Well, we had a wonderful holiday and now ready to jump back into school. I just wrote an article for my community paper about homeschooling and thought I'd share it here. It's part 1 of a series, so stay tuned!
Why We Home School Part 1
We are starting our second semester of our first year of home schooling and I figured it was about time for me to share our experience so far. Before I get started I have a few disclaimers. First I have no bad feelings about public education in general. Second, Bushland Elementary is an excellent school. My family and I love the staff and all the friendships we made while our daughters went to school there. No traumatic event occurred while they were in school that caused us to decide to home school.
Now that I have that out of the way I’d like to share with you how my family’s decision to home school. My hope is that this will help shed some light on why some families choose to educate their children at home. One thing I believe very strongly in is the freedom of choice. With that freedom, we as parents, have the right to choose what is best for our children and family at any given time. If I didn’t believe so strongly in this, home schooling may never have crossed my mind.
For my family we reached a crossroads last year when my daughters were in first and third grade. I was having doubts that I was doing the best thing for my children. Our home life felt like a whirlwind of hurry up go to school, race home to hurry up to do school work, hurry up to go to volleyball practice or some event, then hurry up to get home to bed to start it all over the next day. Somewhere in the midst of all this my husband might or might not actually see his kids before kissing them goodnight. Meals together failed to be realistic, praying together only happened when there was time and someone always seemed to be sick. My husband would travel with his job to neat and exciting places and we would stay home and miss him knowing the schools absence policies wouldn’t allow for us to be picking up and leaving every other week. We were no longer operating as a family, but rather as individuals that shared a roof.
My husband comes from a family in which both of his parents have their doctorates in education. They’ve dedicated their life to public education. I, myself, have my post-graduate teaching degree. My husband has his masters in Chemical Engineering. Education is very important to our family. And I was taught to believe home schooling was crazy. Along with the following: those parents are trying to protect their children from the world, they are going to ruin their education, and probably the most famous one, how will they socialize. I’ve heard it all before, I’ve said a few myself, so why was I even thinking about it? All I can say is God put some serious questions in my heart during this time. Ones that I would agonize and cry over, ones that I would pray over many times. But in the end I knew that home schooling was my answer. I say my answer, but it was a family decision. My husband had the same concerns I did, and in the end he believed we should give home schooling a try.
So far it has been a blessing. Each day is a gift I have with my children. I now feel like I can cherish it to its fullest extent, not be hurried or rushed. Do I still have doubts, you bet I do. Do I still have stress, yes indeed. But not about my decision to home school.
Next issue I’ll talk about some of the decisions and dilemmas families face as home schoolers.
What are some decisions and dilemmas you face as home schoolers? And what brought you to this decision? I'd love to hear!