This post is part of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. You can see the list of my posts for the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair here.
WEEK 1: The Reasons We Homeschool
Please see the bottom of the post for a list of all the Week One Virtual Homeschool Fair Posts.
How Our Homeschool Came To Be
I’m going to be really honest; I used to be pretty anti-homeschooler. I just didn’t understand why on earth anyone would want to homeschool and thought they all fit the “weird unsocialized homeschooler” stereotype. I couldn’t imagine homeschooling and had every intention of having my 2.5 kids and sending them off to school so I could go to work. Then my oldest was born, on September 7th. Meaning she would turn six just a few days after starting kindergarten. This particular child was very mature for her age from the get-go (yes, I know everyone thinks their child is smart/mature/gifted etc but she really was very mature), but she also tended to follow along with other children she was around. I was concerned that if she were the oldest in her class she would not only be bored but would follow other (younger) kids in the class and possibly pick up bad habits. (No I’m not calling all kindergarteners bad, it was just my train of thinking at the time.)
In Texas, if you homeschool kindergarten a year early and try to enroll your child in school they will still put that child in kindergarten per his/her age. However, what I was told (I have no idea if this was or still is completely accurate) was that if you homeschool through first grade they will let that child go into public school for second grade regardless of age.
I figured I could easily handle homeschooling kindergarten and first grade and then put her in school, problem solved!!
I am a researcher and relatively impulsive when it comes to jumping into something new so when my oldest was all of two-and-a-half I dove into homeschooling methods and curriculum. I found online homeschooling forums and connected with moms who had been doing it for a while. I bought boxed curriculum and individual curriculum and tried lots and lots of things. A whole new world opened up to me and the people there were not nearly as strange or unsocialized as I had imagined! I basically fell in love with homeschooling and completely forgot about the idea of putting her in school in second grade.
Why We Continue
I don’t even know where to begin with what our current reasons are for homeschooling and why I continued past my original goal of first grade. Homeschooling fits our family, I love the flexibility, and I love being my children’s primary adult influence. Here are just a few of the main reasons we homeschool:
We are a military family. We move. My husband deploys…then returns. The Army dictates when we can take a vacation. These things are tricky when kids are in school and must abide by school schedules. The Army does try to accommodate those schedules; most military members with school-age kids move during the summer or over Christmas break. But the fact that a large number of military families move during this time can make scheduling movers, getting housing, flights, etc harder due to demand. Leave is usually scheduled in the summer and over Christmas as well but when they are about to deploy or have just returned leave is generally also offered near departure and return dates which could fall anytime during the year.
Homeschooling allows us to take a break during moves and before and after deployments if that fits our family better than the traditional schedule of a school. This means we can move during slower times which makes some of those logistics easier. My kids are able to take several days off school when my husband returns or is about to leave in order to spend valuable family time with him. It also allows us to take a break when babies are born and to take vacation or travel to see family when travel is less expensive and less crowded.
A side benefit that is related to flexibility is consistency. My kids’ schooling doesn’t change when we move. We carry everything with us and pick right back up where we left off (or maybe we school during the move). We don’t have to worry about kids in the new school being in a different spot or on a different topic and we don’t have to worry about kids missing too much during the move itself.
I want my kids to be closer to their siblings than most other people. My husband and I want to be the primary adult influence in their lives. I want to teach them our values and beliefs interwoven into all of our lessons. This doesn’t mean we don’t ever teach them a different perspective or expose them to people with different beliefs, we do, but it is in an intentional and carefully planned way based on each child’s personality and maturity. I want to protect the culture in my home from being overly influenced by other children, families with very different values, media, and any other influence that would love to influence my children if I am not being intentional.
Kids are different. They are all so different. Within my family, every single one of my children learn in a different way, at a different rate, and are motivated by and interested in different things. A school can’t cater to every single child-it just isn’t possible. At home we can follow interests, we can slow down or speed up as needed, and we can tailor education for each child to match their personalities and learning styles.
Yep, I shelter my children and view this as a benefit of homeschooling. As I said above that doesn’t mean I don’t expose them to and discuss other ideas, beliefs, and ways of life. It means I do it when they are ready rather than on an arbitrary schedule or when their peers tell them things beyond their ability to comprehend. I believe the home should be a shelter, a safe place, where innocence is not destroyed and difficult subjects are broached carefully in a way tailored to each child.
I came to homeschooling in one way but my reasons have evolved into a multifaceted approach. There are as many reasons to homeschool as there are homeschool families and those reasons change as the seasons of life change. I have always said we will homeschool for as long as it is the best option for our family. So far, it has always been the best option and I don’t foresee that changing.
Now, let’s see what my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about The Reasons We Homeschool.
5 Reasons to Homeschool High School by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Weird Homeschoolers by Kim R. @ Good Sweet Love
How We Make Homeschooling a Lifestyle by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Our Ever Evolving Homeschool Story by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
5 Reasons You Will Want to Homeschool by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue) by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
So… Tell Me Again Why You Homeschool? by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 – Week 1 – Why do I Homeschool by Joelle@Homeschooling For His Glory
Homeschool Reasons: Bullies, Faith and More by Annette @ A Net In Time
In Pursuit of Purpose by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided To Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
5 Reasons We Love Homeschooling by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart
Why We Homeschool – It’s What We Do by Kristen H @ Sunrise to Sunset
Why we Home Educate and Extra Benefits by Sarah@Delivering Grace
Homeschooling: The Big WHY? by Lisa @ True North Homeschool Academy at Golden Grasses
Regaining Your Homeschool Focus by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
Why do we homeschool? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Our ìHomeschoolî Why by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
It’s Worth it! Why We Homeschool, Even After All These Years by Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully
Because Life is Precious by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
1998 vs. 2018: Why We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter