I have gotten this question a lot. So much that I have a perfect roundabout answer to share with you all. We homeschool because it works with our family. Wow did that shock you guys? Is it easy? No. Is it a sacrifice? Absolutely. Here, I’ll give you a little history.
Neither my husband or myself were homeschooled. I didn’t even know it existed until early middle school. The wrap homeschoolers got was “weird.” They are the unsocialized kids, the odd ones. That was honestly my take on it. I had a predetermined judgmental aspect until I had a child and decided it was something I may consider. Why did I decide that? I think it was the ever approaching kindergarten and my own fears but also the idea of having to lend him to someone else 7 hours a day didn’t settle right.
I didn’t think about it until our first born was 5. He went to mothers day out twice a week. He gave me such a hard time too. Even at the church nursery, he’d hyperventilate till I returned. Mothers day out was no different. He hated being left. Oh, he will grow out of it everyone said. They were wrong. He still has a hard time at 9. He struggles with anxiety much like I do. I have to push him to do just about everything until he overcomes his fear and ends up enjoying himself. That doesn’t mean the crippling fear doesn’t start again once it comes time to leave him again either. It is always a battle of fear, and I hate it for him. He gets it honestly. Is this why we homeschooled? No, but it did play a role. It started dawning on me that I didn’t want to send him off for someone else to raise for 7 hours day. Again, there is no judgment here. I was sent off to school my entire life. I just personally wanted my fearsome child with me. Now, was that my own fear for him, maybe, but I also listened to the small prodding in my heart that suggested this lifestyle choice.
I went to a homeschool convention early on before I made my decisions. I remember then thinking wow, these are awesome mom and dads who aren’t “weird” and “unsocialized”. I was shocked honestly at how the interest and desire have grown so much for this lifestyle.
We then prayed about it. I felt confident and I decided to do JUST kindergarten for my firstborn. We would take it one year at a time and figure it out slowly. We jumped right in. I bought all the fancy curriculum and thought wow, what have I done? Did I wing it some? Yes, but I researched standards for his age which many will tell you not to do, and I laid out first what I felt like he needed to know in kindergarten. Then worked from there with the curriculum I bought. My biggest fear was that he wouldn’t learn and would fall behind based on my teachings. But guess what, he smart, he’s funny, and he’s just fine. Is he on the level of a standard student his age? Yes for the most part. But guess what else, when you homeschool you can learn at your own pace. Your struggles can be honed in on and you can take your time cultivating what your child is good at. My son is happy, loved, and thriving and that’s ok too.
We also made this decision to parallel our lifestyle. We own a real estate company and work from home off and on. This was the lifestyle my son was born in to. He would come with us to work and on trips, and we wanted this to continue. We homeschool because again it fits for our lifestyle and it gives us freedom. It gives us the freedom to pick up and leave at a moments notice. To take karate midday instead of filling our nights and weekends with extracurricular activities. It gives us time to take trips like the one to Europe next year we plan to take for a month. It gives my son the opportunity to ask me questions when he has them to discuss hard things together. It gives us the freedom to hone in on what he is specifically gifted in and capitalize on just that. He’s struggling a bit with reading and maybe a bit dyslexic, guess what? Instead of being in a classroom behind and lost he’s here reading at his own pace. There are so many pros to homeschool and those are our whys.
Want the negative? You have zero time alone. That to me is the biggest struggle. My kids are here 24/7. Asking, yelling, talking, pulling, fighting, and playing. My why personally is pushed aside for while because the first 4-5 hours of my day are spent with them teaching. We struggle, yes. Keeping the boy’s attention is hard, but I have to remember my why. For freedom, for our lifestyle. For them to roam the 40 acres around us and be free to enjoy their childhood. Is it for everyone? No, but I do ask that you take away the stigma of “weird.” These are how for centuries children were taught, at home or in tiny one-room schoolhouses with kids of all ages together. The socialization part, I think we are more social than not. We have the freedom to go do and be social so guess what we are. Between church, karate, Monday tutorial (which is a homeschool once a week program) we are so social that sometimes I long to stay in.
Even from family members, I will still hear, “he’s homeschooled that’s why.” It stings. For him too I know. We aren’t weird, we aren’t unsocial, we are just going against the norm. We are outside the box of normal schooling. Maybe its time to start thinking outside of the box. I was so touched by the @wildandfree conference this past fall. Eight hundred hip homeschool moms attended. I was so in awe of these women who seemed just like me. If you are even thinking about homeschool, I urge you to pray about it and listen to your heart. If you have questions feel free to comment below or DM me. My point in writing is to simply share my choice for homeschooling. There are sacrifices to make for this lifestyle and it’s not for everyone. Hey, we are all different. What fits my family may not fit yours and ya know what. That’s Ok!
The wild+free movement motto is this.
Our Desire is to Give Our Children
a Quality Education But Also
to Preserve The Adventure,
Freedom and Wonder of Childhood.
I think this is mine too. The freedom it gives to preserve childhood is my why.