in the local school, not once, but twice. Both times we were all miserable. Our children had severe behavior changes. One child was being bullied by a student, the other child was often in trouble for doing more than the teacher asked of him. (Not kidding!) I won't say public school was entirely horrible. The kids had some good social outlets there, but the cost of their self esteem, education, behavior, were more than we could justify. I still struggle from time to time, about whether or not we are making good choices for our kids. I think the doubts are common amongst us homeschool mommas (and papas). My children are doing great. We have them tested most every year and the are always well above their peer group. They have friends ( although not as many as I would like for them), we have a close relationship and they are well adjusted, respectful kids.


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