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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I Homeschool

There are probably as many different reasons for homeschooling as there are homeschoolers. Oh, sure, the basic reasons may be similar, but the details, the story behind the decision, are always a little different. Each family travels their own road to get there, whether they start with a clear plan or simply choose not to enroll their child in school. Articles on reasons for homeschooling abound, so I won't bore you by writing an apologetic for educating the kiddos at home. I'm not trying to win anyone over, just sharing a little about what convinced me that this is what is right for our family.

My #1 reason for homeschooling? It makes it a lot easier for me to be a good parent---and I need all the help I can get!

On the practical side, there are some very obvious advantages to educating them myself at home. For instance, I never have this discussion with one of my kids:
  • Parent: "So, what did you learn today?"
  • Kid: "Um, I dunno"

And I never hear this at 8 o'clock at night:
  • "Mom, my science project is due tomorrow and I haven't started on it yet, can we go to the store and pick up some cornstarch, styrofoam balls and red spray paint, oh and can you type my report for me?"

If my child gets bullied, I know who the bully is...and where to find him/her.

No sending my kiddos to the bus stop in sub-zero weather, or worse, scraping the ice off my windshield to drive them.

No lunch-packing.

No lunch-trading...I know exactly what my kiddos eat every day.

No struggle to awaken a child at 6 in the morning to get ready for school.

And best of all, I know where they are and exactly what they are doing with their time. There are NO surprises at the end of the year.

There are more, but you get the point.

You're probably thinking, "Wow, is she a totally selfish control freak, or what?"

Not so. I don't micro-manage my kiddos. I don't want to. I don't want to control every aspect of their lives. I do want to know their hopes, their fears, their dreams...the reality of their interior lives so that I can give them the support and resources they need to grow to be the adults God intends them to be...and the best way I know of to do that is to live right beside them day-by-day, holding their hands on the journey.

When my oldest was enrolled in private school, I was lost---totally out of the loop even though I did all the things you're supposed to do to be an "involved" parent. He had two lives, the one he lived at home and the one he lived away from home. The truth is that when your child spends several hours a day in someone else's care, being taught by a professional teacher (and his peers), you, the parent (the one God entrusted with this precious life in the first place), become peripheral, nothing more than a bracket to his day.

It's a little like when your child is injured and you're not there. Seeing a bandage on a knee is a little different from witnessing the flying tackle that landed him on the deck, scraping his leg and then comforting him with hugs and an ice pack. Part of your connection has been severed...and this makes parenting a lot more difficult. It becomes a lot easier to lose sight of his dreams, to remember how much he weighs or to even remember that he always touches his earlobe when he's nervous. Or even that he's just a little kid who needs someone to teach him how the world works and he's not ready to do it on his own.

2 comments:

  1. well said sistah! My thoughts exactly-and, we set our vacation/travel plans by our schedule, not the PSs. I could go on and on too, about this-but won't.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never know what to say when people say "But teaching your kids is soooo HARD!" Everything in life that's worth doing is hard (child-birth comes to mind :-), but there's nothing easy about sending the kiddos away to school everyday, either.

    ReplyDelete

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