Home Education Advice You Didn’t Know You Needed
Day 2: Reasons
The reasons parents start homeschooling may not be the same reasons parents stay homeschooling. This has certainly been true in our journey. Know this: the reasons you home educate will likely shift from year to year as your family changes and grows, and that’s okay.
People who try home schooling do it for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the common ones I’ve heard:
- the ability to have a flexible schedule
- the opportunity to have more time with your children
- Dad works at night, so homeschooling gives the kids a chance to see him during the day
- the ability to curate what your kids are learning and reading
- the ability to tailor an education around what your child most needs
- the ability to teach your child about your faith during the school day
- the neighborhood schools are substandard and I can’t afford private school
- my child has a major food allergy or medical condition which makes homeschooling safer
- my child is involved full time in a sport and homeschooling enables parents to weave an education around sports and competition schedules
- my child isn’t thriving in traditional school
Here are some less common but valid reasons why parents try home schooling:
- it’s easier when we’re all on the same schedule and I’m not taking three kids to different schools
- I just had a baby this year and I want to keep life simple
- my child is hanging with a bad crowd in his traditional school
- my child is being bullied in her traditional school
- I like teaching my own kids
- we have a sick relative at home that I want my child to have time with
- I need my older child to learn at home so that he / she can help me with the younger children
- traditional school isn’t rigorous enough
- my child is an introvert and doesn’t enjoy or succeed in group learning environments
- my child has learning challenges that cannot or aren’t being addressed in traditional school
We started homeschooling years ago because we wanted time with our children and we loved the flexibility. We live in an excellent school district where people actually buy houses so they can send their kids to the local school. But, schooling wasn’t about academics for us back then. And, although we focus more on it today, we like choosing what our child learns and we still like the flexibility it provides our family. Truthfully, there are subjects in which all of our kids would’ve received a “better” education at the local school. And, when I’ve gotten distracted by that fact, I’ve have to remind myself that our reasons to home educate weren’t always about rigorous academics.
Yet, we have three high school graduates. The oldest has graduated from Florida State with a degree in English and the second one will graduate from the University of Georgia in December. Both of these bright kids were home schooled through their sophomore year of high school. We didn’t ruin them!
I wanted to encourage you to write down your reasons for homeschooling. What are your goals with your kids? Write them down. Then, don’t get distracted by what you see around you. There will be people and schools and programs that are going to do it better. They have nothing to do with you and your goals. Your reasons may shift as your kids grow and your family situation changes. That’s okay and it’s normal. Flow with the reasons and keep praying that the Lord will direct your path.