We homeschool because we are crazy, that is why!
We started thinking about homeschooling the summer before my daughter’s second grade year. What initially prompted us to have these crazy thoughts was that our oldest son, Kade, was about to start high school, and we felt like “Whoa, where does the time go?” His school years had been a blur, a rush, a streak of light, and we suddenly became sentimental about our babies growing up and going away.
I started by reading about homeschooling. Then I talked to other people who were homeschoolers. Next I talked to teachers and family. Finally I prayed, “God, are you sure you really want me to do this? Because I was educated in public school, and I don’t even get homeschoolers. I’m pretty certain it’s not my thing.” He responded that I needed to get out of my comfort zone, to do something that I never imagined doing, to not fear what other people think of me, and to trust Him to work all things for good. I determined the homeschooling notion must be divine intervention because I promise you I would never imagine this for myself. Ever!
Our life before homeschooling was this: The mornings typically started pretty harried with the kids not wanting to roll out of bed, and me constantly pressing them to “HURRY UP!” Everything from getting dressed to feeding the animals to eating breakfast was a battle and then we rolled out of the driveway on two wheels trying to get to school on time. The school day ended and I would pick up the kids to rush home to do homework to then go to the sports practice to next rush home and eat dinner and shower and get in bed at a decent hour so that they could get up the next morning for school. (All of that plus typically a toddler or two dragging along, squealing in protest!) Yikes. We just felt there wasn’t a lot of margin and balance, and that we didn’t get to spend any real quality time with our kids. We were pursuing our own things and they were pursuing their own things and we were all going different directions. And then we realized that we had done this to ourselves.
So, I will say that our major reason for taking the jump into homeschooling was to spend more quality time with our kids.
We felt like we needed to re-connect, to have conversations, to not feel rushed 24/7.
So, yes that is what we got! And here are a few more homeschool benefits that we’ve experienced:
- Learning with the kids (did anyone besides me just memorize a bunch of stuff to pass the test and then never remember it again?)
- Reading stories together–it makes for great conversation
- The kids are learning how to do real-life things like cook, clean, do their laundry, take care of our livestock, and grocery shop! (Things they never had time for because they were at school.)
- Influence–I’m certainly not the best teacher, or the most qualified, but I do like the idea of being the one to influence their thoughts and learning
- Flexibility–for example, if Kade has a late-night sports game (he still attends high school) then our family can all go to the game and the next morning my little people can sleep in a bit later
- Lots of outdoor time, which I feel is critical in a learning environment, especially for boys
- Sick less often! I just find it easier to deal with people who are well!
- They get to go with us on work projects (not all of the time!)
- Their imaginations have grown immensely and they have learned how to teach themselves new things
Our thought process moving forward:
- Our children’s education is a year-to-year decision for us. Our daughter did go back to school for third grade, and she will go back to school again at some point. We just take one year at a time, looking at our life circumstances, and at each child individually to determine what is best. Nothing is permanent!
- Homeschooling is awesome. Homeschooling is hard. Just like everything else.
- God has moved my heart so far from where it was when I first started this journey. I am grateful that I’ve changed for the better. I’m also thankful for forgiveness and grace, because I’ve needed plenty of it along the way!