You know the gut feeling that you cannot ignore? The one you HAVE to follow or you will always wonder what would happen if you didn’t? Well, I recently got that feeling, and the best decision our family made this year was to…
Cue the collective gasps.
Here’s what most people say (who have not chosen to homeschool):
“I could never do that! Good for you!”
“You were a teacher, it makes sense. I could never teach my children.”
“Are you worried about socialization?”
First of all, I think lots of people are selling themselves short. I think most parents COULD homeschool. I think that what they probably mean is that it’s not the right choice for their family. To each his own. You know what is best for your own family!
Second of all, I was a teacher, yes. However, homeschooling is very different than a classroom. I need to re-think everything in order to teach my own children. It’s going to be an adjustment learning how to teach in an entirely different manner (not to mention grade level) than I’ve ever taught. I know people mean well when they say this, but believe me, this is not an easy undertaking just because I taught in a classroom. Even so, I feel it’s right for our family and I’m following my gut. Also, this is a family effort. Yes, I’ll be doing most of the teaching, but my husband is on board and will be doing his part too.
Thirdly, no, we are not worried about socialization. There are many things we can do to make sure our children are socialized. We will be involved in sports, camps, church, and different Co-ops.
All this being said, we do not take this decision lightly. We are organizing and preparing for a lifestyle change. It’s exciting. However, it’s a big change and a lot of responsibility. Our three main reasons for deciding to homeschool are these:
1. Play. Play is so important, especially for younger kids. It was really weighing on me that we were getting ready to send our 5 year old boy to school where he would spend most of his day sitting and learning things that his brain may not even be developmentally ready to learn. I want him outside playing! Or inside…if it’s 1 million degrees. But the point is, being a kid is so important, and now is the only time he gets to experience childhood. (I also found this article and this one very interesting).
2. Time. I have the time and ability to be home with my kids. I knew that if I didn’t at least attempt to homeschool I would always regret it. Kindergarten is the perfect year to see if this is for us. One year at a time is what I’m telling myself. Plus, both my boys are beyond excited to start our homeschool routine. (I’m going to revel in the fact that they *want* to spend time with me while I can!)
3. Flexibility. My husband is a pastor, so our weekends are Fridays and Saturdays. It was breaking my heart that one member of our family was going to be gone for a full day of our weekend together. Now that we decided to homeschool, we can choose which days we work! It has been such a relief knowing that we don’t need to worry about a school schedule.
Ultimately I know that homeschooling doesn’t work for all families. I would venture to say that it would not be the best choice for most families (or maybe not even an option)! I am, however, totally excited (and nervous!) about our decision and newest adventure. I think it’s going to be great. My hope is that my children will be so thankful for the opportunities it afforded them. I will continue to update about our homeschool journey, as I know we will be learning so much.
If you’re a homeschool family let me know! I’d love to hear your experience and tips and maybe join in on some of your field trips!