Generally we get this question a lot, “Why do you homeschool?”. Especially since we homeschool only two kids right now (Sophia and Liam) and we send one to public school (Ian). The answer is pretty simple, and yet many just do not understand it.
We started homeschooling in June of 2018. Sophia was eight years old and Liam was five and a half years old. We had made this decision as a family, including the kids in it as well. Sophia had known what public school was like, as did Liam as he had attended VPK (voluntary pre kindergarten) for three hours and then went to a public school for another three hours for speech services. Essentially I was going to two different parent pick-up lines Monday through Friday.
A sign to homeschool?
We had wanted the kids to go together to a specific school that 2018-2019 school year. We pulled Sophia from the school she was at, to put her in the “lottery system” with her brother to try for the other school. Even so, they ended up placed in the same school, but not our top choice. Matt had actually brought up the idea of homeschool, and I just wasn’t sure. The fact they did not get into our first choice started me down the path of digging more into homeschooling.
As I looked into it more and more, I realized there is freedom. Freedom to do what THEY wanted to do and to pray when they want to pray. Freedom to get up and go have lunch outside in the yard, at a park or at the airport watching planes land and take off. There is freedom to use chalk for spelling tests outside, and the empty street for physical education. And most of all freedom from the possible dangers that come with public schools.
We homeschool so our kids can go at their pace when they learn to read. Liam did not actually read until he was eight years old. That is “late” by society standards. Unfortunately he reads and comprehends better than Sophia, who was taught to ‘read’ in public school. Whereas, she has a harder time sounding words out because there is such an emphasis on sight words over phonics. Liam was taught by me, and he had and continues to have a heavy phonetic curriculum.
But Ian goes to public school?
Yes, he does and we are in constant contact with his school and teachers. We know his school resource officer and we trust in the security of the school. We ask questions on what he is learning, how his week went, and make sure he is getting all the hours listed in his I.E.P (individualized education plan) for his social, emotional and speech delays. He needed to be in a more social setting in order for him to advance. Speech therapy, being in school and some other things at home, have caused him to come a long way in his delays.
Education is not one size fits all. It never has been and it never will be. Some children enjoy learning by listening but many others enjoy learning by moving and being hands on. In fact, that is the beauty of homeschool, each child gets to learn in the way that suits them best.
We do not use the same curriculum we first started out with, and even in the middle of the year we have switched. You can do that. You are allowed to pivot and do what works best for your children.
The whole point of homeschooling is not to make it like actual school. We spend maybe two to three hours total with book work depending on the lessons. Outside of that it is what the real world can teach them or extra classes they want to do.
Wait, I know what’s coming: what about socialization?
What do most kids get in trouble for in school? Talking.
Teachers have told me in the past, “This isn’t social hour”. Where do kids actually talk freely at school? The lunch room, recess, and the hallways. However, my homeschooled kids have more of a social life than I ever had. Sophia and Liam make friends at soccer, softball, church, the park, homeschool classes, and the grocery store. Neither have ever complained about not having friends. They have never complained about missing out.
If homeschooling is something you have thought about, do it. You get more time with your children, you get to help them grow as humans, and they will love it.
Check out HSLDA for more information on homeschooling in your state.