I’m saying this in public now because a lot of my friends and family have been asking (or maybe wondering). It’s official, and no, you can’t talk us out of it. The decision was actually made last year, but we just didn’t know it. Are you ready? Here it is…
We are going to homeschool our kids this fall!
My husband and I have been discussing and praying, and we know this is the best decision for our family. Although it may not be a decision you would make for your family, it’s one that we know is right for us. We weighed the pros and cons and have come up with a list of why we are saying YES to homeschool our kids.
(1) We want to really know what our kids are learning.
My husband and I want to be able to choose what curriculum our kids will have for their education. Knowing what our kids are learning is important because we want them to have a strong Christian foundation, and we feel their whole education needs to be centered around Christ. The only way to ensure this is to hand-pick our curriculum ourselves.
(2) We want our kids to be academically challenged.
My oldest son is a little smarty pants. This kid, two years running, scored at least two grade levels ahead in most areas on his standardized tests and can do math like a wizard. Can wizards to math….?
When I started homeschooling him at the start of first grade, I was having him do second grade math from Horizons and he was excelling. I would’ve had to move him to third grade math by the end of the school year easily. He was also writing in cursive and reading middle school chapter books like these from this Roald Dahl set. We want to be able to push our kids ahead and not be tied down to a particular grade level.
In making the decision to homeschool, we knew it was because our children needed to be challenged. Private and especially public school settings make it difficult to achieve this because of the student to teacher ratio. For this point alone, homeschooling just can’t be beat.
(3) We need more time to train them up right.
When my kids wake up in the morning, they can expect about 60 minutes with me and then they are off to school for the next seven hours. I pick them up at 3:10 in the afternoon, and they spend only about four hours with us before going to bed. That means I get a measly five hours to parent a day, and they get even less time with their dad.
Yes, we have the weekends and yes we have holidays, but haven’t you ever heard that cramming before a test is NOT the way to study? It’s best to start studying right away and review the information daily to really learn it. The same goes for parenting. How can we expect great results if we are cramming bible lessons and virtues into our kids minds during their “off hours” or only on Sundays? We want all the time in our kids’ day for their spiritual growth.
(4) We want them to learn how to properly socialize.
How many times have you heard that putting your kids in school is “so good” because now they can be socialized? For me, too many to count. Here’s the thing, I don’t WANT my kids to learn to socialize at school. The last thing I want is for my kids to learn to be like the other kids their age. I can already name a few kids I wish my children weren’t friends with. Yikes…
“What? I can’t believe you said that? Your kids are gonna be so socially awkward!”
No, no they won’t. And I’ll tell you why.
My kids will learn to be able to talk and make friends with people of any age. How? Because they will have many opportunities to do so. They’ll have a chance to tell the cashier, politely, why they are not in school in the middle of the day. They’ll be able to converse with workers at the zoo while we’re on a field trip. They’ll be able to chat with kids younger and older while at our weekly co-op.
In addition, I live in my hometown where my husband and I both grew up and graduated high school. I have lots of friends still in the area who’d love to get together for playdates. Oh, and of course, my kids go to church so there are probably 400+ people with which my kids can meet and converse. It’s not going to be a problem for my kids to socialize.
(5) We want to strengthen our family identity.
Every family has a family identity, even if you don’t realize it. Try sitting down with your spouse and even your kids and figuring out with it means to be a ____ (insert last name). For us, it’s loving the Lord first and family second. It’s taking care of, supporting, and encouraging each other.
But there’s more.
Being a part of our family means you love hotdogs and baseball (GO CARDS!). It means you are polite and never rude, generous and giving, loyal and a good friend. We give hugs and kisses every night before bed, play games like this and this, and we make a huge, ridiculous deal about birthdays.
That’s just a small portion of our family identity, but it’s what makes us, us!
(6) We want to have a more flexible schedule.
Right now, my kids are in private school. This means I have to drive kids to and from school, and we can’t just pack up and go visit family or go on vacation without making lots of arrangements. My daughter and I can sometimes go on day trips to nearby cities, but we must get home in time to pick up the boys from school.
This is was one of the biggest drawbacks to putting our kids in school this year, but that will all change this fall – I can’t wait! Having a flexible schedule is great because, whenever I want, I’ll be able to go and do anything during any time of the day or week.
I’ll be able to go visit my grandma, which means all my kids will get quality time with her. We can go to the grocery store in the middle of the day so that my kids can practice their manners in public. If my husband (who owns his own business) decides he wants to take time off for a few days, we’ll be able to hang out as a family!
(7) We want Momma to be home more.
Since our kids were put in school this year, my schedule has been all over the place. If you are a mom that works outside of the house, this may seem like no big deal to you. However, we believe that, for our family, I should be home as much as possible, taking care of the house and kiddos!
I have always been a slob, and my husband isn’t much better than me. So, in our marriage, it’s been tough having a consistently clean house. This has been especially true since adding children to the mix. In one word, it could be called “chaos” at times.
We have been really working hard on keeping the house nice. I have been reading The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark which has really helped! However, we feel the best way to ensure it stays this way is to allow Momma (me) to be home more. Check back later on future posts about how the five of us live in (and organize) our 952 square foot apartment!
(8) We want our kids to have more opportunities to learn.
Right now, my kids learn in three places: school, home, and church. However, homeschooling allows kids to learn anywhere they go. Grocery shopping is a time for kids to learn math. We can read, study, and research at the library. Anytime of the day, we can go to the park for recess or “PE.” Visiting my grandma helps our kids to learn about their genealogy. We will have all hours of the day to go anywhere and learn anything we want.
So that’s it!
Eight reasons we’re saying YES to homeschooling our kids. What are some of your reasons? I’d love to read about them in the comments below. Also, please let me know if you have any questions, and I’d be happy to answer them in a future post!