For Moms Who Homeschool .... Why Did You Choose Homeschooling?

Updated on April 15, 2011
R.T. asks from Allen, TX
8 answers

Hi moms,

We have been open to the idea of homeschooling but don't know much about it at this present time. We wanted to ask for those who home school what was your reasons for home schooling? What are the pros and cons of home schooling?What about a private school that is half home school half christian academy? She is about to enter kinderguarden and our church has a private christian academy its based on parentings being deeply involved in the children and helping teach/ raise them. They would go to school 2x a week and home school the other 3 .

Im considering this , full homeschooling and public school. We haven't ruled anything out. I am a young mom and want to know what I am facing with public schools.

Just wanting to get advice from real moms :)

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answers from Dallas on

I wonder the same question myself. I don't understand why people choose to homeschool their kids (unless they live in a very unsafe neighborhood). Kids need to be in a learning environment with other kids - not their siblings and mother. Kids need to be with, play with, and learn with other kids their age in a group setting called a school. Sorry, but I don't see any pros - only cons.

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answers from Los Angeles on

There are so many reason that we chose homeschooling: better education, better socialization (interacting in the real world versus the negative socialization that occurs in schools--bullies, etc.), bonding more closely as a family, and trying to ensure that my kids keep their love of learning instead of rote memorization and teaching them how to ace a test every year. My kids learn so much about the world from playing in the backyard, from doing science experiments at home, playing educational games, in addition to the workbook pages and reading we do. The kids can work at their own pace of learning (my 6-year-old is doing some second grade work, and my daughter is doing third grade work). We attend a weekly homeschooling parkday group, and the group also has field trips and moms organize other activities for kids to participate in. The kids avoid the negative socialization from schools (bullies, peer pressure, etc.), and socialize with other homeschoolers and us. I love being with the kids all day and watching them as they learn, and being directly involved with the process of their learning.

When we first decided to homeschool, I was a little nervous about it. I was in public school my whole life, and always heard the idea that homeschoolers were not "socialized" which worried me. But the more research I did, the more I was convinced that homeschooling gives them much more positive socialization than being in a classroom all day. One book that really convinced me is called The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole. She points out how children who are homeschooled have so many opportunities to socialize (taking classes, participating in community activities, forming close bonds with their parents, friendships with other children, etc.), and are able to socialize with a variety of people, not just other children their own age. It's a great book, I highly recommend it.

And do other research, too; there are tons of resources out there to help you figure out what works best for your family. I found that the more research I did, the more I was convinced that it is the best for our family, and the best for the kids as far as learning goes. As far as the program that you are talking about, it sounds like a great one: there is interaction with other children yet most of their learning takes place at home. I would say that it depends on how much independence you want for homeschooling. Some parents (like us) love having the freedom to choose what we want to teach our kids and when. We decide (the kids, too) what they want to learn about and we gather our own materials to learn about it. Other parents like to do a formal curriculum, where you enroll in the program and the program sends you the materials and tells you what to teach and when. Many parents like this because they like to follow a guide and it helps reassure them that they are teaching the "right" things. Most people, I think, are somewhere in between, and many families choose different homeschooling approaches every year depending on the needs of their families.

Sorry this is so long; I just love homeschooling our kids and always like sharing our experiences with anyone else considering it for their own families. All pros, no cons (of course, I am slightly biased). :-)

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answers from Washington DC on

This is something my husband and I have talked about regularly but more of a private vs. public aspect. We were both public school kids and both have or still work in a public high school which is exactly why we are seriously considering private. To be 100% honest home-school kids that transitioned into public schools where often left out of activities because they kept to themselves so much and didn't seem to understand social cues like those of us 'raised' in the public schools. I would fear that a child who is finally turned out into society (High school or college, however long you decide to home school) will often suffer an overload of ‘What have I been missing?’ complex and tend to go overboard. Now, I know not all suffer this, but a good chunk tend to even when receiving strong ethics, morals and values learned in the home. I would hate to see all that hard work be lost on curiosity. I think a private setting will allow the social cues to be learned in a tight-knit community that does have the ability to allow your children to explore society responsibly without feeling like they have missed something. Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth. Good luck with this!

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answers from Spokane on

We don't homeschool, but I would love to. We've seen plenty of negative things about public school already and we're only just finishing Kindergarten! There are a TON of websites about homeschooling, and many of them have lists from parents on why they choose to homeschool. Homeschooled kids have LOTS of social opportunities that public school kids do not - I think one of the most important things homeschoolers get socially is that they live real life with a variety of age groups, they aren't stuck in a classroom with 30 kids of the same age. Homeschool activities happen all week long and with whole families, so the kids will learn to interact with other parents, older and younger siblings and friends, and if they go to classes without their parents a couple days a week they still get the "teacher/student" experience.
Another advantage (that seems relevant to your post) that I've read parents write about is that they can weave Bible teaching into their daily lessons, and teach the creation side of history along with teaching what evolutionists believe.
One of the cons that is keeping my husband from jumping on board right now is that it is A LOT of work for mom (or whoever is primary caregiver). Running a household is a full time job to begin with, then throw in getting lesson plans ready on a weekly basis, tracking your child's progress for the state (depending on state laws), and caring for a toddler while trying to teach math - I've read that this can become overwhelming for parents who haven't learned to step back, take a deep breath, and trust that it will work itself out as you get into the rhythm.
We are going to revisit the idea over the summer and decide what is best for our family for the next year as we are newly military and will begin moving around from state to state and possibly country to country. I feel that homeschooling will give our children some continuity and consistency in a life of change.
I would just make sure you and husband are on the same page so that you have each others support when/if things get tough, either with public, private, or homeschooling.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I have thought about homeschooling my daughter next year. She'll be in sixth grade. I see it as a chance to really bond for a year before she is off to junior high. There are some areas where she needs more support (math) and some areas where she could really excel, given more time (writing). I'd like her to really "catch fire" with a few subjects and, while I believe it is certainly possible in a school setting, it hasn't happened yet with my daughter. I was working before, but now I'm not, so I can really take this year with her. And if I hadn't been working, well, maybe we could have accomplished these things before, but I didn't have the focus.

