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3.01.2017

Why I want to homeschool


I'll admit, I'm easily influenced by popular trends. I have grand ideas about individuality and going against the grain and whatnot, but the reality is that I get a little dazzled by the cool things everyone else is doing. Especially if it's pretty or picturesque.

I know this about myself, and so I try to think through decisions thoroughly--often to the point of overthinking them. Sometimes I'm able to talk myself out of them, but other times my will is weak and I go for it anyway, whatever it is. And so I was wary when I first started thinking about homeschooling my kids. Was this another instance of being drawn in by the pretty pins on Pinterest, of wanting a project, of being influenced by what the cool kids were doing?


Months and months of thought and prayer and reading blog posts and talking to my husband (who was homeschooled himself) later, I hadn't made it very far. At that point, I decided to give homeschooling a try for E's preschool and probably kindergarten years--after all, how badly could I screw that up? And I hoped that this "test run" would give me a better idea about whether homeschooling was something I really wanted.

From there, I started trying to figure out exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I pinned posts, collected books, and talked to experienced homeschoolers. The more I read about homeschooling and education, however, the more convinced I became that I had to mentally commit to more than just two years. Maybe my reasons weren't originally anything more than fascination with something shiny--I may never know for sure--but the research I did brought me beyond that. Today, I'm hoping to homeschool my children at least until they get to high school. Yes, I'm intimidated--I have no personal experience with homeschooling or education. As I continue to research and plan, I often feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. The amount of information and the number of resources available is overwhelming. And with only my personal experience in a public school as a point of reference, it's hard to wrap my head around it all. But when I come back to the reasons I've decided I want to do this, I am assured that it's worth trying.

Everyone says your "why" is critically important. The reasons you get into homeschooling are what keep you going when it gets rough--so they better be pretty good reasons. So why do I want to homeschool?


Because I want a close-knit family.

Homeschooling doesn't automatically guarantee you a tight family bond, but it does give you more opportunities to nurture one day in and day out. Coming from a family that lacks such a thing, this is really important to me.

Because I want my kids to have plenty of playtime. 

A kindergarten student should not have to spend six+ hours a day sitting in a classroom. I don't think a few short recesses are enough, either. Even as a kid gets older, having unstructured time is important. Homeschooling will allow us to tailor the "school day" to our needs--which will include a lot of playtime.

Because I want my kids to learn at a deeper level.

Looking back on my own school experience, it seems that I learned the bare minimum about a huge variety of subjects. And I don't remember much, to tell you the truth. I hope that choosing to educate my kids differently will allow us to dig deeper into certain areas (particular in history) rather than just skimming the surface.

Because I want my kids to learn at their own pace.

I don't want my kids to have to sit around doing busy work if they're learning something faster than other students. And I don't want them to be pushed through something they don't fully understand yet because the class needs to move on. Homeschooling will allow us to work at whatever pace my children need.

Because I want to learn, too.

By itself, this reason seems totally selfish. But I think it's OK to include it, because it's not my sole motivation. It's a fringe benefit. I get to (re)learn everything right alongside my kids. And that gets me excited. There's SO MUCH to learn about in this world.

Are there things I worry about in light of this decision? YES. I'm a naturally shy homebody, and I worry that I'll struggle with putting my kids in social situations so they can make friends. I worry that I won't be able to teach them what they need to know. I worry that we won't be able to afford to do this "right." I worry, I worry, I worry.

But I always come back to the reasons I listed above. And every time, the potential benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks. In fact, they often throw new light on the "drawbacks," showing how they might be important opportunities for personal growth.

This is where we are. All the tips and advice and good books and favorite homeschool blogs that you have? Send them my way!

11 comments :

  1. Hello! I'm in my second year as a homeschooling mom and couldn't be happier! Both my husband and I were homeschooled ourselves so we knew that it was the choice we wanted to make for our family but at the same time, I knew that it would be a huge commitment and there would probably be days I just wanted to give up.

