I made the decision to homeschool in the summer of 2010- about 1 year ago exactly. I had two preschoolers and a 1st grader at that point. My oldest son had just finished a whole year in kindergarten at our local public school and, while he loved his teacher, he didn't have much else to say about it that he enjoyed. He came home everyday exhausted and moody! I mean, for goodness sakes, he had to be at school at 7:45 and didn't get out until 2:45. What in the world can they possibly do for 7 whole hours every day? I can't get my son to sit still for 1 hour without having to take some sort of break to run, stretch out or even sing a song...and that's how most kids are I've learned. So...besides reading, writing and arithmetic (the basics that all kids should be familiar with by age 7), what else did they think was so important that my child had to be there so long for everyday? I just didn't get it...and neither did he! - REASON 1
I also got the distinct impression that the morning rush out the door with 3 kiddo's in tow was wearing my whole crew out! I am a morning person by nature- I love to get up at the crack of dawn and have quiet time with my coffee cup in one hand and my Bible in the other. After many years of trial and error, I learned that I am not a very patient mommy without this refreshing and peaceful start to my day! :) But my morning time started to get infringed upon by my sweet darlings as I had to wake them all up early enough to get dressed and eat breakfast before my oldest had to get to school. (For those of you whose kids ride the bus, more power to you! I just didn't have the desire to start my son on the bus in elementary school. That's just me though.) I think I'm as organized as anyone can be with 3 young children- you might disagree though- but these rushed mornings put me in a bad mood and our goodbyes in the front of school were less than peachy keen. I hated to send him to school like that and he hated leaving me like that...there had to be a better way for our family. -REASON 2
I think, of all the reasons why we chose to homeschool, the desire to actually watch my child grow and be the main person who gets to speak into his life at such an impressionable age is the most important. Homeschooling is a good choice for us because I am passionate about my kids knowing their worth comes from God and not from their good grades or extracurricluar activities. Yes, we encourage doing your best but not because of the bad grade that might result if we don't try hard enough- we encourage doing your best because of how much we love God and want to please Him. It's not about how many checks or A+ 's my kids get on their work that matters to me. It's if they know how much God loves them and values them even when they mess up or miss the mark. That's something that they were not gonna get from public school (or even some private schools, in my humble opinion). Our day is relaxed and there is no pressure to perform- I detest that word. Every child has lazy days and that's ok! At school, you just might get a call from the teacher if your son lays his head down in class too many times because he didn't get a good night's sleep the night before. There is rarely a digging deeper mentality in schools today. That's ok though cause we as parents, homeschooling or not, should be doing that anyways. :) If my child has a bad dream or just a rough nights sleep the night before and wants to sleep in unti 9:00 to make up for it before we start school...I can extend to him that grace and then he does better in school that day. REASON-3
The bottom line is this: Yes, we have hard days. Yes, it's exhausting at times. Yes, I am learning as we go. But my kids have permission to be themselves- tired, cranky, happy, upset, hyper, loud, etc... and they enjoy learning things with mommy. It brings a whole new level to our relationship and goes beyond the surface question of "How was school today, honey?" There is depth and that is so important in our relationships with our children. I want to know what is really going on without having to pry into their lives because I never see them.
I encourage you to look into homeschooling if any of these reasons encouraged you! I have only been doing it for a little over a year so I'm still new at it but the first year is usually the toughest and we're still at it so that says something right? :) I am open for questions about this topic anytime! Thanks for reading!