Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So why do it?

A few years ago in my mom's kitchen...

Mom: You know I wanted to homeschool you kids, but your father thought it was a bad idea.
Me: (looking at dad) Thank you dad!

Really? Did I say that?

Yet here I sit on the brink of my first year of homeschooling, totally excited, totally convinced that I always thought homeschooling was a great idea.

Clearly, I didn't. So what changed? Why homeschool?

I have no clue what changed, but I am so ready for our homeschool journey to begin! Why? Why do I want to do it?

So in NO particular order, other than the order they came into my head:

1. God's leading. Ultimately, I am choosing to homeschool because my husband and I both think that God is leading our family toward homeschooling. At least for this school year. And for these kiddos. We feel a calling to homeschool them until late elementary school. For now. We remain open to God's guidance in this area.

2. Freedom. Freedom to travel when we want. Freedom to study what we want. Freedom to call a PJ day in the middle of the week. Freedom to start school at 7, 9, or even noon. Freedom to explore interests outside of the school curriculum. Freedom. Good 'ole freedom. I think this is what I am most excited about!


3. Extra-curricular Activities. I refuse to be the mom with a kindergartener who goes to school from 9-3:30 and then rushes off most days to sports, dance, piano, or church. For our family and our children...that is too much. Homeschooling allows us a bit more free time to pursue some activities without feeling like our kids never see their home.

4. Their education. While I have no major issues with public schooling AND think highly of the public schools in our county, all educational options have negatives. (including homeschooling) I find myself becoming more excited about the education I can provide my kids that they won't receive elsewhere. Not to mention, the teacher-student ratio can't be beat!

5. My education. Right now, I am just as excited about the education I am going to receive! All this cool stuff I never paid attention to in school, I am going to get to learn again. Yippee!

6. Family Focus. I am excited to give the kids a bit more time to be at home together. I can't imagine K (age 5) going to school all day next year while her little brother (age 17 months) is so young. They are just getting to know each other. This will give them more time to foster these sibling relationships before they are apart all day.

7. Time. Time to chase the butterflies. Time to watch clouds. Time to run around the park. Time alone. Time with siblings. Time with God. I hope this will give my children a few extra years with the beautiful gift of time to fill as they desire.

8. Relationship with God. I hope some extra years at home will ground them more firmly in their walk with the Lord before they "head off" to school. I hope create habits of spending time with Him.

9. Field Trips. We live very close to Washington DC, Annapolis, and Balitmore. Philidelphia, New York City, and Williamsburg are all possible day trips! (well, maybe overnight to Williamsburg) Who could ask for more? We are surrounded by history and culture! We can take advantage of these places at off hours, off season, and during homeschool weeks. (where they offer GREAT discounts) I love to get out there and "go", so I can't wait!

I think that about sums it up for now!

5 comments:

Amy said...

Mary,

Great opener! You blended your initial views of homeschooling well into your current priorities - it's got to be hard to hand your kid over to full-day school when they are five. I'd probably resent losing them in some ways to all the homework and activities, and becoming tied to the bus schedules at such an early age.

I really respect your commitment to teaching your kids, and cementing family bonds, over what I sometimes perceive as a "flight mechanism" on the part of some homeschool parents. I like that you are taking it one step at a time, and making it work for you and your girls.

Johanna said...

ooooh, i just found this blog. I didnt know you started it. I have to play catch up now.
I will say that your reasons are wonderful and area so many of the reasons that we homeschool here at our house. Especially the TIME one.TIme to stop and smell the flowers;-)

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

I'm with Johanna - you expressed so many of our exact reasons for homeschooling! I hope your first year is a good one.

mom24 said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! I totally agree and am still excited to be homeschooling after 2 years. I love so many things about it and am enjoying learning again along side them!
However, I don't think that it's for everyone. I know that if God has called you to do it, He will surely provide for you and bless you in it!!

Blessings,
Andrea

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

Ok... there's no easy way to really ease into this... so I'll just say it: We'll be homeschooling next year. (Not what you were expecting, huh?)

We've had some pretty rare circumstances that have turned kindergarten up-side-down for us to the point of almost withdrawing Will mid-year. However, we waited and prayed and prayed some more. It appears that *most* days are better, but in the middle of researching HSing, being honest with myself about a few things, and listening to a quickly answered prayer, we have decided to HS next year for 1st grade.

So many of the reasons you gave are reasons I own as well. I am so glad that this finally became a choice and not something out of necessity. I am really excited about HSing and look forward to reading more about how your first year has gone.

I haven't officially announced this on my blog, yet... as I've had more than a few negative comments/emails when I've written about the idea, but it will be coming soon... :)

Anyway, just wanted to share since I enjoyed this post so much.