I just wrote this for my homeschool group and decided to post it here in case I ever need a reminder. :-)
Why I homeschool:
I have two different whys. The first is why I wanted to homeschool. The second is why I DO homeschool.
So for the first: I was in the gifted program in 6-8th grade. We did unit studies and I really enjoyed them. I remember we did a semester on Eskimos and a semester on outer space. I think we did a semester on prairie life too. I loved the way we learned and it was very different from the way everyone else was taught. Naturally, I thought that was the best way.
Later, when I was in high school, my mom gave me an article that told how a 12 year old was being admitted into some Ivy League school. He had been homeschooled and had done unit studies. By this time I had realized that public school was very rarely done in unit studies and I decided that I would homeschool my children so they could have unit studies and be brilliant by the time they were twelve, too. Actually, I think God was putting the seed in my heart knowing it would grow over time into a real conviction.
I met first husband when I was 18. I don’t remember ever talking to him about homeschooling but I know he agreed with me. I went to my first homeschool convention while I was still pregnant with Brittany. I remember them asking me “how old is your oldest?” and I would point at my stomach. They got a good chuckle out of that one. When we divorced (Brittany was not quite 2), I had it put into our divorce decree that Brittany would be homeschooled. I did not want anything coming back to haunt me or anyone saying I couldn’t homeschool her after the fact.
Michael and I were planning on getting married when I told him that I would not marry him if he did not agree with homeschooling. Up until that moment he thought that he could just ignore that part of me and we would “talk about it later.” I flat out told him that if he would not support homeschooling and me staying home with our children that I would not marry him. I guess he liked me, because here we are 10 years later. :-)
Now the reason that I DO homeschool.
I homeschool because I don’t want to be a stranger to my children’s soul. I want to be there with them every step of the way: teaching them, learning along with them, discipling them, growing with them. I don’t want to be on the sidelines, letting other people raise my children. I spend time in God’s face every year asking what/how/when I should teach my children. I don’t expect anyone else to know those things about them. God doesn’t expect anyone else to know those things about them. I see it as something God expects of me. I want to parent my children and I consider teaching them part of that parenting adventure. I don’t consider homeschooling a “part of our day.” Instead it is our life. It is part of the package. I consider everything as part of the whole: which is this crazy, wonderful, wacky family that we have. I think that family is very important. Having school as part of our family life sees to it that we interact as a family all day long rather than being six separate spheres bumping into each other in the evening (before going off to our homework or sports or other activities.)
Over the years I have seen “reasons” for our homeschooling.
- it has made Brittany visiting her family in Albuquerque much easier.
- It has made Michael’s crazy schedules at work easier.
- It has made Kaedra’s stays in the hospital much easier.
But these are all side benefits and not the real reason we do it. We do it because God called us to do it and it is the only way we can see it done. I have never been able to imagine otherwise and I am so excited to have at least 17 more years of this journey ahead of us!!
(now remind me of this on those bad days, the ones where I say “WHY AM I DOING THIS???!?!?” hee-hee)