Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why home school?

"Wow. I could never do that!"

I assume from this statement that strangers, acquaintances and friends believe I am Super Mom with an endless supply of patience, creativity, and energy. After all, how else could I home school a 3rd grader, 1st grader, Preschool 5 year old and a Preschool (almost) 3 year old?

Let me dispel the myth right now.

Home school moms are not Super Moms. We are not endowed with super-patience, super-creativity or super-energy. We are ordinary moms who yell at our child when he calls his sister a derogatory nickname (It's unfortunate that smelly rhymes with Ellie.) and use a DVD to babysit our children while we sneak in an afternoon nap. Maybe that last one is just me.

If we're just regular run-off-the-mill moms, why do we choose to home school? Why do we postpone careers, give up lunch dates with other moms, and add lesson planning to our mom workload?

I won't presume to speak for other home school moms but I'll share with you why I made this choice.*

First, I believe home schooling is the best way for my children to learn my values. My children are with me almost 24/7 which allows for countless opportunities to instruct and model my beliefs. Also, I don't have to compete with differing attitudes and ideas of a classroom teacher.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not anti-teachers. My mom worked as an elementary teacher for years and I trained to be a high school social studies teacher. Also, I am NOT saying that parents can't pass on their values to publicly/privately schooled children. I am saying it is harder and requires a great deal of intentionality.

Next I enjoy the home school lifestyle. I determine what time we start our day, not a bus schedule. I plan our school calendar to include breaks when it's convenient for us. And, best of all, we take frequent field trips to nearly deserted museums and aquariums!

Finally, I believe homeschooling makes it easier to shelter my children from information and attitudes that they are not prepared to handle. As my children grow and mature I equip them to handle the situations of life that they will face. That's my job as their mom. It's also my job to shelter them from situations that they are not mature enough to understand or respond to correctly.

Homeschooling doesn't mean I control every conversation, every relationship or every interaction my children have. Instead, it reduces the list of unknowns to a manageable size. Instead of a school day's worth of interactions to discuss with my child I only have a Cub Scout's meeting (2 hours) worth to talk about. Like I said before, I'm NOT saying it isn't possible to shelter a publicly/privately schooled child. I am saying is that it is harder and requires a great deal of intentionality.

So, why do I home school? Because it makes teaching and training my children easier for me. Not to mention homeschooling allows me to stay in pajamas until noon avoid crazy pick-up/drop-off school lines.

Disclaimer: I understand that some of the above is controversial and you may have strong or negative thoughts and feelings about what I've shared. Please understand you are not going to change my mind. However, we can agree to disagree and have a friendly discussion in the comments. Unfriendly or unkind comments against homeschooling or against schools/teachers will not be published.

*I did not make the educational choice for my children alone. My husband and I decided together to home school. We both agree on the above reasons, well, maybe not the pajama one. :)


Carrie said...

=D Well, I share a lot of your opinions which is no surprise to you, I know.

And I'm laughing about possibility disagreeing with your husband on the pj issue. Are you listening to J & I talk!??! ;D

Stephanie said...

Carrie, you and I share opinions?! :D

Why do husbands believe moms should be showered and dressed before noon? If it doesn't happen before he leaves then it isn't happening until naps. Otherwise all chaos breaks out!

Flamingo said...

well i vehemently disagree! ha!! i've always wanted to write that!! great post! for me personally i will say this. i believe in all you wrote. my decision to send my kids to PS is because A) i really believe GOd is not telling me to bring them home yet. B) I'm too much of a wimp to homeschool them all yet:)

ha I said it!

have a great school day. we survived ours yesterday.

Ann said...

Well said, my friend. Well said. Well, except for the pj part. While my oldest would live in her pj's, I get tired of them. I WANT to get dressed. So, the clothes might go on a dirty body, but they go on! :-)

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Great post. You bring up great points for why your family decided to homeschool.

I am probably one of the ones that would say "Wow, I could never do that!". I don't feel like I am a good teacher. I don't feel like I have a clue where I would begin. Well I could go on and on with excuses...

Each family has to do what is right for them. For now, public school is the right choice for us. I cannot say that will always be the case, but for now it works.

Stephanie said...

Well I have decide to bring mine home next year. I'm using this year to get organized and research curriculum. Just when I think I have figured out the curriculum to use I change my mind....ugh. Any suggestions you can pass along would be great.

Great Post!

Stephanie said...

Flamingo, I don't know if I would have the courage to jump into home schooling 4 kids all at once. That would be very daunting! But any complete life style change is scary at first. I'm also glad you understand that my post was not an attack on parents who use public schools.

Ann, I find that pjs tend to slow things down around here so I try not to do that very often.

Dawn, I think you would be a great teacher! You love your daughter, you look for answers to your questions, and you already do a ton of the basic stuff - like read aloud to Emily.

Stephanie, I love to talk curriculum! Feel free to ask questions. I've written 2 posts about what we use: and The first link is for 3rd and 1st grade. The second link is Kindergarten and 2nd grade with a little preschool thrown in.

Anjie Orlowski said...

I love homeschooling moms! I wish I could be one but my husband is so adamantly against it.

Enjoy your kids! I think you're very lucky. :)

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