What Does Homeschooling Mean to Me?
What does homeschooling mean to me? It has become such an
integral part of who we are as a family, that it would be
difficult to analyze it separately. It truly has become our way
Homeschooling means I spend more time with my children - all of
them, not just the little ones. My older kids attended a
"regular" school for several years before we started
homeschooling, and I always felt out of touch with what was
going on in their lives. We were growing apart, both
figuratively and literally. Why has society accepted that
parents should want to be with the babies and toddlers, but once
the kids reach school age, we're supposed to prefer to not have
them around? I didn't have children in order to send them off to
spend their day with some other adult. I didn't feel that way
when they were born, and I don't feel that way today. I deeply
enjoy each and every one of my children, and I love having them
with me every day.
Homeschooling means we are free to discuss our faith openly, and
apply it to all areas of life and study. God is not relegated to
only Sunday school, or even only Religion class. History is full
of faith-filled people whose actions and ideas were directly
related to their faith, including the founding fathers of our
country. I really don't see how one could teach about how
America began without mentioning God. Science is in reality a
study of God's creation. How can one look at such an amazing
world and not appreciate the Source of all? Writing and reading
can include faith-related topics. When dealing with discipline
issues, God and His teachings can be included in the
discussions. It would seem unnatural for a person of any faith
to spend their entire day forbidden to mention their God.
Homeschooling means I have an incredibly open and close
relationship with my two teenagers. They will talk to me about
anything, and are not embarassed to be seen with me or our whole
family. We laugh together, and actually enjoy each other's
company. My sixteen-year-old daughter and fourteen-year-old son
have become great friends to each other. They have not been made
to feel that parents are irrelevant, or the enemy. More time
together means we know each other much better.
Homeschooling means I know, and select, which books my children
read and learn from. I am also aware of, and guide, the topics
of discussion. I don't have to wonder what "life lessons" they
are picking up at recess, on the school bus, or even in class. I
choose when they learn certain things, when they are ready (and
it has been at a different age for each of them). I plan and
direct their education, a level of involvement which is very
important to me.
Homeschooling means my children can progress through their
studies at their own pace. When they learn something quickly,
they can just move on. When they need more time with something,
we can slow down to make sure they master it. And I know right
away when they need more help. Problems are not hidden until
they become major issues; we can take care of them right away. I
know and love my children better than anyone else, so their
success is paramount.
Homeschooling means my older kids get to see the younger ones
grow and develop. They were just as amazed to hear the youngest
laugh for the first time as I was. Everyone is learning more
about child care, and patience, and putting the needs of others
ahead of their own. These are life skills that are important for
Homeschooling means a more relaxed daily schedule - OUR schedule
- which results in less stress. Our day is flexible; we can
schedule appointments at less busy times. We don't have to get
up before dawn to catch a bus at 6:50 am. I really don't think
anyone should have to be out of bed while it is still dark out.
Homeschooling means more free time to pursue other activities.
We can finish a day's work in less time since we don't have to
continually organize a classroom of 20 or 30 students, or spend
time walking up and down long hallways.
Homeschooling means we can visit DisneyWorld during the off-peak
times, instead of fighting crowds of people stuck to school
Homeschooling means, on the other hand, living in a house that
is never quite all clean. Having six children home all day,
every day, creates more mess (especially in the kitchen), and
makes it more difficult to keep up with the cleaning, laundry,
etc. It doesn't bother me as much as it did at first, because I
had to set priorities. The education and growth of my children
come first. They do help with chores, but not at the expense of
schoolwork. Every couple of days, when I reach my limit,
everyone takes a break and cleans up. But until they all move
out, there will still be some mess.
Homeschooling means I can slow down and live in the present
moment when necessary. I have grown to really appreciate the
time I have with my younger children, taking a few minutes at
any time to watch them take such joy in each new skill they
learn. I definitely feel less rushed since we started
homeschooling, and I am able to be there for each small, yet
monumental moment in the life of a child.
Homeschooling means, in short, more time and opportunity to
fully live out my vocation of motherhood.
[Please don't misconstrue my words to imply that these things
are not possible for anyone who does not homeschool. This has
been a discussion of what homeschooling means to ME. Every
family is unique; every family has their own path to follow in
finding what is best for them.]