Why We Homeschool

Everyone who homeschools has their own different answers for why they choose to homeschool. There's a lot of overlap, of course, but these are our reasons.  I always panic when someone asks why we are homeschooling, because I know they are expecting a short answer, and I don't know which one I should put forward! They are all important to me, and I want to give an full answer, but it's hard when we have so many reasons.

1. We want to allow our kids to learn in their own way, at their own pace. 

Being in a school setting, which must teach kids with a wide range of abilities and learning styles, means they will teach to the average.  Because Monkey needed more challenge in math and science, but extra work in Language Arts, homeschooling allows us to progress at the pace he needs. Also because Monkey is a right-brained, visual-spatial learner, who doesn't learn well in typical left-brained teaching environments, we can incorporate strategies that can keep him engaged in a better way.

2. We want to be the primary influence in his life in shaping his values and guiding his choices.

As parents, we want to impart our own values to him, and counter the peer pressure and our culture's expectations that he will surely face, including clothing, attitude, self-image, language, alcohol, drugs, entertainment, sex, spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof), etc. We want to build a close relationship where we can be the primary influence, where our kids will look to us, not to peers, as their guides through life.

3. We want Christ to be central in his life, not peripheral.

We are Christians, and we want to raise him with a Christian worldview. Public schools are at best, neutral toward, and at worst intolerant of, Christian beliefs.  We want to have time to read and apply God's word daily, as part of our learning, not just something to 'squeeze in' at the end of a busy day.

4.We want to have time for other things. 

School and homework take up a HUGE amount of time, especially with Monkey's ADD-tendencies. Add extra-curricular activities, eating, and hygiene, and there's not a lot of time left for family game nights, walks around the neighborhood, volunteering, and other things we want to enjoy as a family. We also want to have time for our kids to explore their own academic interests,  anything from chemistry to making a Minecraft mod, that are not part of the typical school curriculum for their grade level in public school.

5. We want him to have positive social experiences.

People are often concerned about whether homeschooled kids have enough socialization, but truthfully, I don't think the socialization that often occurs at school is the type of socialization that we want for our kids. We've already had to deal with negative self-esteem issues because of exclusion from the 'cool kids' crowd. Thankfully, no overt bullying, but there were some instances where Monkey was certainly picked on.  At these tender ages, is this really the time for them to 'suck it up and deal with it'? I'd rather be able to build up his self-esteem at home by providing a loving, nurturing, safe environment, so they can learn without the stress of social pressures. I'm not saying that school can't provide positive social experiences, but so far, I've seen and heard of enough negative socialization issues that I think that we can provide the positive social experiences while not in a school setting.  Our kids have many opportunities to interact with kids of multiple ages, not just their same grade level, and also with adults, throughout the week. They still learn how to treat others with respect, be a good friend, have conversations, and resolve conflict, but minimizing the drama that happens at school.

In addition, I love and agree with all the reasons that another homeschooler listed in her "Why Homeschool" post.  She sums up many of the other reasons we homeschool, in probably a lot better ways than I could.