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

This is our second yr. homeschooling. We came to it later than most people. That is at my son's last year of middle school. I love the variety of people in the community. I too never thought I would be in this position. We had a different situation. My son has a profound hearing loss and had lots of catching up to do with language. I thought the experts were in the school. My son was not reading through a good deal of elementary school...

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We have been homeschooling since our kids were 1 & 2 years old. We wouldn't have it any other way!

Our oldest would be going into HS this year, and our youngest into 8th... if they were to go to school now, they would be so far ahead of their class it is pathetic.

Plus, they would not have the time to pursue what they are passionate about (music and photography), which they are already making decent money doing...

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This is the same approach we take. We started homeschooling our kids back 2003 and are still going strong. I was very much like you in the sense of, "I'm not home school material, but if you are more power to you". There are so many benefits, and they far outweigh the bad days. I really believe that schooling at home provides an opportunity real personal relationships to form, that would otherwise be hindered. Great article.

I LOVE homeschooling my children. I have 4 children, and began homeschooling after my first was born without realizing it. My first child was born 10 weeks premature. They told me he would have physical delays, poor eyesight, and possibly mental delays too. In my mind, all of those things were ok, but I was going to do everything I could to make sure he wasn't mentally delayed. As soon as he could sit up, he would sit for an hour @ least looking @ books...

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Before our son graduated from kindergarten, he begged me not to take him back to school because he hated it. He thrived, got all A's and was in a dual immersion classroom, where they spoke only Spanish. He learned to read, write and speak Spanish by the time he graduated. He excelled, but he was not happy.

I told my husband, I thought we needed to homeschool - he looked at me like a deer in headlights...

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I was so happy to read this article. I am considering homeschooling my two children for many reasons. It's so inspirational to hear that your family is the better for it. Having the flexibility to delve into topics that are of interest and taking the time to learn about them rather than on a timetable is so appealing. I just finished a book that took an interesting look at homeschooling it is Love in a Time of Homeschooling...

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Thank for the article. My family just recently decided to homeschool my daughter (also using the year by year philosophy). She was tested in the beginning (a few weeks ago) to establish her proper level and turns out she was ready for 1st grade as opposed to just going into kindergarten...

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My son is 3yrs old and I get raised eyebrows and comments ranging from 'That's great!' to 'What's wrong with public school?' when I tell people that I plan to homeschool. Well, I don't PLAN to homeschool, I've been doing it all along.

I'm proud that he already knows as much as most 1st graders, and at his young age, I still have the freedom to keep a loose curriculum schedule. We have impromptu learning sessions throughout the day... some days not at all, but most days...

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I love homeschooling! It isn't for everyone, but it works great for my family and we are very close knit as a result of it. I have my children's hearts which makes nuturing their minds all that much easier.

Hello, My daughter works for a well known organization in San Diego. She hires and fires in her department as well as oversees many other aspects of the department. She has mentioned to me several times that the young people who come to her from home schooling are not prepared for the "real" world.
If I was going to home-school my children, I would make sure they had a regular schedule. Get up and do all of the things that children do before going to school...

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I am going to home school my children this fall! I am excited and scared, as are most new home school parents! I am so overwhelmed as to how much resources are out there! I am shocked at the prices of some of these programs! I am trying to purchase used boxed cirriculum for each grade. Then supplement from the internet and the library as we go along, according to their interests. Different states have different rules as far as homeschooling...

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We are embarking on our second year of homeschooling. Our journey is a little different than yours but that's the beauty of it. You can adapt to your family and your children's interests and gifts. I love love love it (and I was a full fledged skeptic). We've come a long way, for the better, and are looking forward to where we are heading.
As an added bonus, the relationships you nurture in your home and with other families is amazing...

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I never thought I'd be homeschooling either, but I here I am homeschooling my 5 year old and absolutely loving it! I started last Fall teaching her basic phonics and she took to it like a fish to water and was reading well 3 months into the program. She looks forward to lessons each day and says, "Mommy, I like school at home because I can spend time with you alone." She's right. With 2 younger siblings ages 2 and 7 months, she doesn't get a lot of individual time with me...

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We are a homeschooling family, one in elementary, middle and high school. There was a post above, 'why are so many people switching to homeschooling ?' For SO many reasons. Here are a few:
*Your child is very intelligent and the course material in the public school is too easy for them, with homeschooling you can let your child progress at their own pace.
*You are Christian and want to raise your child in a home where Christ is the center of everything...

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I have 5 kids, 2 from my first marriage and 3 from the second. I have Home schooled off and on all the children except the oldest who lived with my ex for 8 years of her growing up life...

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