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Why do you homeschool your kids?
Every homeschool family has been asked this question at some point – or points (once at the library, twice at the grocery store, and every other day by the ol’ blue hair down the block).
Some of us do it for religious reasons, some for travel freedom, and some for curriculum choice. It usually ends up being a combination of these reasons (and more). So you see there is never a short, quick answer. And that’s the beauty of homeschooling… every family’s answer is different.
This is our (not short) answer… this is how we found our homeschool calling.
Big L and I never sat down and said: Okay, this is our plan for our children’s education… they will go to ABC Preschool, John Smith Elementary… and so on.
We never even discussed school until it was time to look for a preschool for Miss C. And then it went something like this: How much does our church’s preschool cost?… Ugh. Okay, how about that one in town?… Ughhh! Okay, okay, how about that other one that the kid down the street goes to?… Umm how the heck are we supposed to make that work?? And we finished it up with our favorite question: How do other people afford this??
Preschool costs how much??
It’s not that money was our only concern, but it definitely played a huge role in our decision making process. You see, our house runs on a single income (see how we survive as a single income family here!). So for us to be able to afford the preschool tuition I would have had to go back to work full time. In addition to tuition, I’d also have to pay for gas to drive to preschool and work (not to mention having to actually buy a second vehicle) and pay for daycare to cover the rest of my shift. I would have had about $40 a week left from a paycheck. Those numbers just didn’t seem to add up. Just plain c-r-a-z-y!
Feeling the pressure
Another big concern that we had was that we felt like we “had” to send our sweet baby girl out of our house so another adult could be her role model for a few hours each day. That adult would have a classroom full of other cute little nuggets vying for her attention and instruction. And what about the families that those cute nuggets came from? Did they hold the same Christian values that we do? Would she be challenged enough? What exactly would be taught to our absorbent little sponge; both intentionally through the lesson plans and unspoken in teacher and student behavior?
The thing is, we are groomed to believe that sending our kids out of our care and into the school system is just another part of parenthood. It’s what everyone does, right? That’s why I said “we had to send” her… because we were thinking on autopilot, so we felt like it was something that was expected from us. (Newsflash: it doesn’t have to be like that!)
We had some serious decisions to make.
Finally, we had to decide if we okay with sharing our child with people outside our inner circle. We don’t go out on solo date nights; instead we do family nights. We don’t drop our kids at a grandparents house for the weekend; we hang out together on Big L’s days off. In fact, the only time we used a sitter it was my closest friend and it was when our youngest, Bubby, was born. And that was only for a few hours. It all comes down to trust, control, and time. Childhood is fleeting, and we don’ t want to miss a beat.
So Big L and I finally talked about our education plan for our children. Initially the plan was to just do home-preschool. Basically just buying us some time until Kindergarten started. Full-time homeschooling wasn’t quite on my radar… yet.
And so began my research of what it would take to “do” preschool at home. To my great surprise, we were already doing most of the preschool work at home. Miss C worked side by side with me in my daily tasks and chores. Letter and number identification, colors and shapes, community awareness/involvement, and safety lessons. I simply added a little organization to the chaos, and presto! we found our home-preschool!
We are in it for the long run.
What started out as a search for a preschool turned into home-preschooling, and that turned into homeschooling for the long haul. Why?
- We like to have the final say in curriculum. It’s great to be able to customize our children’s curriculum to fit their learning style and interests and watch them grow! Christianbook.com’s Homeschool Page is a great place to start your curriculum search!
- I am addicted to the “light bulb” moments. It is such an awesome thing to watch your child get it. It’s awesome when they recognize their letters, read their first word, or learn addition! Why would I want to give that up or share it?
- We are greedy. We want as much time with our kids as possible. No shame in our game.
- The flexibility if offers. We coordinate school to work with our family life, not against it. Oh, Big L has off of work because of the weather? Cool. Let’s have some extra family fun time.
- We are control freaks. God gave us these little ones to love and nurture. For us that includes creating boundaries and limits in our personal lives and in their schooling as well. Homeschooling allows us to do that.
We were looking for something we wanted, but we found what we needed. Isn’t it crazy how God’s got this way of always providing what we need, even when we don’t know we need it? All we need to do is just have enough faith to jump when He tells us to.
If you want to see how easy it is to get your homeschool started, check out my article on how to Start Your Homeschool In 5 Easy Steps!
Share your homeschool story with us below!
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