Why We’ve Decided to Homeschool

Okay, I’ve taken a deep breath and decided to let the world know that we are homeschooling our boys this year.

There – I said it.  That big scary word where I cringe waiting for the judgement to appear in your eyes and the response of, ” . . . Okaaaaaay . . . “.  HOMESCHOOL.School Pics-1

I never had the desire to be a teacher.  I couldn’t bear dealing with other people’s discipline problems day in and day out.  When people used to ask me if I would be homeschooling my children, I would have to try really hard not to laugh.  Are you kidding?  I was living for the day when they’d both be in public school and I could get back to being a grown up with a career again.

Somehow – God changed my heart.  I think I felt the first small change in my attitude when we heard a radio program about “The Lost Generation of Men”.  They were discussing how boys are no longer being raised to become men and are no longer taking on grown-up responsibilities.  We’ve seen this trend and we hope to help our boys avoid it.  Also, as I built Emily’s Homestead, I realized that homeschooling could be a reality.  I could teach the kids AND do the work I love!Homeschool room

Please don’t look at this article as me trying to persuade you why YOU should be homeschooling your kids.  I absolutely think it’s a personal choice for what works best for your family.  This is something that we’ve decided to try to see if it works for ours.  As people have asked me about it – I realized that I don’t really have one good response as to “Why.”  I’ve thought about this for many months now and have reached the conclusion that there is no one reason!  There are so many aspects to this choice that we feel would benefit our boys.  In no particular order, here are our family’s reasons for trying homeschooling:

  • Our Schedule – as long as we make sure we get in 180 days of school, we are free to make our own schedule.  We travel a lot and there’s a wonderful freedom in getting to take our trips all year round.  When Thing #1 was in public school for Kindergarten and 1st grade, we really struggled with trying to line up Fly Guy’s time off with the school system’s time off.
  • Our children can learn at their own pace.  Be it accelerated (I hope!) or needing extra attention and time on a certain subject.
  • We have more control over what our children are learning.  There are many curricula out there and it’s kind of fun getting to look for the best fit for your family.  We also hope to further instill our family’s morals and a sense of work ethic/responsibility.
  • We can have more FUN by implementing lots of hands-on projects along with our curriculum.  The artist in me just loves this.
  • Shorter school days – there’s more time for the boys to play and just be kids because the school day is more condensed when you homeschool and there’s no homework (if they get all their work done during school time).
  • We can tailor extracurriculars to their personal interests.  Right now we’re big into mechanics, electronics, and space.  So we can tie in math and science with these more “fun” lessons.
  • Safety – although I don’t agree with keeping your children in a bubble, I like the reassurance that they are safe.  When Thing #1 was going into 1st grade at a wonderful public school, one of the 2 first grade teachers turned himself in right before the school year for molesting boys.  For the last 30 years.  And he was the teacher I’d been hoping for because I wanted my son to have another strong male role model and everyone said such wonderful things about his teaching.  To be fair to the school, he didn’t do things at school (it was on his own time) but it really shook the community and frankly, it shook me up too.  It seemed a little too close to home.  Add to this the school shooting epidemic in our society and I think that the safety factor is a very nice plus to homeschooling.
  • We hope to instill a love of learning.  Both my husband and myself love to research and learn new things so it’s important to us that our boys develop a life-long love of learning too.School Pics-6

Although I’m definitely excited for this new adventure we’re embarking on, I understand that there are some disadvantages that we will need to work with too.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • The #1 concern of ours is our oldest son’s shyness.  It’s almost painful for him to talk to new people.  I’ve known some homeschool families that have been very successful and some that end up with kids that are the typical “weird homeschoolers”.  You know them.  The ones who are obviously very bright and can converse with nuclear physicists but can’t seem to fit with kids their own age.  We will be making huge efforts to keep our boys socialized with sports, cub scouts, and just plain-old-time to make and play with friends.
  • By choosing our own curriculum, we have to make sure that our children are keeping up with the current standards for their age.  Although it’s not always necessary for the early grades, we’re planning on doing end of year testing to make sure we’re on track.  (Or dare I hope – ahead?)
  • Another hugely scary factor . . . Me.  Am I up to it?  Do I have the patience to do this?  Am I willing to give up my free time during the day?  Can I teach my children and keep building a business?  The answer to this is . . . I don’t know.  We actually started our school year a little early (because we can!) and are just wrapping up our first week.  Here’s what I’ve already found out:

Teaching my children is much more mentally tiring on me than I thought it would be.

