Sorry I took a bit of a break from my blog. The past two weeks have been hectic. At first my mother-in-law fell ill and was in the hospital for quite a few days. Then we went on vacation which was fun, but I am glad to be back home and getting back into the swing of things. Today I wanted to explain our family’s decision to homeschool. A lot of people are toying with the idea of taking the plunge into homeschooling, and I thought I’d share my views on it.
1. We homeschool for religious purposes.
I was raised in the public school system. Our two oldest children attended public school until this year. Our oldest is actually going to graduate from the public school system it seems. However, with our middle and youngest sons it seemed public school was no longer a viable option for religious reasons. I know some say that our children should be the light in a dark public school, but I’ve tried that and don’t agree with that anymore. Kids are young and very easily molded the younger they are. Unfortunately, the public school system has a way of pulling them more their way verses our kids pulling them in a Christian direction. Homeschooling became a very serious topic when our kids started coming home doubting their faith instead of embracing the opportunity to share it with others.
2. We want our kids to be kids.
When my husband and I were in school we had standardized tests and homework but it was different. We tested one time per year and our homework was very minimal. That is what we did in school all day. Not anymore…..our kids were coming home with a ton of homework. Then being tested quarterly. I understand schools want to offer the best education. However, I felt like our kids were missing out on being kids. They were under so much pressure all of the time. They have their whole life to be stressed, pressured, and juggle a million things. (Hello?!? Welcome to parenthood, right?) I want school to be an important part of our boys’ lives but not their whole lives. I want them to enjoy being kids while they can. 18 years seems like a long time but in comparison to one’s whole life it is only a small portion. Let them enjoy it!
3. We want our boys to be who they are.
Our boys are different. They learn different. They behave different. They are just unique kids. Some children can sit in a classroom for hours on end and enjoy it. Not our boys. They are active. They want hands on learning. They want to be able to move around and get out. They are very intelligent, but they like to learn in different ways. We wanted to encourage that instead of telling them, “This is what the school does so you have to conform to this way.” I love that our kids are strong willed. It is hard to handle some days but if you teach them how to channel that in a positive direction they could be world changers someday! I want them to go and be all that God intends for them to be! So homeschooling will give me the opportunity to teach them the way they like to learn and allow them to be active boys. That is a big deal to us!
4. We wanted our lives to slow down and be more about family.
I am embarrassed to admit this, but I was once upon a time a mother that gave a hoot about what other’s thought of me and my family. I fell into the trap of, “the busier I am the more people will think I’m a good mom because I am always just soooo busy!” Not anymore. I had to learn the hard way that being busy does not equal good parenting. Putting my kids in every activity under the sun, putting them in out of district schools for a “finer” education, so on and so forth did NOT make me a good mom! What made and makes me a good mom is the fact that I am here, I love them, I care for them, I try my best to teach them about Jesus, and I teach them boundaries. My husband and I got tired of being part of the rat race. We wanted to slow down and enjoy our kids. As I mentioned before, they are only little for a short while. I didn’t want to miss that in all of the rush of trying to look like a good mom. I just wanted to be a good mom and the heck with what anyone else thought or thinks, for that matter.
5. I want my kids to succeed more than anybody so why wouldn’t I teach them?
I love my children. I want them to be every ounce of who God created them to be. As much as teachers are huge blessings in the school system, it is different when you take personal accountability of a child for a lifetime. (Disclaimer: I mean no disrespect to teachers. Their job is insanely difficult and it takes a huge calling to do what they do and be successful at it. They work hard and are undervalued in our country. So please take no offense to this post. ) I don’t have my kids for 180 days. They are mine for life. I’ll be there (Lord willing) for their biggest moments, the small moments, the happy times, the sad times, through it all! I want them to succeed. I want them to be intelligent beings. I want them to be productive members of society. I want them to be a shining example of a Christian and let Jesus shine through their hearts. I want all of that and so much more for each one of them! Clearly, it matters to me what kind of life they have, and I want to be one of the biggest parts of the molding process. So if I care that much about my kids and every aspect of their lives….why wouldn’t I be the one to teach them? It just makes sense.
6. The Most Important Reason: We feel God leading us in that direction.
Please do not misunderstand me. Not every parent wants to homeschool and not every child wants to be homeschooled. Our oldest will most likely graduate from public school. He thrives there for now so I wouldn’t pull him from it. Our younger two are just different than their older brother and that is okay. We embrace that! I just wanted to take the time to explain to my readers why we chose this path.
My husband and I have prayed and prayed over this decision. We honestly feel it is what God wants. For that reason alone, we are willing to give it a try and see how it turns out. If God is in it then things will go just fine. I know some worry about the issue of socialization. I am honestly not too concerned about that. Both of our boys are very outgoing, and I am planning on putting each of them in one extracurricular activity. We also are part of a great church that offers a great children’s program for them to attend multiple times a week.
Stay tuned for my next post about a wonderful site I found that is all Christian based and totally free! My newest adventure will be homeschooling on a budget. As we go through this journey I will be sharing it with you all in hopes it will help someone else who is thinking about walking a similar path. Until next time, keep looking up! Jennifer