To Homeschool or Not?

Have you ever thought about homeschooling...To Homeschool of Not is the question?

HomeschoolI have been wanting to write a post like this for some time now. I have been homeschooling my kids from the very beginning (5 years now) I was so scared and nervous if I could do it or handle it! I went back and forth with the idea multiple times. Can I really teach my kids?! While this is normal, and even appropriate at times (we should self-examine), please know that yes…you are enough. And not just enough, but here are a few compelling reasons why you…yes, you can teach your child the best.

Why do I homeschool? Not because I want to hide my children away from the world. Not because I don’t have any dreams or goals of my own. Just the opposite. I sacrifice a lot to spend this time and effort on my kids. This post is not to prove anything if Homeschool is better then public school. Homeschooling is just what works best for my family and could work for yours also if you choose.

Kids should love LEARNING and have a say in what they would like to learn along with what books they would like to read. Of course along with what they should be learning as well (Grade Standards) School doesn’t need to be all about;  sit down, shut up, pay attention, take notes, do assignments, homework, get report cards – take a test, pass a test.

In time, kids learn to hate learning. I did many times and I went to public school all through my school years. My 4th grade teacher made me hate reading with how strict she was and how I had to read books I had absolutely no interest in. I ALWAYS froze up on tests no matter how well I knew the material I was going to be tested on. Sure, school taught me some things, but nothing of much value on tests, and certainly nothing I couldn’t have learned better, faster, and in my home.

So here are some Pros and Cons of Homeschooling for those of you weighing the options.

=Pros=

More Family Time:  You don’t miss a thing! I don’t get to just see my kids in the afternoons and evenings, competing with friends and homework and bedtime. Instead, I get to spend all day with my kids, filled with discussion and exploration as a family. I love that my kids’ best friends are their brother and sister. I want time with my children: learning, playing, laughing, disagreeing and forgiving. Friends will come and go through life, but our children will have their family forever, and I want these relationships to matter most.

Freedom & Great Flexibility:  I can put so much info just in this section! I get to build a curriculum and create a schedule around our life and our needs. I can change and adapt what I need. When I see that something is not working and needs to be changed, I can adapt.

Because my kids don’t have to wait for a class of 20-30 other kids to finish or ask questions or stop goofing off, lessons are WAY faster! When you homeschool you have the ability to teach what you want to teach, to follow their interests or what is relevant to them. You are not bound to read “that particular book” but can choose what your child is passionate about.

You also have the freedom to take as long as you need to ensure your child understands. You are not rushing to beat the clock. Now why would you want flexibility?  With homeschooling you can choose books, lessons, and methods that suit your child.  

My children are getting one-on-one tailored education instead of being just one in a crowd. We can gently work on the areas they struggle in, approach it differently, we can skip things that are boring to them or too easy. We can take vacation days when everyone else is in school without reporting to someone.

Sleeping in: This one is so nice! My kids can get the sleep their bodies need without being sleep deprived!  I don’t HAVE to get up and get dressed and take the kids to the 7am bus stop. I don’t have to pack all the kids in the car to take them to school.(this is extra nice in the winter months with snow) I don’t have to pack school lunches the night before. Our mornings are not as hectic as they would be to rush them out the door. My kids sleep in between 8:00-8:30 we don’t start school until 9:30 in the morning. We have time to eat together and have a morning devotional.

Real Life Experiences:  We visit city parks, museums, libraries and my kids are always active in sports. We meet friends for events and play dates. My children aren’t confined to one room all day, they experience the real life in the real world around them. They help in the kitchen with making lunches and even dinners. We are able to explore the world around us.

Save Money on Clothes: No special brand of clothing, uniform, shoes, or accessories to meet dress codes. No pricey back to school clothes shopping. I do take my kids to get a new outfit for the first day but they can just wear whatever on other days. You can even have school in your PJ’S some days and just relax without worrying about being the best dressed. 

=Cons=

You can be the odd Mom out: Judgment from those around you that don’t understand your choice. ***It happens but so what*** You have to just face that there will be people who think you are weird for choosing to homeschool your kids. 

Of course you will still need to do things to fill your tank and you will be able to do some things you love, but your life will be greatly focused on being a homeschool parent, (teacher, homemaker and wife all at once). Make sure that you are ok with that. This can be especially hard when your friends have kids in school and all kinds of free time ask you to go places like go get a pedicure or go out to lunch kid free. Most of the time I have my kids with me 24 hours a day Monday-Friday with no free time. Adult conversations (besides with my husband) can be far few in between but so needed at times!

Here are some of the responses I have had when people find out I homeschool. You’re so brave. I could never do that. Home all day with your kids? Do you think you’re a better teacher than real teachers? Do you not trust schools?  Are you teaching everything? What makes you qualified to do that?  Are you going to do this forever? Are you completely insane?

Not having a clean house ALL the time: This is a hard one for me. I have little ones in my house all day so you can imagine my house isn’t as clean as I would like it to be. You have to serve three meals a day, which means that your house has three sets of dirty dishes every day you get to clean. Children actually get to spend time playing with their toys every.single.day. Which means every day, there is a mess of toys to pick up. Some weeks I get super behind on my housework. If I am teaching my 2 year old will be out destroying something, somewhere. I wish I could just sing a song and snap my fingers like Mary Poppins and poof everything would be clean. One of these days when we can afford it I am going to hire a house cleaner to come once a week….I can dream right?! Since I made my daily cleaning chart it has helped for sure you can download it for free CLICK HERE

Paying for Curriculum: We have to pay for our own curriculum, but we also still pay taxes for our county’s public schools and can’t write off any of it on taxes. It doesn’t have to be expensive but often when you are starting out and want all the planning done for you, you choose programs that are all laid out and they are pricey. 

In the end and still to this day I am SUPER glad that I chose to Homeschool!! It has been the best thing for our family in more ways than one. There are still days I want to pull my hair out BUT I wouldn’t change it for anything! I love that my kids are chasing dreams, not test scores.

Know this: there is no other teacher in the world that loves your child as much as you, understands your child like you, has the freedom to adapt the curriculum for your child according to their needs, or will teach your children the values and principles and faith that you strive to live by day after day. You are the best teacher for your child.

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