Why We Homeschool

I’ve been writing this post in my head for days (actually I’ve been trying to write a why we homeschool post for months). But whenever it comes out on my screen it sounds like I’m attacking regular school. I sound like one of those hard-core crazy* homeschoolers. I don’t know how to phrase the words in my heart and mind. But let me try. I thought I’d share some cute pictures before I got into the crazy.

Several weeks ago we got bathing suited up (huh? Suited up?? Anyone know what I’m talking about :-D) and went to a reservoir near by. Nathan was sporting his very first pair of bathing trunks.

We went swimming and had a very fun day.
Sitting in the sand
Ok…not swimming. More like wading, sitting, and splashing in the water.

Afterwards we met my dad and his wife for dinner at Benihana. Isabelle was fascinated with the knife tricks. The show. Oh, whatever you call it. Even Nathan watched with interest (a few minutes only but, hey, pretty good for a baby). After dinner, as we stood around chatting before getting into our cars, my dad asked us about school and Isabelle.

I told him we were going to homeschool her. He didn’t think very much of that idea. Ok, to be accurate, he is very much against it. In a derogatory tone he was all like, “oh you’re doing THAT homeschooling thing? Like your sister?” Then he basically said I was going to ruin the kids and they’d end up having no choice but to work at McDonalds. Seriously.
Isabelle really LOVES these pattern blocks

I got my panties in a bunch and asked if he even knew what he was talking about. Did he do any research? I could recommend a book to him talking about socialization and how kids do go to college. But he was not interested. He didn’t even want to read about it.

It was, quite frankly, irritating his close-mindedness. I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about and that he was speaking out of ignorance. Then, today, my sister was too busy to work with us so I was Skyping her telling her a little about our day. My dad was sitting there with this dismissive look on his face. This, you’re doing wrong by your children so I don’t want to hear about it look on his face. So aggravating but I do understand where he’s coming from.

Most people know about school. Most people went to school. Homeschooling is unfamiliar to them. It’s different and a lot of people don’t understand and have negative opinions. Or misconceptions. Like, my friend Bridgette, who when I told her that a homeschool mom I knew was going to be a grandmother she responded, how did her daughter even meet a boy?! As if homeschoolers chain their children to tables in the basements.
Pencil practice pick up

Like I said, I can understand where people like my dad are coming from. What I cannot understand is why they feel a need to second guess our choice. I mean I don’t automatically assume weird things for people who send their kids to school. Or if I do I’m not going to throw it in your face. :-D Or at least I’ll try really hard not to unless you’re all up in my face about my choice. I’m not going to send my kids to school just because that’s what most everyone else automatically does.

So, why did we choose to homeschool? That is a question I get quite frequently. Whenever I hear that question I want to say, why wouldn’t we want to homeschool? After reading about socialization and the learning benefits of homeschooling, I don’t see why anyone would want to do it any other way.
Handwriting class

First of all, education wise, I prefer the homeschooling way. Even though we are using the Sonlight curriculum we have the freedom to pursue and go more in depth into anything Isabelle might be interested in. Schools cannot meet that same need. Homeschooling can be personalized for an individual. Schools are limiting in that they are for a multitude of people. It’s like clothes. Are you going to get a better fit with something you buy off the rack or something designed specifically for your body?

On the socialization front, I prefer the homeschool way as well. I fervently believe that homeschooling will allow my children to grow into who they really will be. I don’t know if that makes sense. But schools with their cliques and bullies, no thank you. As my kids get older, I want them to have the independence to grow into who they’ll be without being judged or influenced by other kids.

I want them to learn to behave properly from me. From Alan. Under supervision. And schools, they don’t do that either. There aren’t enough teachers.

I mean if we really truly think about it, kids socializing in school, that’s not natural. Kids hanging out with kids all their own age, that doesn’t happen in real life outside of school. I don’t know about you, but me, I’ve never worked at a company where everyone is the same age as me. And so in school, kids learning how to behave based on the examples of other kids their own age. Ummm…no. Really. NO.
Sonlight castle

And plus, with homeschooling I get to enjoy the wonder as Isabelle discovers and learns new things.

Science “class” about air on Flickr

Homeschooling? Yes, definitely the right choice for us. Or hey…maybe it’s all the naysaying I’m getting about it. You say I can’t do it? I say, WATCH ME.

*hard-core crazy homeschooler term from Bethany.

11 thoughts on “Why We Homeschool

  1. you make pretty good points, specially about bullies. Can you recommend a book(s) to read to learn more about homeschooling~

  2. Yeah, that’s pretty much all the reasons why we homeschool. Usually I tell people something vague like “I’m not anti-public school, I just want the opportunities homeschooling provides us”. And we are unschoolers, which gets even harder for people to understand, that we don’t do lessons or follow a curriculum. Fortunately my dad is supportive, Brian’s not so much but we have a sort of unspoken rule that we deal with our own parents 8-) so I kind of just avoid talking about it with him. He’s not disparaging, I think the concept just continues to baffle him.

