Photo by: WHGrad

Is Homeschooling For You?

Photo by: WHGrad

If someone had told me that one day we would be a homeschooling family, I would have stared at them wide-eyed and told them that they had the wrong crystal ball. I had firm ideas and opinions about homeschooling, the foremost being that it was not for me. That was, until our family became a family of homeschoolers. How does such a change in attitude take place? What is it that found us arriving at this lifestyle choice for our family?

We have always been a family of readers. My husband and I both had very unromantically, yet in a prescient act, packed books for our honeymoon. Leisure time meant reading time. Within the first twenty-four hours of bringing each of our 3 newborn boys home, we held a book in front of them, and they were read to. There were as many books scattered in the toy room as toys themselves.

At three months old, our children were grabbing for books, and chewing on the covers. Nine months old found them crawling over to their own low level bookcase, and pulling out a book for themselves. Yes, it was only to chew, but the recognition of what a book was, and where it was kept, was there.

At fifteen months old, they would open the book, look at the pictures, then make their way to our laps, handing us the books to read to them. As time went on, and we began our weekly trips to the library, we had already begun what was informal homeschooling.

They would choose books of their interest, and we would read to them. They’d become more interested in the subject, so we’d delve further. They would ask questions, we’d go find out more. Soon, our reading had evolved into field trips, hands on activities, renting DVD’s on the subject, and them giving us oral reports on what they had learned.

When the time came for us to look at preschools, as the majority of families do, we made appointments to see several schools. After each scheduled visit, our oldest son would come home and tell us he had felt as if he never had the chance to do any of the things he had wanted to. And so on, with more schools.

The teachers we consulted with felt that perhaps we should wait another year before putting him in school. One year soon became two years. We were now at the kindergarten stage. We had scheduled three visits for him to sit in a kindergarten classroom. With each visit, I’d pick him up, and he’d confess that he really wanted to be home, learning what he wanted to learn more about.

After much discussion and research and meeting with other homeschooling families, we decided to take the plunge and begin kindergarten at home. We would see how it would go. No firm time commitments were made. We would just see.

I remember the happiness on my son’s face, and the excitement in my heart, as we began our first day of learning at home. It was what we had been doing all along.

Is this a permanent commitment for us? We decide year by year.

Is this just for the time being? Perhaps.

Have we decided to homeschool every year? We will decide this on an annual basis.

The liberating thing about homeschooling is that it is up to you and your family to determine for how long, and for what grades, you will homeschool. If we had decided to do this for only one year, it would’ve been wonderful. If it had only turned out to be for six months, that would have been a blessed time with my children, also.

We are a homeschooling family. And we decide year by year, whether we will be a homeschooling family in the year to come. There is no perfect answer and no perfect environment, but this lifestyle we’ve chosen, has brought our family a deeper level of happiness and knowledge of each other that we wouldn’t have known otherwise. We began homeschooling in 2005, and we are still homeschooling in 2010. This works for us now and we will decide whether or not to continue as long as all of us feel happy and satisfied with the style of learning we’ve chosen.

Alexandra writes of small town life as a mother to 3 boys. You can read her blog that she co-writes along with her children, at www.gooddayregularpeople.com.

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88 Comments

It sounds great. I was always too scared I wasn't good enough to teach my kids. This sounds like you're all happy.

Great piece. I would tend towards homeschooling if you as a parent have a good idea of how the course material goes. Either way if homeschool is your choice, and it brings your family closer and makes you and your family happy then I think you've found the right answers.

We are starting homeschooling in our family this year for the first time. (4th and 2nd grades) I'm beyond nervous and really excited at the same time. But we're going to take it year by year, too.

Great article!

I always wondered how people got started with homeschooling. I keep running into people who are doing this. It seems so much more common these days. Why is that?

I'm so glad I finally know the secret behind your homeschooling life! What a great story. Your sons' love of books reminds me of my son, eating and then looking and then begging me to read. Why do I have no time to blog? This is why. How very brave of you to step forward and truly shape your children's education!

I think it's a great plan to keep re-evaluating what is working. I'll be sure to do that with my public school system as well. Nothing is written in stone no matter what path a family chooses.

great post!

I loved this article and the story. What a good reason to homeschool.

What a great article. You are I embrace homeschooling exactly the same - one year at a time; making sure it is a good fit for all involved, most of the time! And that means student, mom and dad!
You and I probably would have been homeschooling friends. However, we homeschooled during a time when it was not popular and even illegal in our state 25 years ago! Our first two kids (daughters) started out in private school...

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More and more, I find myself considering homeschooling.

I love how open you are to re-assessing it each year, and whether it's right for your kids each year. Such a great way to live and educate. :)

Great post on homeschooling. It's funny. I had a similar experience to you, Alexandra. I thought that homeschoolers were wierd ... that is, until I became a homeschooling mom myself. We've really enjoyed our experience homeschooling and I'm also glad that my understanding of education has really expanded thanks to this experience. This year, my son is going to Montessori, for other reasons. But I am still open to homeschooling again. It is a wonderful method of learning...

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We have decided to homeschool our second child for the first few years of elementary school due to we believe it would be more beneficial. We have setup a room for learning. It's wonderful to know that other parents are taking the same step to improve their child's learning future. Success starts at home.

What a great article by such a great writer! I'm going to make my Hubby read this- I want to homeschool but he disapproves- I think he's afraid of the stereotypes. Maybe realizing you can change your mind if you want to will help convince him. :)

I felt the same way. I always thought it was 'cool' when I met a homeschooling family but never thought I would be doing it.

But we finally arrived here and I haven't looked back. We take it the same way...one year at a time to see what life offers. But for the time being, it is awesome for our family.

Kim
www.confabulicious.com

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