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Why I Chose To Homeschool

on June 21, 2012

     I get asked this many times, “Why are you homeschooling your daughter?” I didn’t realize when I decided to homeschool years ago that I would face so many doubters and nay-sayers. So let me share what led me to this choice with my daughter’s, and any future children’s, education.

     I was actually homeschooled my senior year of high school. I wish I had been homeschooled long before that honestly. I really enjoyed working at my own pace and on my own time table. I enjoyed the freedom of it and the laid back environment. When I was younger I was considered “gifted” and tested often. I felt like the standards placed on me were of a perfection I could not achieve in an environment that was not loving and supportive, so I rebelled. For a very smart child I did very poorly in school. But the intelligence was there. I was not in an environment at home or in school to nurture and foster that, and to direct it in healthy ways. My parents had divorced and the split also caused a lot of emotional complications for me. So my own education experiences as a child and teen are a big part of why I made the decision to educate my daughter myself.

     I am one of those people who likes to research just about everything. I want to know what’s in my food, clothes, home, what books are the best, what ways to improve our lives, and what things can benefit my family. So with the pregnancy of my daughter I began massively reading parenting books. As my daughter got older I read parenting books congruent with her age. I worked in childcare and education so the teacher in me blossomed and I began to look into educational materials more. In my church many families homeschool, and I began to look at homeschooling websites to learn more. I like what I found. I loved that my daughter’s education could be tailored just for her – something you CAN NOT get in public school. No matter what the school a child is in, there are 15 or more other children so things cannot be one on one. This was important for me because I feel like kids would succeed and thrive more if they had a personalized education.

     The next thing that really thrilled me was that my daughter could advance or take more time as needed. This means we could be going at her pace in each subject. No having to try to keep up with other kids in a class. No being limited by her age. My daughter knew her ABC’s, color, shapes and the names of at least 20 animals at age one. She could talk well and was very advanced for her age. With that I knew that she would probably advance in some areas in school, such as reading and writing. With homeschooling she can do just that. We work on her level, we work at her pace. Yes she has school most days, just like a regular school. But it’s done in a way that works for her.

     I worked in daycare for many years and many of the things I saw were quite disturbing. Seven year old children having sex with others to trade for a cell phone, 8-year-olds threatening to blow up the daycare and kill everyone in it, 6-year-olds laying on top of boys and kissing on them, 5-year-olds having boyfriends and girlfriends, 9-year-old girls wearing mini skirts and high heels, 8-year-old boys talking about beating people up and getting in fights. And those are just a FEW examples. A lot of people comment about homeschooling children not getting “socialized” enough. Personally, this is not the kind of socialization I want for my children! The things they are exposed to at such a young age are so inappropriate and can do so much damage. The world is a dark enough place without me exposing my small child to extra garbage before she can handle it. No, I do not believe in completely sheltering children, but I do believe in using discernment and wisdom with what they are exposed to, and keeping them children as long as possible.

     With church, the kids that I watch in my home childcare business, activities, sports, etc. my daughter gets LOTS of socialization. And it isn’t all butterflies and kittens. She has to deal with mean kids, kids who have different beliefs, kids who do things for attention they don’t get at home, kids who have had different home lives than she has. We do a lot of talking about right and wrong, what’s okay and not okay in our home that may be different in other homes, and what we can learn from our experiences. She is an extremely well-adjusted, healthily socialized child. I have no fears in that area at all.

     My daughter is 5 and finishing up 1st grade. I say this not to brag, but to show how homeschooling has benefited us. This is something we could not do in the public, or private, school system. She would be put in kindergarten and bored to tears. She would not be learning or reaching her full potential. This is why we homeschool. And I absolutely love it! I love the joy I get in seeing her take in new knowledge and work through things she is learning. I love to see her accomplish things she may not think she can in the beginning. I love seeing the look of pride on her face when she finishes a book or a grade. I love that I get to be there for her through it all. I wouldn’t change it for the world!

     I know that homeschooling is not for everyone. Some folks feel they did inadequately in school so it’s hard for them to imagine teaching their own children. I share this not to say you must homeschool or else, I am sharing this to explain why WE do it, how it works well for US, and how it has benefited OUR FAMILY. It has been a huge blessing for us, even though we have our bad days along with the good. It’s not perfect, nor is any education, but it’s what we enjoy and thrive on. I encourage you to find education for your children that they thrive on as well! (:

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