It’s a big question, and it’s not the easiest to answer. I swear everytime someone asks I answer with something completely different. We have so many reasons for homeschooling, it fits our lives so perfectly. Even when we have tough days and we wish that we could ship her off to school for a day, we remember why we started homeschooling and how much better it works for us.
Homeschooling fits with our schedule
I mean, we don’t technically have a schedule. Sure we try to set an alarm for 8 in the morning, but sometimes we stay up later and choose to let her sleep in. We try to get our lessons in after breakfast and we try to finish around 11, because we’re starving for lunch around them for some reason. Some days we work later, some days we start later. Some days we get in the car and go on a spontaneous road trip, some mornings we head to the park. Homeschooling fits so well with our basically non-existent schedule.
I worked in public school
Enough said, right? I was a teacher’s aide when I was in college at the age of 20 working towards my elementary teaching degree, I decided that I couldn’t do it. The teachers I worked with were miserable. The kids were missing out on things like recess and socialization for standardized tests. They were 1st graders, they just wanted to play and learn and they were forced to learn in such a uniform way. It was enough to get me to drop out of college (don’t you worry, I’m back at it 8 years later, working on my Sociology degree). If I couldn’t handle teaching kids that way, I sure didn’t want my daughter being taught that way.
She’s further ahead than her age group and would get bored.
Ok, so that one sounds braggy, but it’s true. Once she got the hang of reading, she really got the hang of it, and it all kind of falls into place after that. I found that teaching her social studies and science concepts that she would normally be learning a few years from now is absolutely fantastic. She’s incredibly interested in learning about subjects like Alaskan Inuits and how matter works at the age of 6 even though it’s a lesson meant for 8 or 9 year olds.
Unschooling was so intriguing
Honestly, my husband and I were on a real food kick. We read all the blogs about how to eat without eating processed food. We made a lot of loaves of bread and baked a lot of cookies. It was a weird time in our lives, and a lot of the real food bloggers unschooled and it brought up this wonderful conversation about ditching conventional school. We don’t unschool today, I’ll talk about that in more detail in another post, but we also don’t eat anything that has high fructose corn syrup, but we love us some Trader Joe’s pre-packaged goodness and we haven’t baked a loaf of bread in quite some time. Although, I know my husband will read this and have the urge to bake.
We didn’t want to be on a first name basis with the principal
Aliceana is in sports, Sunday School and Girl Scouts, and in every single group setting this kid is the center of attention. She’s always trying to make everyone laugh when she’s supposed to be listening to the instructor. She’ll do anything to be the center of attention and I know she would get bored in school and goof off constantly. After all, a 6 year old has a 8 or 9 minute attention span, and sitting in a desk for 8 hours would be agonizing for her. She can barely make it for 2 hours.
Bullies are a huge problem
This wasn’t a huge bullet point on our list, mostly because she never had to deal with bullying. The horror stories I hear from my friends and family in public school is enough to warrant it a spot on the list. I know a lot of people pull their children out of school because of bullying, and I can see exactly why. Kids can be awful and there’s not a whole lot that schools are doing about it.
We can teach her what she wants
I’m a huge advocate of letting my child choose what she wants to learn about within reason. I mean, she’s not getting out of math, but if she wants to learn more about dinosaurs we can go dig up some information. A good example is Sunday school, I never wanted to pressure her into religion. I don’t come from a very religious background and we hadn’t been to church in a while because our schedule on the weekends wasn’t ideal. So last year I asked if she would like to go to Sunday school. Now she knows more about the bible than I do, and I purposely bought materials to bible study at home so I can learn with her. We could all use a little more Jesus in our life.
If something doesn’t click, we can be flexible
We’re in that stage where we’re wondering if having a full curriculum is right for us, or if we should just use our curriculum for math (it works well for us) and language arts (she loves the language arts part of the program.) We have the flexibility to explore what works best to find what really clicks. We can also add things to our curriculum, right now she’s chosen to learn how to vlog and learn how to speak Spanish.
She’s able to socialize with people of different ages
Socialization is so important. Gator loves talking to adults, and can carry on quite the conversation about her cats. Sometimes she would rather have a conversation than play. She plays with our friends younger kids and older kids, and she does so much better at socializing in a casual environment like a playdate or dinner than when she’s in an organized group (I’m referencing that whole class clown/center of attention when adults are teaching thing here.)
We’re able to spend more time together
I was talking with a friend, and she mentioned that it was a good thing we homeschooled or my daughter would never see my husband. I hadn’t even thought about it. I mean, it wouldn’t be never, but it wouldn’t be the ideal situation. He works in beer sales and often works nights and weekends. If she was in school he wouldn’t be able to tuck her in for the night on those nights where I let her stay up until 10:30 so they can say goodnight to each other. They wouldn’t be able to spend mornings together, it would be rough.
Gator has chronic issues with her sinuses, and it affects her hearing greatly, more than she lets on. Her doctors said that she would “be floundering in public school” but when she’s learning one on one she’s able to make eye contact and communicate with us a lot better, it does involve a lot of unintentional yelling on her end. Hopefully her issues are fixed for good later this summer, but it’s nice to hear that we made the right choice in homeschooling her from the doctor.
Overall, I’m so happy that we chose to homeschool. We have tough days, but we’re doing great overall. What are the reasons why you homeschool?