Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why I Homeschool Repost

It occurs to me that I haven't answered the question of why I homeschool our children.  Not only have I not answered it on my blog, I have always had a hard time putting it into words.  I am going to attempt to do that now.
First let me tell you what homeschooling is for us. The activities of our family are the foundation of our girl's education.  This education that began at birth fostered in an environment of love and caring (for oneself and the world).  Our home environment is carefully prepared, created to be rich artistically, culturally and scientifically.  The world outside of our door was also created to foster curiosity and if you yield to that curiosity and spend time exploring it, education happens.  Education that is not forced but rather is a result of living.  Living and learning should not be separated.  I in no way wish to recreate school in our home.
I have yet to find my niche within the homeschooling world.  Some people think I homeschool because we follow Jesus.  No.  That doesn't make sense to me because as Christians we are to live in the world not create our own little bubble.  I do not use 'curriculum'.  (the stringent time schedules and demands of certain popular curriculum sets I believe is the downfall to many a homeschooling moms)  We are not unschoolers in the truest since of the word.  My children attended Montessori preschool.  Having children attend preschool isn't the homeschooling norm-I am actually surprised at the amount of blogs dedicated to homeschooling preschoolers.   My oldest daughter chose to go to public school in the 6th grade.  We compromised on this because she was accepted into a small, wonderful,  arts magnet school very close to home. (Another time I will address this transition for her.)
Okay so why?  Why do we homeschool?  We chose to homeschool because I have no faith in the public school system.  I do not agree with 'No Child Left Behind' or what it has created in its' wake.  I put very little on standardized testing-although state law requires my children to be tested each year.  Historically public schooling is a relatively new concept begun with wonderful intentions, but it has gone off track.  It is my belief that parents are genetically designed to nurture and educate their children and children to learn from their parents.
My children are very social and can and do interact with people of all ages.  Well meaning family members have asked how they will be prepared for the 'real world' with out school.  It is a ridiculous question because the real world is not socializing with only people your own age in a competitive and rewards based environment that you have no choice but to attend.  Public schooling focuses on social behavior where we focus on social development.
All this said the main reason I homeschool is that I want my children to be cared for and about.  In turn I want them to care for and about others.  I do not see much of that in schools.  I read an article recently about the socialization of school age children.  It was so bothersome to me!  The article suggested peer rejection is caused by the rejected child's "social skill deficits" or "behavior problems" and gave parents tips on how to help their child become more socially accepted.   It was basically coaching you on how to get your child to conform to whatever the norm happens to be.    I disagree that most children which are rejected by their peers have something wrong with them that needs correcting.  I do not want my child to feel the need to conform to another's standards.  Why instead wouldn't we try to educate children that differences are okay.  I want my child to be respected as a person should their actions merit it and I feel this is lacking in our schools, child to child, teacher to child, and child to teacher.  In short public school would undermine the very qualities I hope to instill in my children.  Confidence.  Caring.  Curiosity.  Self motivation.  Peaceful.  Generous.  Honesty.  Humility.
I hope you don't think I am an over protective mother who shelters her children from life.  The girls are exposed to a lot.  They have seen birth-and know how the baby got there, watched death, lost loved ones to addictions and suicide, been exposed to the consequences of horrible accidents and cancer, we have travelled through out the States and Europe.  They spend a lot of time in a tattoo shop.  They know Chinese deities and Buddha, don't believe in Santa, believe in Jesus, are aware of Haiti and the recent oil spill, I could go on and on.  I just want you to know we are all for them experiencing life along side of us.  I just refuse to believe public school is "life".
And that is why I homeschool.

p.s.  We also now unchurch, having walked away from institutional religion for very similar reasons.


  1. Excellent post! I feel the same way you do. I realize that my children are different when compared with other children and I'm ok with that. They do not conform easily nor follow the crowd. They are free thinkers and have a mind of their own. They are intelligent and know about the world we live in. They say it's easier holding a conversation with adults than with children their own age. I think that's because they are use to having grown up conversations instead of frivolous talk about sports, music and what's cool at the moment. Our kids aren't concerned with what's in style right now or what everyone else likes and has. Although I try to teach them with curriculum I know they are learning far more through life experience as you say. Keep up the good work :)

  2. You are lucky. In my country we don´t have that choice... But I totally agree with you. :)

  3. I've been reading your blog for a while now and this has to be my favorite post. I'm not a mother, but as a student, I totally agree with your views on public school education. I was in GATE/magnet school in 3rd-6th grade and it was the only time I felt public school challenged me at all. I applaud how you're educating your children. Good to know there's some hope for the future!

  4. I worry about Liam and the public school system. We are going to give it a try, but I will always keep my options open and keep an open mind. We also want to do a Montessori pre-school especially after how your girls seem to enjoy it and having my step-mom suggest it. I think that if we give him a solid beginning in a love for learning he will take it from there. I will also supplement the public school lessons with "lessons" at home in math and science (cooking!) the arts (drawing! sculpting!) Geology (rock hunting!) and all that fun stuff, all hidden in fun trips. I also remember my mom occasionally signing me out of school from time to time to do a "No Rules Road Trip" on a three day weekend. We hit up the beach, went camping, fishing... and I learned more about life from that then any time spent in a classroom. I struggled mightly with the standardized tests, math THEIR way... I couldn't pass an algebra level math class until my final year of college when a teacher finally presented math in a way that I could understand...as it applied to ART. I hope to use those concepts to help Liam with his learning. I love your posts on home schooling and those ideas. I store them up to use later on!

  5. Thank you for that interesting article, here in Germany homeschooling is forbidden (by law) so I never got a choise (or do I know someone who got homeschoole), even bording schools are pretty rare over here. Thanks for the "news" on homeschooling.

  6. Thanks so much for posting this. I am so weary of hearing-"Those dumb Christian fundamentalists that home school are just crazy!" The media, I think, play a big part in this stereotype. I commend you for being a loving and responsible parent that opens your child's eyes to life and learning. I can just tell you are genuine and sincere from your posts. I think it's what the Vintage Housewife said once on her blog about tattoos-"Jesus loves tattooed people too!" that made me realize some people may think otherwise. I too walked away from organized religion, but know about all the beliefs and can gain positive things from all of them. Hope we never see the day when home schooling is banned here.

  7. This is such an insightful post. I agree 100%, but was unfortunatley unable to homeschool my daughter-single mom, 3 jobs-but it is a regret of mine. I should have made the time, I really feel that my now adult daughter did not benefit from her elementry school. High School was better, she was in an arts based curriculum but I think that the socialization aspect is overrated. It teaches children how to be mean. You are a good mom, and I really respect you.

  8. thank you for your blog. you can tell how much love and thought you have put into this decision! we love you guys!
    vera bridges

  9. Hi there, I'm Holly. My oldest is about to turn 30 and I've been doing lots of types of homeschooling for a long, long time. We've also home churched, unchurched and all kinds of church, too. ☺ My blog is for the girly side of me only and I don't talk about my family much there but if you ever want to e mail about these topics, I'm here. ♥

  10. Ok this may sound dorky but this post made me teary - it is so beautifully written and your children are wonderful. I love your motivations and I love that your children are aware. You are one of the best parents I know.


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