Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why We Homeschool

I get asked quite frequently why Ruben and I have chosen to homeschool our children. It's really a combination of multiple reasons that all boil down to the fact that it's just the right choice for our family. But if you are curious about our reasons here they are:

1. God: We have known since Buzz was a baby that we are called by God to be a homeschooling family. It was one of those things where God just put it in my mind and heart out of nowhere and we have always felt incredible peace that this is what God has chosen for our family.

2. Logistics: Ruben is in the military which means we won't be staying in one place for our children's entire school "career". Homeschooling means that they don't have to worry about being ahead of or behind their classmates when we move.

3. Family Time: Homeschooling gives us an amazing amount of freedom to spend as much quality time as a family as possible. Ruben travels frequently for work and then usually gets a few weekdays off when he returns home. Because we homeschool we can plug away while Daddy's gone and take time off to spend with him when he gets home. (Yes, we school year-round and it's not usual to do school on Saturdays as well if Ruben's away) We also want our kids to be each other's best friends and being away from each other for 8 hours each day just isn't a great way to cultivate those relationships.

4. Socialization: The question we get asked most often when someone finds out that we homeschool is- Aren't you worried about socialization? The answer? Of course we are, it's one of the reasons why we homeschool ;) Seriously though, people tend to think that having a child spend most of his waking hours in a room with thirty other children his age is the best way to learn social skills. We just don't agree. Our kids have dance friends, karate friends, church friends, neighborhood friends and friends through our homeschool group, so they have no shortage of chances to interact with other kids. They get a chance to spend time with kids and adults of all ages every day and this has made them equally comfortable around just about anyone. Just ask any my girlfriends, Boo will talk your ear off!

5: Academic: What school classroom can beat our student-teacher ratio? Homeschooling allows our kinds to learn at their own pace without have to be dragged along with classmates even if they don't yet understand a concept or having to sit and be bored if they are ahead of their peers. I can tailor lessons to meet each of my kids right where they're at.

6. Love of learning: William Butler Yeats said "education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire". We want our kids to love to explore the world around them and to be excited by the discoveries they make each day. I can teach the kids what they need to do by reading great books, playing fun learning games and exploring deeper the things that interest them, no busy work or teaching to standardized tests.

7. Enjoying Childhood: We want our children to just enjoy being kids without having to worry about what their peers think is "cool". They like what they like and they are who they are.

8. Selfishness: I genuinely enjoy being with my kids! They're neat little people and spending a few hours in the evening trying to throw together dinner and rush through homework before bed just doesn't cut it for me.

I fully acknowledge that homeschooling isn't the right choice for every family. The important thing is to pray about the school situation that is right for your family and following the path that God has chosen for you. We are proud to be a homeschooling family and we wouldn't have it any other way.

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