6 Reasons We Home School and Love it!
Choosing schooling options for our kids is such a weighty decision, right? I definitely lost some sleep over it when our oldest turned 5. I spent many hours praying and writing pro/con lists and considering our options. In the end, my husband and I decided to home school and it was one of the BEST decisions we ever made! I spent a few years in public, private and home school throughout my growing up years and while they all have unique benefits, I think homeschooling offers the MOST benefit to our children. Here's why...
#6 - Doing school at home allows you to tailor your educational style and content to each specific child. Meaning, if your first born is awesome at math, he can whiz through his book and easily get a year ahead. He's not bored because the fast pace suits his quick understanding of the content. If your middle child is struggling with math you can move through the book more slowly - allowing more time to practice each concept - so that he doesn't get left behind in such a cumulative subject. You can keep from breaking his spirit by doing shorter math lessons followed by a subject that he excels in. You can also add in fun little unit studies when someone develops a new interest.
#5 - Doing school at home allows for a peaceful, cozy learning environment. This winter my boys almost always begin their day by wandering down the stairs, sitting on the hearth in front of a fire and reading one of the delightful and educational books I have stacked in that location. I haven't told them to read those books. They just come down and get warm and start their day with a great book. I love that! I also love that I can read history to them while they are eating cinnamon toast and we can have piano lessons in our pajamas. In warmer months we pack a picnic and go to the woods or to a park and do some of our learning in a fun, beautiful space.
#4 - Doing school at home allows our kids to interact with people in different age ranges. I don't personally want my 9 year old to learn how to be good at life from watching other 9 year olds. No offense to my child or yours but 9 year olds just don't know that much. I like that my oldest child gets to spend time with me and his dad and his younger siblings as well as whole families of children in our home school community. I like that he can watch the 12 year old and the 16 year old boys on our nature hikes and I'm glad he can help take care of and teach his siblings and younger cousins. Having a wide demographic in your every day life is healthy and makes more sense to me than a room full of children who are all in the same age and stage.
#3 - Doing school at home allows my husband and I to choose what content and messaging our children receive in their education. I don't want the government to raise my kids or tell them what latest "moral fad" they need to support. I don't want them to be taught that the world was created from an explosion, or that gender is a fluid concept or that they should follow their hearts. I want our kids education to be rooted in truth. As a Bible believer, I agree that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Prov. 1:7). If knowledge begins with a fear of the Lord, then how can we attempt to truly educate our children without including that key ingredient? I love that as we teach science and as we walk through nature we are able to lead our kids in worshipping the God who created such intricate and beautiful designs. Discovery should lead to worship - it is the most natural response - and as we study the human body and trees and history and music we can grow in our knowledge of the world and also our knowledge of God. I heard a sobering statement several years ago that said, "Don't send your kids to Caesar and be surprised when they come home Roman." Our kids are little sponges. We want to make sure they are soaking up what is true and beautiful.
#2 - Doing school at home allows us to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love getting to watch my kids learn something they are excited about. And I also love that I get to be the one who watches them melt-down because then I get to be the one who teaches them how to persevere. When I am the one sitting at the table with my child, then long division is not just about long division, it is about future job opportunities and self-control and not giving up when things are hard. Recently, during a particularly hard school day, I had the opportunity to remind my son of Proverbs 25:28 which says that a man without self-control is like a city without walls. In other words, a man without self control is not a safe man to be around. We are not just teaching our children reading, writing and arithmetic, we are teaching them how to be disciples - how to be people of character and integrity. Long division is important, but so is character. We pray during our school day and ask God to help us with all of these things!
#1 - The number 1 reason I love doing school at home is that it gives me the gift of TIME. Did you realize that kids who go to public school will spend 14,000 hours of their most formative years in those classrooms?!? That's a lot of hours! As I mentioned in my previous point, there are SO MANY things I want to teach my kids before they are grown - some of it pertaining to academics and some of it pertaining to other areas of life. I love that by having them home during the day I have time to disciple and train them. I get 3 meals a day where I can read to them and pray with them and enjoy them. We have plenty of time to sleep and rest and play. We have plenty of time to learn how to take care of things around the house and yard. We have plenty of time to learn instruments and foreign languages and get together with friends and neighbors. We have plenty of time for snuggles and back rubs and picnics and Scripture memory and art experiments and holiday traditions and fieldtrips. We have time. And that is a gift I wouldn't trade.