This photo was taken at Mammoth Cave National Park during our first homeschooling year (2003). Caleb was four, Maddie was six, and Jon Eric was ten. Currently, Caleb is beginning grade twelve. Maddie and Anna are in college. Jon Eric is married and he and his wife recently graduated with honors from Jacksonville State University.
Over the years I’ve known many homeschooling families. Some of the families were really cool. Some were sort of strange. I’m sure that some folks think we’re cool and some think we’re strange. The truth is we’re probably both. I’m o.k. with that.
I’ve liked most of the homeschooling families I’ve known and had a great deal of respect and admiration for them. However, I was also one of those people that said, “I will never home school my kids”. I had lots of reasons. They’re probably the same reasons you have for not homeschooling yours; but, here are the reasons why I home school now.
I like my kids. I really like being with them, talking with them, teaching them, and learning with them. If you send your kids to school I don’t think that I like my kids more than you like your kids. And yes, sometimes we get tired of being together and go to our rooms and shut the door.
I like knowing what my kids are learning. I have a plan that I follow (The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise), curriculum that I choose, and tests that I give. No one wants my children to be educated more than I do and I work hard to see that they learn what they need to learn. If you send your kids to school I don’t think that you don’t know what they’re learning. Parents I know who send their kids to school are very involved in their learning process.
I like having some control over what my kids are not learning. I believe children should be children and I want to protect their innocence as long as possible. Homeschooling gives me the opportunity to expose and discuss cultural issues from a Christian Worldview when I feel it is appropriate. My children do not live in a bubble. They watch television, listen to music, and participate in all kinds of activities with kids their age. If you send your kids to school I don’t think you’re a bad parent. Parents I know who send their kids to school have the same desire to protect their children as I do.
I like the flexibility and freedom it provides. I can plan our school day to suit our schedule. While we most often start and end our school work the same time each day, we can adjust our day around appointments, church activities, illness, etc.
God helps me to teach my kids at home. Never say never. In the way that God speaks to my heart through the Holy Spirit, I knew He was moving me to homeschool. I was scared to death. Many times the first few years I doubted my decision (and sometimes I still do). The one thing that caused me to continue was I knew God had led me to this decision and He would enable me to carry out His plan. He has been Faithful. Praise God. If your send your kids to school I don’t think that you’re disobeying God or that you lack faith. I’m doing what I believe He told me to do and loving every minute of it.
If you’re thinking about homeschooling I’d love to share my experiences and encouragement. Leave a comment or email me.
Several books have been helpful in my homeschooling journey:
- So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel
- The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
- A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison