I think the “why we decided to homeschool” question is my most-asked question fo 2019! It makes sense. So many people want to know why this former Kindergarten teacher is homeschooling instead of sending her kids to school. I get it! Here’s my long, but hopefully straightforward answer! Keep reading to see why we decided to homeschool.
Why We’ve Decided to Homeschool
The decision to homeschool wasn’t a lightbulb moment for me. In fact, I had my daughter signed up and ready to head to preschool this past fall. But for months I went back and forth with it. One day I felt confident in my decision, and the next it felt so off. One day she’s want to go and the next she’d talk about how she isn’t interested. It was never something any of us felt ready or prepared for. If this was just preschool… what would Kindergarten be like?
Then it hit me. We’ve done almost everything (food, parenting, etc.) a little bit differently so far. Why would schooling not look differently for our family too? I was so convinced that this next step was something we HAD to do, no matter how off or weird it felt to me or my daughter. It was such a relief when I finally gave in to the nagging urge to at least just give homeschool researching a chance. I dove in head first. I listened to podcast. I read countless books. I talked with several families who homeschool. I talked with families who don’t. Then I wrote this post with my research findings.
It wasn’t until we started our homeschool this past year, however, that I really understood how right this decision was for our family.
Here is why we decided to homeschool.
*Note: these are our reasons for homeschooling. Unique to our family. I am in no way saying those who don’t homeschool or don’t homeschool this way are wrong. I’m not even claiming any of this is the “right” way. It’s just what’s right for our family. <3
01. We are interested in preserving childhood.
We are not interested in sheltering our kids from the world (they spend a lot of time outside of our home and with other children/adults), but we are interested in slowly and gently introducing them to the world rather than thrusting them into it headfirst. This is probably my number one reason for wanting to homeschool. Here’s the deal. We send our kids to school because that’s just what you do. Right? Well, what if it doesn’t have to be? What if we don’t have to send them away from us just because they’re turned five? (As a teacher, I’ve seen so many children who were of school-age, but just weren’t emotionally ready.)
What if we can let them spend their mornings at home listening to mom read their favorite book? Or playing with their favorite toys with their siblings? What if they can spend their afternoons eating a nutritious lunch, at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home. What if they want to play outside for hours in the mud or rain? The fact is, with the fast-paced school schedule, and year, it just isn’t possible for childhood to remain wonder-like (not as long anyway), so this is our main “why”. There will be many years of adult-like things ahead. We want to preserve our children’s childhood.
02. We believe homeschool allows for a gentle, unique, interest-led, and academically-tailored education.
Not all children are created equal. Chances are, you probably have much different interests than your spouse. Maybe you share a few common interests, but each individual has things that inspire them. Things they’re passionate about. School is sort of a “one size fits all” type of education. As an educator, I had a hard time with this. It’s difficult to tailor one type of content to several learning styles. It’s even more difficult to get students excited about material when they may not be interested in it. I believe that homeschool is a great way to educate our children because it allows for an interest-led education. (If my daughter loves music, I can teach her math through music, for example!) It also allows for a unique pace. Say she loves math and flies through that material, but struggles with writing. We can take as long as we need to for any of those subjects! This is how students should be able to learn. It’s just impossible to do it effectively when there’s one teacher and thirty-five students.
03. I want to be with my children.
This one is going to be striking for some people, because when I tell them, they think I’m nuts. I know many wonderful mothers out there who love nights away from the kids. They’re called “girls weekends” for a reason. In theory it sounds nice to me, but I’m the type of person who has never “needed” this type of break. I know I’m the minority, and I’m absolutely not shaming those who love their time! I think it’s great for every mom and every individual to know and meet their needs. Whatever those may be! Mine just don’t require me to need breaks, so I honestly love being around my children.
Homeschooling them allows me to spend more time with them. In college, I ran a before and after school care program at an elementary school. It was a great program! Enriching, even, and we had great staff! But many of the children who attended it arrived to school at 6:00 AM and left at almost 6:00 PM. That’s twelve hours away from their family. Away from their home. Now, I realize that isn’t the case for many families, but for some it is, and that’s more time away from their parents than with. At five or six years old, that’s a lot of time to miss out on. (See number 6 for more thoughts on this topic.)
But, for me, I really enjoy motherhood. I really enjoy being home with them. Maybe I’m a total weirdo. But I’ve always felt this way. As long as they enjoy my company too, we’ll be golden.
04. We love the flexibility.
The flexibility of homeschool allows us to do our school work in the morning and play in the afternoon. We can also meet up with friends or go on adventures and work on schoolwork when we get home. Or not! We can read the books my daughter wants to read. (We just finished Stuart Little and now we are onto Trumpet of the Swan). It’s flexible schedule-wise, and it’s flexible learning-wise. We don’t do school work on Fridays at all, and instead, spend time out in nature! It’s so good for our souls.
05. We crave the slowness.
The mornings where we have to get up and rush to be somewhere are some of my worst morning as a parent. I don’t know what it is about hurry, but it makes me snappy, stressed, and unpleasant. Slow mornings are something that were truly foreign to me until adulthood. There’s something magical about cooking a breakfast from scratch, being able to sit down to eat it, pouring a cup of hot coffee, and enjoying a meal in the morning. Maybe picking up a book, or listening to an audiobook.
We absolutely love our morning time routine. There’s room for rest. There’s room for connection. This is what slow mornings look like for us. They aren’t always quiet or peaceful, but they’re ours. They’re spent together, in the comfort of our home.
06. We homeschool because we are able to.
I wanted to include this last point, because I realize and completely embrace that some families may want to homeschool, but just aren’t able to make it happen. My husband and I are in a unique situation where I am able to make money while staying home with my children. This allows me to juggle both working from home and staying home with them to homeschool them. While it isn’t easy and there are busy/difficult days, there are still more wonderful days to make up for it. The fruits I’ve seen from my time home with them this year far outweigh the sacrifices. Therefore, I’ll do it as long as I can. I just realize and embrace that that isn’t the situation for every family.
These are just a few main reasons we are homeschooling our daughters. It’s honestly something I never saw myself committing to. But since I have, I haven’t really looked back. It’s been wonderful. I love talking about homeschool!
If you are on the fence or have questions, shoot me an email. I’m happy to chat!
Thank you so much for reading!