It is also much more rewarding than I thought it would be.

There have already been some battles.

But there has already been a lot of fun.

I think it’s going to take a little time but we’ll get used to this change.

And most of all?  Already, I’m seeing some evidence that this just might be a great thing for us.School Pics-5

  1. Ok, I’m a little behind reading your blogs..😊. I have to tell you though, how much I am enjoying them! Thank you , for putting into words, how a lot of us moms feel! Your writing makes me smile, gives me hope, and reassures me that I’m doing the best I can as a mom at this moment. Although I’m pretty certain homeschooling isn’t an option right now, there are many ideas in your blog that I can use around my household for homework and fun. You truly have a gift Girly! I look forward to catching up & reading your future blogs( yes, I realize I’m commenting on one from 2013 and it’s now 2015😂). I hope to see you and the boys again- have a great summer & God Bless!

  2. I loved reading your article Emily. I know you are doing a great job with the guys and hope all is going well. Just remember, try something, evaluate how it went, and adjust accordingly. Everyday is a new day, so don’t be afraid to try things a different way if it didn’t work out the way you had planned. It’s kind of a learn as you go process.

  3. I am excited for you and your family!!
    We took the same step this year ourselves. Our daughter is only 5 but she has already been in the early childhood programs for the past 2 years for special needs. After two major surgeries this spring and one more on the horizon we simply decided that our daughter needs to just be a kid. Our intent was to homeschool eventually anyway and with upheaval in the local school system we just decided to do it sooner rather than later. We will “unschool” this next year since our state doesn’t require kids to be officially in school until they are 6. She will still get all of the therapies she needs at the out patient rehab center but the rest of the time she can just be a kid. I am already heaving a big sign of relief about shedding the rigid school schedule and all of the requirements that go with it. We are definitely looking forward to being able to travel when ever it works for us.
    Good luck!

  4. Congratulations on your decision and welcome to the club of the odd homeschoolers! 🙂 It is a fun journey. The first year I found to be the toughest. There is a lot of deschooling that has to take place for us as parents and for the kids. No one’s homeschool looks like anyone elses. So go with your gut and take one day at a time. You will be amazed at how fast the year goes. Best of luck and enjoy!

  5. We’ve been educating at home for many many years. I would never have it any other way! Neither would my kids. I commend you for your great courage and commitment to do what’s right for your kids. A couple of comments and encouragement from experience:
    1) Remember that living LIFE is learning. As parents we can quickly train ourselves for those teachable moments. Once you start paying attention, you will be surprised by how much they learn on a daily bases and how little things you can do can enhance that…and that’s without curriculum ;-).
    2) State or other Government Standards be damned. Sorry, but I can’t be less adamant. I have kids that are in 6th grade that do things from “college level” in some areas to “4th” in others. I, too, used to print out the state standards and go over them to make sure my kid was at that particular level. I did it more that I was worried I would miss something, than any other reason. It took me years to believe my more experienced home school friends. Also, some kids just have a more difficult time in certain areas and need more time. If we stress that they are “behind” than that just makes it harder on them.
    3) Tests only test good test takers, not intelligence. My sister is very intelligent. You can ask her a question verbally, and she’ll get it right, but stick a test in front of her and she’ll second guess herself until she probably gets it wrong. There are many ways to answer or approach questions as well, which tests don’t take into consideration. Consider not training them to a test or putting them under that stress.
    Instead try to take a deep breath and trust that you as a parent know them better than anyone, love them more than anyone, and want them to succeed more than anyone. No one can do a better job than you! Have Fun with this Great opportunity that we still have in our country, at least for the present.

    Here’s a great video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

    1. Thank you so much for your advice!

      Since I’m so new to this – it feels like I want to really prepare and make sure of everything (organization, testing, etc.) so I don’t fail.

      It’s really nice to hear assurance from someone who has done it for awhile. Thank you!

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