Why Do We Homeschool?
I've been asked this more times than I can count, and I actually have
trouble answering it. Not because I don't have good reasons for homeschooling
(of course, that begs the question of who's to say what's a "good
reason" for a parent to raise her children a certain way, and why no one
asks if parents have "good reasons" for sending their kids to public
school, but I digress), but because I have so internalized my reasons for homeschooling
that I don't often think about them explicitly, and thus have trouble
articulating them on demand. So here are, off the top of my head, the reasons
why we are a homeschooling family:
I think every homeschooling family will have a different answer to this question. In our family, we homeschool for many reasons... by homeschooling, my kids can learn at their own pace and in their own way. If one method of teaching/learning isn't working, we can try something else. They have more freedom to follow their interests at home than in school. We can teach whatever way works best for them, without being constrained by politics, fads, bureaucracy, or the logistics of teaching 30 kids at once. We're constrained by our family's budget, but that's easier to manage than the budget constraints of a school or school system.
We don't have to worry about bullies, peer pressure, teachers yelling at our kids, bad influences, or having religion or nationalism pushed onto them. Our kids don't have to learn the "hidden curriculum" of racism, sexism, classism, authoritarianism, and sublimating their daily activities and even their bodily functions to the ringing of bells.
We don't have to schedule vacations or appointments around a school schedule.
I'm present for so much of my children's lives and get to see them as they learn and experience things, instead of the typical "Hi, sweetie, how was your day?" "Fine." Homeschool enhances the parent-child bond, while school erodes it.
Basically, it boils down to the fact that while there are abysmal schools and fantastic schools and everywhere in between, they are all set up with the goal of educating large groups of kids in a way that is good for most of them and feasible for the teacher and the system, but when I homeschool my goal is educating MY kids in the way that is best for THEM.