Before we had kids, my husband and I knew that I would be a stay-at-home mom. We prepared for this goal by paying down as much debt as possible early in our marriage. It wasn’t until our first child was born that I started reading books about homeschooling. Over time we began to seriously consider this option for our children and finally made it a reality. These are the main reasons why we homeschool our children.
More Family Time
One of the major reasons why we homeschool our children is to spend time together as a family. When our kids are grown, we hope that they will maintain strong family ties with us and with their siblings.
As my oldest approached school age, it became harder and harder to imagine him getting on a bus and going to school all day. My heart wasn’t ready for that. Five years later it still isn’t ready. Our homeschooling days have their ups and downs, but years from now I won’t regret the choice to spend more time with my family.
Our kids get to spend the entire day with each other every day. Yes, they fight with each other frequently as most siblings do, but they love being together too. We also do some social activities like co-op and LEGO class that separate us at times, but for the most part, we’re a family unit.
Setting Our Own Schedule
Another reason why we homeschool our children is that we have the freedom to set our own schedule. As the years go by, we hope to travel the country visiting our national parks. Thanks to the flexibility of homeschooling, we can choose to go at the best time of year for each destination.
In years past, setting our own homeschool schedule has also afforded me the opportunity to take time off when needed. One year, I took my children with me for several days to help my sister prepare for an upcoming move. About six weeks later, my parents watched the kids for me while I again helped my sister with final packing preparation. The freedom to adjust our schedule on the fly is a perk of homeschooling.
Our day-to-day schedule is also quite flexible. We don’t get up early or rush to catch the bus. My husband usually has lunch at home with us a few days a week. When appointments pop up or we have the opportunity for a visit with friends and family, we can take a break from our homeschool day.
Passing Along Our Values
Perhaps the most important reason why we homeschool our children is that we can more easily pass along our values to them. They see our successes, our failures, and our authenticity. Our children have a constant, first-hand view of how we handle our own shortcomings and where we draw our strength.
Even though our children gain so much just by increased family time, we still have to be proactive in teaching them our values. We’ve been working on making this a priority in the evenings before bedtime. It’s a process we’re still honing and adjusting as we learn alongside our kids.
A glaring omission from the reasons why we homeschool our children is that of providing a superior education. There are subjects that I am confident I can teach well, and there are subjects that, without the help of great curriculum, I feel I would let my children down. For us homeschooling is less about perfect transcripts and test scores and more about fostering a life-long love of learning.
Neither my husband nor I were homeschooled. It’s an option that we feel blessed to be able to pursue, but we know that it’s not for everyone. Our families are filled with great teachers who’ve taught elementary, middle school, high school, and college-level classes. We appreciate all the teachers who work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has access to a quality education.
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