    Still, for all the good days and the bad days, this has been an amazing two years with my littles (7 and 4, with one on the way). I love the flexibility of homeschooling, the way it has drawn our family together, confirmed my kids as best friends, and allowed us to view the whole world as our schoolroom and nearly every activity as schoolwork. It truly is rewarding.

    My advice:

    - connect with a local homeschool group or at least other homeschool families. It's good to have someone to go on field trips with, attend story time together, or just talk about local resources.

    - connect with an online support group. My favorite is the FB group "Hip Homeschool Moms Community." It's a no-drama group of 18,000+ members and is an incredible source of support, advice, and resources.

    - don't feel like you have to be locked into a specific curriculum right away. Really, for PK-1st all you need is the basic reading and math covered through workbooks and then touch on history, science, etc, through library resources, pinterest unit studies, or educational videos. We switched curriculum sets three times before finding the right fit. Borrow from another homeschooling family if you're able, or download sample packets. The last thing you want is to feel forced into teaching a certain way because you spent so much money without researching.

    - and lastly, have fun! There will be days your littles want to play instead of doing bookwork. Okay, so make a game out of their reading lesson, use math to make cookies, find ways to make school fun for them during these early years and you'll instill of love of learning that will last the rest of their life. That being said, don't stress out and feel like everything has to be this Pinterest-worthy masterpiece, set your own pace and find what works for you. Don't compare yourself to other homeschooling families, this is for you and your family and you will find your own perfect way of homeschooling.

    Best of luck!

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  2. Home schooling is not really common here in Australia. I can't say I've ever known anybody who was home schooled. I really don't think that I could be selfless enough to do it. But I also do want to expand on my childs learning out of school. I to feel that I remember little of what I learned in school and there is no push to follow the things you are interested in to expand on them or anything. I hope that somehow I am able to clue in to my childs interests more and help her delve deeper into the things she likes instead of just leaving it all up to school.
    Ive also wondered why people choose to homeschool and this answers that question!

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    1. What is the education system like in Australia? I confess that I know very little about it.

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  3. Hi! I am a high-school junior, and I've been home-schooled since Kindergarten. (I did go to preschool and had a fabulous teacher who taught us how to share, sit, listen and not throw fits when things don't go our way.) Home-schooling gives so much more to children than sitting in a class room. There are tons of resources for homeschooling at every grade level. I "outsource" some of my subjects and take them from an online school. My classes are live so it isn't like watching TV. I had the option to go to a brick-and-mortar school for high school but decided to stay at home for several reasons. I also have plenty of friends; my family has attended a co-op nearly every semester since we started home-schooling. I just say all that to encourage you in your decision to home-school now and in the future.

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    1. Hi Maggie!

      Quick question about your co-op experience (because I've been poking around several trying to decide if it's a good idea or not)--is it a group with some kind of national affiliation, or a local group run by parents? Our city has both, and I see pros and cons on either side. What do you like/dislike about yours?

      (And thanks so much for sharing your experience!)

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  4. Hmm that bit about being so excited about all there is to learn looks familiar ;)

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    1. You never heard me disagree with you, did you? ;)

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  5. This is so amazing! What a great thing you are doing for your little one.

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  6. This is a great post Kenzie! Prior to having kids I never thought I would homeschool (didn't that just produce weird kids??) and here I am! I mean, we are not even a full year into it yet but we ALL are loving our decision. I can't wait to see where your journey takes you!

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  7. I didn't know you were wanting to homeschool. We are in the midst of homeschooling and amidst all of the challenges, I love it. we have been a part of a classical conversations community and now are part of Catholic a Schoolhouse community. I can give you more info on both of you're interested. How old is E? I'd also say it's important for mama to have a community to be involved with because there are days homeschooling seems defeating and we need encouragement from one another. I'd love to meet and chat homeschool. Anyways, enough rambling...good luck, mama! It's such a great adventure!

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    1. E is turning 3 this summer, so we'd start from the beginning with preschool. I've looked into some of the co-ops in town, but I'm not sure how I feel about them (and obviously they wouldn't be a thing until later anyway). Did you guys start homeschooling right away, or did any of the kids go to school somewhere?

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