The negatives I see are: she's already not very social, not that she cares, and this won't help. Also, she's not very organized, and disciplined about getting her assignments done well and on time -- taking charge of those aspects of her life. She wouldn't have to do that at home, because it's all one-on-one, according to her abilities, not the teacher's calendar. So I think she misses out on an important life skill.

We have had some amazingly positive public school experiences, specifically her Kindergarten and 1st grades (then we moved). Her 3rd/4th years were OK, 2nd and 5th below average. My son is also in an incredible Kindergarten class. Wow, I'm so thrilled with it. I believe there is wide variation in student experiences in all schools (public, and even private), just as there is at homeschooling. You have to evaluate almost year-by-year, in my opinion, to find the best situation for your child.

Also, you are in a unique situation. I was talking to a military mom on Wednesday. They lived 8 years in Germany and Chile, and the international schools her kids attended were outstanding. Candidly, if I had the opportunity to live abroad, I would want my child as immersed for a few years in that culture as possible (even consider a local school, if it is safe), learning the language and getting to meet as many diverse people as possible. That's an incredible chance few kids get. Best of luck.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter is in preK right now and my plan was to send my kids to public school thru 3rd grade (or so) then homeschool after that. (My reason was that then they have that structure and learn how to learn, plus they'd have the basic math and reading down by then) now... less than 1 school year in there is NO WAY I'm sending her back! I HATE they things she comes home saying (sexy, aw freak, ect) and for HER, she learns better at home.
My church is going to (hopefully) start doing the same type thing that you were talking about... going there for part of the week and sending lesson plans home for the other days and I hope to do that this coming year! If we don't get that started I am going to homeschool and one of the nice ladies on here told me about a program online that is run thru the public school and everything is free! I think you have to do what is best for YOUR family and sometimes each individual child and for us, right now, public school is NOT an option.
Good Luck! :o)

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answers from Kansas City on

There are many reasons. But the big ones for me are:

I love being with my kids and want them to be where I see and know what they are doing.

I've seen too many terrible things in the world from kids being kidnapped on the way too and from school, being drug to death by school buses, kids shooting kids etc.

I believe it's a parents job to teach and train their children and that public schools are very new compared to how old our world is and all that has come before. It's an experiment that quickly turned into parents turning their children over to the world with very little thought to what the world is teaching them. Schools have changed society and I don't believe it's been very good. Schools have driven wedges between parents and their children.

I was bullied mercilessly as a child and I am glad my kids don't have to suffer that injustice.

I don't like that they have taken Christianity and all traces of it out of school and yet they have kept other religions in schools in a variety of ways.

I don't believe schools do a very good job of helping children to decide what they want to do with their lives and they often are lost and fall behind without any real effort on the part of the school to see to it they catch up. The schools want the parents to step in and help. The parents feel like their taxes pay the schools do teach and they don't want their family time being interrupted. The kids are lost in this power struggle.

I could probably write for days on this subject.

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answers from Chicago on

We did it for religious reasons. We wanted to weave religion into our daily curriculum and homeschooling has allowed us to do that. We don't like the total and complete separation of church and state so much so that some schools have removed "under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance. How ridiculous!

Also, the public schools were failing my daughter, who passed first grade and still could read, add, subtract or even know her days of the week or months of the year! She's not a self-starter, she doesn't concentrate if she doesn't "feel like it" and when she doesn't understand something she just gives up. Homeschooling has allowed that one-on-one interaction that has kept her on track--and rocketing ahead!

She went from being behind to being ahead.

Socialization? Puh-leeze! Homeschooled kids who return to public school don't have socialization issues, mostly they are not used to following the herd and don't care for or want to put up with the catty behavior from other kids. My daughter loves her homeschool friends from her group. She also plays with kids from public school (her best friend is public schooled) and I've noticed that when she chooses friends she's more picky. She won't tolerate bullys, she doesn't blindly follow the "herd," she thinks her own thoughts and more than once she's thought some of her other friends are being very silly. She can talk with adults, she can help take care of small kids. I'm actually PROUD she doesn't socialize like some public schooled kids!

Whether homeschooling works depends on you and your kids. If you have the right personality and you find the right method it's amazing.

It's not for everyone, and certainly there are children who thrive in public school or private school. I just hope our nation allows us to continue to choose what's right for our kids, and for our families.

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