This simple (and well meaning) question is one that I encounter all of the time! “Why not just send them to school?”. Well, first of all, they are in school, but I understand what they mean. Of course, they are asking why I don’t just send them to regular school. For all of my homeschool moms, you understand the overwhelming feeling of wanting to just shake your fist and scream, but my goal is to educate and inform others about homeschooling. I have often said that I am not anti-public school, homeschooling was a choice (a God led choice). I love homeschooling and the benefits. While my love and passion may sometimes come across as not favoring public education, this is certainly not true. I am in favor of school choice and one of those choices is public school! As my oldest son approaches middle school, many people probably feel that it will benefit him more to be in a public school! So, I decided to answer this little question that is written in my blog title!
“Why Not Just Send Them to School?”
1. I don’t want to.
Many years ago, I was led to this homeschooling journey and we knew that it was meant for us! We love homeschooling and what it means to our family!
2. I love being able to customize my kids’ education.
I firmly believe that education is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Being able to discover my kids’ learning styles, interests, strengths, and weaknesses give me an opportunity to create a learning path just right for them!
3. We have an opportunity to learn without limits.
There are no strings on me (or them)! We are not limited by time, by days of the week, holidays, illnesses, etc. When we need to have school, we simply take out our materials and have school! Even if that means having school at our favorite restaurant or library.
4. I love the family time that we get to share on a daily basis.
Now, is it always pleasant? No, not by any means! We can drive each other nuts, but we love each other! Being together means that we get to create memories and experiences daily. The memories are what I hope that they will take with them more than any textbook lesson I could ever teach!
5. We can learn outside of the box.
If my child is not understanding a certain math concept, I get to choose another way to present it! This may mean playing a game, watching a video, or just taking another week on the topic! Who is rushing us? The goal is to master it, not memorize it for a test, and then forget it, right?
6. We love our friends.
Despite the myth that homeschoolers are lonely, sheltered, and friendless, we have an opportunity to spend time with some amazing friends. We meet up for P.E., for group lessons, for playdates, for mommy time, holiday parties….we have fun! As they get older, they have even more opportunities to connect with others! This could include at the mall, at a part-time job, in youth groups, or even clubs. Oh, yeah, homeschoolers have proms, too!
7. No raising your hand or asking to go to the bathroom, and do chew gum.
While structure has its place, there is no need to raise your hand in my class! In the traditional school, it would be quite chaotic without it, but with 3 students it isn’t needed. Also, chewing gum and giving out M&Ms during math is one of the many things I love about homeschooling, but not as much as wearing pajamas during school!
8. We focus on collaboration, not competition.
You have to know how to compete in the real world! I know, I know! Yes, but you also have to know how to collaborate to be successful. Helping their little brother with his work while I do laundry, doing the dishes, helping a sibling with a subject that they are struggling in, cheering for your sibling that just got a 100% on a math test! These are ways that I foster sibling collaboration, not competition! Not to say that siblings will never compete or even that it is wrong to do so. However, there is no need to compete with anyone who is on your team! We can go so much further by playing our part for the betterment of the entire team. Then, we all win! You can take all of these skills that you are learning and compete in the real world at a later time!
9. Homeschooling is temporary.
They will actually have more time away from me than they did at home! I plan to make everyday count! They have all the time in the world to stand on their own, figure out their own paths, figure out this crazy (but wonderful) world. My job is to equip them with everything that they need to be able to reach as far and high as they want to go! I have a temporary job of being their guide, but I will spend a lifetime being their cheerleader and biggest supporter!
10. God told me to do it.
I don’t know the reason that God chose me or my family to go on this journey or down this path, but I know HE had a plan behind it! Times are changing, the world has changed, and I believe that God wants us to have this option to fit whatever job he has for us to do. That doesn’t mean that he can’t use anyone in public school or that he favors homeschooling. It only means that he has a different assignment and that may call for a different path. There may be some who believe that God didn’t call me, that this was all my decision, but anyone who homeschools knows that you have to be called to do this (especially to do it right). God knew that my education is limited, that I can be impatient, that I have many flaws, but he chose me anyway. I have to depend on him more than any lesson plan! HE has given me ideas, lessons, resources, opportunities, and even people to make sure that my kids have everything that they need.
I can’t say that I would never send them to school, I will just say that we choose not to right now! There are days that I certainly consider it, but I remind myself of the reasons that I do what I do. So, I choose to homeschool until further notice!