I often get asked why we choose to homeschool. And truthfully, I have no one size fits all answer. The flexibility, the ability to learn at one’s own pace, the depths of exploration that can’t be reached in a public setting, because I know my child and the ways she learns best… all valid answers. Or maybe because I too, was homeschooled for a portion of my youth and I can still remember the creative lessons that my mom put together for my brother and me.
Homeschooling has been engrained into my being from an early age. It was all that I knew for the first several years of my life. I remember growing up next door to my cousins (who were also homeschooled), being able to have our school work and chores done by lunch time, freeing us up to picnic together and play the rest of the day outside. What sweet memories I have of growing up slow, in the country, close to the people that I loved the most! As life would have it, I later attended schools in both a private and public setting. All of the environments were vastly different in many ways, teaching me lessons that I wouldn’t have learned if I were to remain in one versus another. But when I look back, I truly cherish the time that I was homeschooled. It was a perfect fit at the perfect time in my life. So maybe I’m replaying my own childhood through my daughter’s present day. Maybe this is just a season in our lives that will look different in the future. Either way, we are enjoying each moment as it comes.
Is homeschooling for everyone? It can be, but it takes a lot of determination and sacrifice. I hear it often, “you have much more patience than I do” or “I have to work” or “I’m not smart enough to teach my kids” or even “I enjoy the time away from my kids while they’re at school”. All to which, I can totally relate and empathize with. This may not be the right season for you and your family to transition into homeschooling. I am by no means a goddess of patience or was I the valedictorian ( I just used spell check) of my graduating class. But I do know, that if you are being drawn towards educating your children at home… You can make it happen.
Homeschooling looks different from one household to another. Some families really enjoy a literal home-school setting, with strict schedules, frequent testing, book reports and essays. Some families are totally reliant on online programs. Some families participate in co-ops that share the week’s load of teaching among other parents. Some families take a more unrefined approach, allowing lessons be interest led, untimed and exploratory. Our household is decent mixture of all of the above! I’ll explain our homeschool style in further detail at a later time.
And what about the families whose minds are completely made up, that they will never take part in this homeschooling sorcery? Cool! No worries! You can homeschool without home schooling. Say what? The definition of homeschooling is, “to teach one’s child(ren) at home”. (Thanks Webster!) So if you’re a parent or guardian of a child(ren), you’re most likely homeschooling and don’t even realize it. Things that I consider to be homeschooling: teaching your child how to do chores, how to cook, how to take care of the pets, how to use their imagination, how to generally be a kind human being and so on. If you’ve taken part in teaching your child how to do something at home, congratulations… You’re a home schooler!
As I mentioned before, there is no one size fits all answer. We are constantly changing our approach and methods day by day. But a few things remain and have secured our decision to homeschool for the time being. My child is learning something new every single day. She is retaining the information that she’s learning because it’s presented in a fun and engaging manner. We get to spend so much time together, something I don’t think I’ll ever regret in the future. We are blessed to able to live the homeschool life and I’m excited to share what works for us, in hopes that if you are interested, maybe it could work for you too!