    And the socialization thing always amuses me. I consider school to be one of the most damaging social activities I ever participated in, haha. Not really, but well, kind of. I think my kids are able to participate in such a wide range of activities they have no problem with socialization.

  3. i think homeschooling is awesome and whoever has the time and anergy to homeschool there children are super awesome! i hated being bullied by kids and even teachers and going to school hungry and cold.

    i have a short attention span and usually read a line or two and go straight to the photos or videos but not this time, yay to homeschooling!!

    have a super awesome day :)

  4. Wow, Donna, we are unschooling too! Yay!!! Another unschooling family!!!
    Yay! Yay! Yay! Can you feel my enthusiasm? Jumping up and down!!!
    I can give you more reasons to homeschool instead.
    Speaking like a thug.
    My kids coming home one day with stupid baggy jeans hanging down low all the way to their knees and making gang signs.
    Peer pressure.
    Poor morale.
    Low self confidence.
    Limits your mind,
    Limits your spirits.
    Prison for children.
    Drugs in schools.
    Guns in schools.
    Cannot remember anything you learned in school anyway except that it sucked and that there is no way I’m sending my kids there.
    Oh I can thing of many more, buy you get the point.

  5. I mean…Oh, I can think of many more, but you get the point.
    Typos but what do you expect, I was sent to school.

  6. Hey Kuky, I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and this is the first time I’ve commented. I’m currently in college right now, studying to be a math teacher. I want to be a teacher to inspire kids and to help those who aren’t fortunate enough to get the individualized attention of homeschool. All I want to do is help kids to learn and grow to be their own person. Even with my career choice, I think what you’re doing is a phenomenal idea. I went to school in the public school system, but when I got home I just lived with my mom, who was actively involved with me and school. She taught me things I never could learn from public school and taught me how to be my own person. I matured quickly and people respect me for my maturity at such a young age. Public school was harsh and I never really cared about it, but I did care about learning from my mom and her lessons to me were truly valuable, if she could I know she probably would have homeschooled. I think what you’re doing is nothing short of admirable, and heroic, and don’t let anyone tell you differently! :D

  7. Have you read “Hold on to your Kids”? (It sounds like maybe you have). I am reading it right now and it is really interesting. Though the author didn’t homeschool, there is a lot of support for homeschooling in there.

    I am thinking of homeschooling my kids for middle school, just because that age can be SO big on conformity, teasing, etc. Also, there is one year where they will both be in middle school and I would like to travel as a family that year. (This is quite a ways ahead – just planning and saving and dreaming about it).

    I think homeschooling is great for families that enjoy it. It is also becoming much more common and accepted now. Even colleges are now looking for homeschooled kids because they are more self-directed, etc. Academics-wise, I know kids can learn so much more in much less time when it is one-on-one (vs. one teacher for 30 kids). There is plenty of time to learn everything they need and still have time for creative play, outings, etc.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your reasons. I’m sure you will have a great experience homeschooling. :)

  8. We decided to homeschool this year too. I can’t get behind the whole “one-size fits all” philosophy of public school. I realize that it has to be that way out of necessity, but I wanted more for my child and I am fortunate enough to have that option. We use a variety of curriculums and it’s nice to be able to follow our child’s interests. I think kids are more apt to learn when they have a passion for what they’re studying. Also, she will get more experiential learning than in a public school classroom because we have more freedom to take field trips, conduct experiments and just explore our surroundings. I think you made a great decision. So far, we have yet to meet anyone who has (openly, anyway) shown disdain or disapproval for our choice. I really feel for you! But I’m sure you know that you’re doing the right thing for your daughter and for your family. And really, that’s the only thing you should worry about!

  9. I agree 100% with all of the reasons you mentioned. My parents and grandparents (who were public school teachers and college professors) are all VERY supportive of our decision, especially because they’ve seen the system first-hand.
    My in-laws, however, are not as enthusiastic. Although they do like to brag when the kids do really well at something. Go figure.
    Homeschooling is the only option we’ve ever considered. And I’ve never regretted it. :)

  10. Again, how did I NOT comment on this post!? I know I’ve gone back to it a couple of times, to read parts of it to my mom and to Troy, because I thought it was such a good post! Bad commenter, sheesh.

    Anyway! I laughed at your hat-tip to me, and of course I am nodding in agreement at everything you said. ESPECIALLY the part about socialization and how homeschooling allows your kids to become who they’re really going to be. I think I was very fortunate in that I have a strong will and a strong personality, so I was able to become mostly my own self despite being at school. I don’t think the same could be said of my brother; in fact, he’s 34 and I think he’s just in the past 3-4 years really become comfortable with who he really is.

    Also, I literally “awwwwww”-ed out loud at Nathan in his little swim trunks!

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