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

Homeschooling is not as easy as it looks. I have seen people that do a GREAT job at it and others that have done very poorly. Every parent is NOT a teacher. I feel that those that are not should look to ther resources to eduate their child(ren). Not that the public system is the "answer" but to to make mees out of your homeschool experience can have a lifetime repercussions.
I also think homeschool situations need expereince for children to interact with others that are NOT related to them...

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What a wonderfully timed post! I homeschooled my son and daughter until they were old enough for kindergarten and then sent them to a poor public school system due to my in-laws pressure not to keep them home. Over the years I have watched my children fall into the pattern of striving to be "good enough" to get to the next grade but never to be great. With growing problems of violence in our schools I am starting full time homeschool this year and we are all really excited about it...

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I was just like you, I never in a million years thought I would homeschool. Well we just started our 4th year of homeschooling. I thought homeschooling was fine but it was not for me. Well I quickly changed my mind. Homeschooling is growing more and more every year.

I was reading some of the comments and it seems that others are noticing an uptick in homeschooling also.

I think there are a variety of factors involved. Budget cuts in public schools are already shortening the schoolyear, increasing class sizes and decreasing the actual teaching in classrooms.

Private schools are getting so expensive and crowded that you could hire private tutors for what it costs to send 3 kids to private school.

The former stigmas of homeschooling are going away...

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I to have considered homeschooling, but haven't got serious enough to look into it. I have a 5, 4, 2 y.o. and 1 month old. My oldest just started 1/2 day kindergarden and I'm having a hard time adjusting to the morning revolving around getting out of the house to drop her off (there is no bus service) and then the afternoon towards leving the house again to get her at the bus stop...

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I take it year by year and it's like I can't stop. And why think about it LOL. I know what you mean. My son was reading before Kindergarten and he was like I am bored. So when you are bored you shut down. Went to first...Bored...he shut down. Teacher said he can't continue going on like this. He won't make it to the second grade. True! And the rest is history. I have been homeschooling for 3 years and I also homeschool my daughter whom I have been homeschooling for 2 years...

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I thought only crazy people homeschooled...but now it has become a serious option. On a daily basis, I have to think carefully or be outsmarted by my almost 4 year old and I've got a college degree! I'm doing my research right now. I've found a program that seems to be just what I need -- Classical Conversations. They meet once a week and then the parent reinforces the lessons the rest of the week.

Once we decided to homeschool, we never looked back. I read the curriculum (seriously, I recommend it --if you're bored, want a laugh or need some sleep... it's written by people who are severely challenged by the task of writing a complete and clear sentence in their native English)and immediately discarded the idea of following it for any reason...

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We are just deciding to go ahead and homeschool our oldest child, and I'm extremely nervous that it won't leave sufficient time for our younger two. Any advice? I'd appreciate it more than you know. Thank you for writing this post- maybe we can pull this off after all...

On the one hand, I love it. On the other, as a public school teacher, I have two thoughts: she writes that her child didn't like preschool/kindergarten because he didn't get to do what he wanted to. Isn't that part of life, though? Too often I see kids who have been homeschooled who think, due to having a whole educational curriculum based on THEM, believing that the world should more or less revolve around them...

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I am homeschooling my two children this year for many reasons.I would like to know of any co-ops in the Manatee area for grade school age.Thank you Lo

I am intrested in homeschooling. I want accredation so that my children will get a diploma. What do you recommend?
What circulium do you suggest?

Kim Williams

I really appreciated your article. As my son is geting older now 5 & in kindergarten at a local public school I am so displeased with how the whole system is run. I know what my heart is telling me to do but I am afraid I may not be competent enough. How & where did you start your process?

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