In 2005 we spent my middle son’s entire 4th grade year battling bullies. It absolutely broke my heart each day when he climbed into the car and said, “mama, I just want one friend, just one person to like me.” When his 5th grade year started off the same way, I said enough was enough and pulled him from school. It was then that we started our homeschool journey.
While homeschooling ended up not being the right answer for him and he went back to a different public school, the seed had already been planted and we knew what we were going to do for our then 2 year old. That less than positive experience made the decision easy. Homeschooling was in our future.
Our reasons behind homeschooling have evolved over time. What started as a protective instinct to keep our little boys away from the bullies has turned into what I refer to as a calling. As we have grown in our faith, so has our commitment to homeschooling. At the same time though, I think each family is different and we all have our own set of reasons for taking on this challenge. And a challenge it is.
We love it and hate it, sometimes all on the same day! Ask ten families and you are sure to get ten different reasons for homeschooling.
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “how long are you going to homeschool?” Honestly, when we started out, my answer always was this, “we’re just going to take each year as it comes.” But now? Without a doubt I know we’re in it for the long-haul. We’re not too proud to recognize when we will need reinforcements and when that time comes we will seek out the appropriate tutors, etc., to help our son to continue to receive the best education we can give him.
There is so much value in homeschooling. I have come to appreciate this process so much. Even in the difficult times, it is obvious there are lessons to be learned and we are learning them together, as a family. We went through a time from October 2013 through August 2015 where we lost four family members due to illness. Four. I can’t even imagine what life would have been like trying to fit public school in the mix. We plugged away at our school work, but we learned more than any textbook could ever have taught us.
We learned to appreciate and value life. To have compassion for those who are ill. To serve those in need. And sadly, we learned how quickly a life can be over. Through it all though, we grew closer to each other and we ended up stronger for it.
All that heavy stuff aside, there are so many positives to homeschooling. Truly treasuring the family time we have together each day is at the top of the list. We get to see our son learn and understand new things for the first time. When a certain topic comes up we get to stop everything and drive to a zoo, a recycling center, or a grocery store for a tour. The flexibility for field trips is amazing! We can let Christ into our homeschool as much as we want. We can take our school books on the road and join dad for work trips where ever they may take him. We’re happy not turning our son over to a teacher for 7-8 hours a day. We’re responsible for his education. And with that, we can gear all of his studies towards what he needs, not what the classroom filled with 20 other children needs. Homeschooling is a grand adventure and we look forward to what each day will bring.
What do you think? Are you a homeschooling family? Or public school all the way? I’ve done both. I appreciate both. I would love to hear what you think.
Until next time,