Reasons I Chose To Homeschool
1) I will not put my children in the local public schools.
We moved to our little town a decade ago because of how highly acclaimed the local public schools are. The lofty expectations I had formed were quickly deflated. Our oldest son was getting in trouble constantly. We had meeting after meeting starting with his teachers progressing all the way up to the school superintendent.
Along this journey we chose to have our oldest son independently tested. The test showed he was gifted and most likely bored to death in class. Upon sharing this information verbally and with a printed report of his testing, one of his teachers looked me square in the eye and said, “As long as I am a teacher in this school he will not be tested for the gifted program.” That was not the straw that broke the camel’s back but it came pretty close. Shortly thereafter, following another you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me moment, we pulled him from public school.
I homeschooled the last quarter of that school year. I was not very good at it then. I had no connection to a homeschool group nor had I spent much time looking into curriculum. I also had not thought of homeschooling as anything for us other than a short term measure to get us through till the next school year started. The following fall he and his older sister started in Catholic school 25 miles away.
2) I am over driving twenty five miles away for my children to go to school.
For the better part of the last eight years I have been driving my children to school 25 miles away. For many of those years I have had different carpool partners that drive one way. Some years I did not have a carpool buddy and drove one hundred miles nearly every school day. I did have almost two years when my now college-aged oldest was driving. That was nice. I am now looking at my rising junior son driving himself for the next two years. The freedom of not having to make that drive makes me smile.
Don’t get me wrong, the private school education my older children have received is worth every penny and every mile. They attended schools that not only educated them academically but reinforced the values we hold dear. That combination made it worthwhile and is why when my younger children are older they will most likely attend a Catholic high school.
3) I’m pretty good at it.
Making a decision while under a time crunch is usually not a bright idea. So before my husband and I had to make a decision I decided to homeschool as a trial run. I started an all-in-one kindergarten curriculum in February with my then four year old. She completed kindergarten within three months. My four year old is a pretty good reader for her age as is my just turned three year old. They are also ahead of their benchmarks in math. So academically, I am not worried.
4) They will still have friends.
One of my largest concerns was that of the dreaded word, socialization. There is this idea in the typical public school parent’s mind that homeschooled kids have no social life. I think that may have been true at one time but things have changed. The number of families choosing to homeschool has grown tremendously. Because of this, there are more options available for these kids. My kindergartener will be participating in our local homeschool co-op which meets weekly as well as homeschool science classes at our local botanical gardens. Though not specifically designed for homeschooled children, dance classes and library storytime also provide ample opportunity for socialization and budding friendships.
5) It is currently the best option for our family.
Doing what is best for your family should be the reason behind every family’s decision on the education of their children. Period.