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Why We Homeschool


I asked all three kids why they think we homeschool.  The boys were confused by the "why" question, but Dragonfly (almost 8) had a few suggestions.  "So that bully people won't bully us."  "So you won't miss us too much when we're gone all day."  "So we can learn."

Now that July has started, the stores are full of school supplies and fall clothes and many people are starting to think about back to school.  Perhaps you've been thinking about last year and wondering if you should homeschool this year.  I'm hoping in this article to give you some reasons why we home educate and to persuade you to come to the dark side.

Before I go into my list, I thought I should talk a bit about homeschooling in general.  (1)  Homeschooling is not "school at home" and every family is going to home educate differently.  (2)  Parenting your children's education is legal in all 50 US states and many countries; although, the laws and requirements will be different from community to community (do your research).  (3)  The cost of homeschooling depends greatly on the parents and the curriculum you chose, ranging from nearly free to thousands of dollars.  (4)  You still get to shop the back to school sales- but only if you want to!  (5)  There are lots of resources and support groups for homeschoolers, both in person and online, as well as lots of blogs (like this one) with ideas and printables for making the education more interesting.



Bullying

As Dragonfly stated at the beginning of the post, one of the main reasons we homeschool is because of bullying.  The statistics say that mean behavior even to the point of pushing suicide are on the rise.  School was bad when I was young, I can't even imaging how bad it must be now!  If the primary school problem your child has is other kids, then you should homeschool them.


Time with My Children

I'm an extroverted introvert (seriously, right down the middle), which means that I enjoy being with people, but I also need my alone time for processing and creativity.  It can be exhausting to be with my children all day long, and I really feel it if I don't get enough alone time.  However, I still won't trade these days and years with my kids for anything.

You know that meme that says, "You only get 18 summers with your kids?"  You also only get 18 years with your kids (even less if you adopted or are a stepparent).  When my kids look back on their childhoods, I hope they see that I enjoyed being their mom.




Technology

My kids don't have unsupervised screen time.  They don't have tablets or phones, and must ask permission to use the devices that are in the home.  It might sound strange, but one of the reasons we homeschool is to limit and supervise the amount of time the kids have in front of a screen and what they see on them.  With initiatives like "Technology in the Classroom" and state laws that mandate screen time for even young children, one of my concerns is what they have access to and who has access to them.  Being with the kids 24-7 isn't a complete fail-safe, but I know it's better than it would be if they were in school.


Morality

We hold personal beliefs that are very different from the what kids are taught in school, because we're Christians.  We want to raise them to be counter-cultural, which means keeping them home to learn from their parents and the Bible.  It's not only what the teachers would be instructing during formal times, but also what they might learn from their peers.  We want them not to grow up too fast and to learn in an environment where they feel safe.




Individualized Education

Without homeschooling, I probably wouldn't have realized that one of my boys needs bubble letters to write his letters or numbers, while the other one needs dotted lines.  When the second son is given bubble letters, he wants to color them in.  When the first son is given dotted lines, he can't make sense of them and tries to circle them or just gets frustrated.  Because we're homeschooling, I can give one of my boys one type of materials and the other boy a different type of worksheets.

With homeschooling, we can tailor each year and even each lesson to the individual child and their needs, interests, abilities, comprehension, or whatever.  It can't see a school, even a really good one with low numbers, being able to be that individualized.


I have more that I could write, but I'm going to save that for another day.  If you homeschool, tell me why you do in the comments.  If you think we're crazy, write and tell me that too!



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