Often times when someone hears we homeschool, the conversation starts to get a little awkward. It seems as though many people have an outdated and limited understanding of what homeschooling is. Many times they voice concerns about “socialization”. And I get it, I do. I used to think the same thing. I never imagined I would be a homeschooling parent.
My husband and I both grew up in the public school system. We enjoyed school and did well. After college, my first teaching job was in a private Christian school. I am in no way advocating that homeschooling is the absolute best or right way to educate a child (although obviously, I think there are a lot of benefits or we wouldn’t have chosen it).
Each family must choose what works best for them, and even beyond that, what works best for each child. So in this post, my initial piece about homeschooling, I want to get right to the heart of it. Here are a few of the reasons why we have chosen to homeschool:
Discipling Our Children
One of the most important jobs I have as a parent is to disciple my children and teach them God’s word. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says:
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
I find it’s much easier to “impress” God’s word on my children when I have plenty of time to spend with them. If I am rushing to get somewhere, it doesn’t happen. Homeschooling allows me to have the time I need, the time I wouldn’t have if I only saw them for a couple of hours in the evening.
It allows me to be the primary teacher and influencer. There’s time to study His word and the freedom to instruct them using curriculum that will help them develop a Christian worldview.
Continuity and Flexibility
As a military family, our lives are constantly changing. Our kids move frequently and often have their papa gone for weeks or months at a time. Homeschooling provides both continuity and flexibility for our family during this time. When we move, we don’t have to worry about finding a new school. Our school goes with us.
Plus, it helps avoid gaps in their knowledge that would happen when switching from one school to another.
It also allows us the flexibility to adapt our schedule to what’s happening in our lives. If Papa has extra time off before or after a deployment, we can put school on hold for a while so we can spend time with him.
Homeschooling allows us to travel when we want too. This is great since we’re so far from family! Recently while my husband traveled for work, the kids and I went up north to spend several weeks with family. We didn’t miss school during this time, we took it with us!
(You can read an excellent article here about how the homeschooling movement is growing in popularity among military families).
The environment of the classroom is another key factor in why we have chosen to homeschool. As a teacher myself and because I have lots of friends who are teachers, I see how incredibly hard teachers work. In fact, they are often way overworked. They have large class sizes and are pressured to teach to standardized tests.
Kids need lots of feedback and want to feel cared about. It’s not impossible for this to happen in a typical classroom setting, but it’s more challenging, simply because there are so many needs for the teacher to meet. In homeschooling, because of the small teacher/student ratio, immediate feedback and frequent encouragement happen easily.
Students are also able to pursue and study specific topics that interest them because the instruction is so individualized. There’s more time to play outside and take field trips related to what’s being studied.
And as for the socialization issue, we get plenty of it through playdates, library story time, church activities, sports, and beautiful days spent at the playground. These opportunities provide my kids with real-life situations to learn and practice what behaviors are appropriate and acceptable while I’m there to guide them.
That’s What Works for Now
These are a few reasons why we have chosen to homeschool for now. I say for now because it’s a decision we plan to reevaluate for each child, each school year. Remember, it’s about doing what’s best for your family and what’s best for each child. Right now, what’s best for our family is homeschooling.
Share below! Why do you homeschool?
PS- To find out more about our homeschool, check out this post I wrote about the amazing preschool curriculum we use! And don’t forget to sign up below for our monthly email (seriously, only once a month- I promise!)