Why We Homeschool:
Three of my four kids are homeschooled, and it’s really been the best decision for our family. I’m going to be very vulnerable here in sharing why.
To be blunt, my children don’t fit into the “box” required of public school students. Not all children learn the same way, yet public school teaches them all the same way and expects them to respond the same way. Even though my little guy is extremely intelligent and got good grades, he referred to public school as “prison” where he was forced to sit and be quiet for nearly 6 hours. Traditional classroom settings go against the way children naturally learn, through movement and conversation and hands-on experiences.
My daughters struggled in public school – one because of severe bullying and ADHD (she was the first one to be homeschooled), and the other because prenatal exposure to methamphetamines (and only the Lord knows what else) by her birth parents has caused some learning disabilities and she really benefits from one-on-one schooling. Public school was so difficult to her, and unfortunately, she had one educator who did not take the time to understand her history and coined her as a “rotten egg” and made unthinkable nasty comments to her (“you’re going to end up in prison and I’m going to be there with my bible held open to you!” was one of them). My little girl said to me “I wish I could disappear forever so I won’t be such a burden to others.” THAT was when I KNEW I could not send her back to school if she is feeling so incredibly defeated that she thought she was a burden to anyone. I knew she was aware that she learned more slowly than her peers, but that broke my heart to realize she felt that way.
Public education today isn’t what it used to be when I was growing up. I attended public school and LOVED it. I had the most amazing teachers (some of which I still keep in touch with today) and I was a great student. School was always enjoyable and easy for me. However, I believe that today’s teachers are so overworked and underpaid. It’s not a dig at them, I know there are some really great teachers out there still, but they seem to be fewer and further between. Classroom sizes are ridiculously large and keep growing. It’s so easy for kids who don’t fit into the “box” to slip between the cracks and be passed on to the next grade to become another teacher’s problem to ignore. Not to mention, there’s so much “woke-ism” (which goes directly against God’s Word) being forced onto children in public schools, and frankly, I don’t want my children subjected to that. That doesn’t mean that they are “shielded” or oblivious to any of it, it just means that we have open conversations about it.
When the public schools were shut down during covid and my children had to be taught through zoom calls, it was a HUGE eye opener to WHAT they’re being taught and HOW they’re taught it. I sat there listening and was like “NAH! I’m not okay with any of this!”
After homeschooling my girls for half the school year, my little guy (a tiny 3rd grader) was victimized at school by a large 5th grader who held a knife to his throat in the school bathroom, in which the school resource officer took a police report but neither him nor the school advised me of this incident until the end of they day, even though it occurred in the morning. My son was traumatized. Sending my kid to school – after the adults who are supposed to keep him safe broke my trust – became an easy NO!
I now have one kid who remains in public school. He is a Junior in high school and although there are times he really wants to be homeschooled, he plays baseball and is pretty darn good at it, so he just wants to finish out this last year and a half.
The decision to begin homeschooling has been the best one for my family and our unique needs, but there’s so much that’s often made it feel extremely overwhelming (especially when first starting out and trying to navigate the maze of homeschool curriculum). I often question my abilities to teach and if I’m doing a good job or if I’m screwing my kids over by not teaching them enough or the right things. However, I know that God has entrusted me with my children for a reason and He guides me through raising them up. And having my children learn at our little farmschool, where they can take as many breaks as they need, go outdoors, and learn more of the things that interest them over so many things they will probably never even utilize in their adult lives, is what God has called us to do.
– Jalena Dawn
Homeschooling is the right choice for us!
Tailored Learning Experience
Each child is distinct, with specific strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Homeschooling allows a customized curriculum that caters to each child individually. This means that a child who excels in mathematics can move ahead at their own pace, while another child can take extra time with reading or writing. Homeschooling ensures that every child’s education is tailored to their personal learning speed and style.
Flexibility in Scheduling
Traditional school settings follow a strict schedule which might not suit all students, especially those with special needs or different learning paces. Homeschooling offers the flexibility to create a schedule that works around each child’s optimal periods of concentration and rest, adapting the education to their natural rhythms and needs. My son is most alert in the mornings and wants to get all of his lessons done back to back so he can spend the rest of his day playing, whereas my daughter needs to take medication and settle into the day before starting her lessons, and needs to take frequent breaks.
Safe and Comfortable Learning Environment
For many children, the pressure of social interactions, bullying, or the overwhelming nature of crowded classrooms can impede learning. Homeschooling offers a reprieve from these stresses by providing a safe and comfortable learning environment. This can be particularly beneficial for children with anxiety, social phobias, or autism who often thrive in a familiar and controlled environment. But don’t worry, my kids still socialize plenty with other children, through sports, 4-H and more.
Opportunities for Real-Life Learning
Homeschooling is not confined to the boundaries of a classroom. This educational choice allows for an immersive approach to learning. Field trips, educational travels, and everyday tasks can be transformed into educational experiences. Children with different interests and learning needs can explore the world at their own pace, making education a part of their daily life. For example, when learning about fractions, we don’t just do 50 math problems on paper. We go into the kitchen to cook, or outside to build stuff, which allows them to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions!
Enhanced Family Bonding
With homeschooling, education becomes a family affair, involving parents and siblings in the learning process. This shared journey can strengthen family bonds and promote an environment of collective learning and support. For children with different needs, having a support system that understands their unique challenges is invaluable!! I cannot stress this enough!
Emphasis on Practical Skill Development
While traditional schooling often leans towards theoretical knowledge, homeschooling can emphasize the development of practical skills. Parents can integrate life skills like financial literacy, home management, or carpentry into their curriculum, ensuring children gain a well-rounded education that prepares them for real-world challenges. Again, getting kids outside of the “box” that public school puts them in.
Homeschooling is not without its challenges, but for families with children who have diverse needs, it offers a level of personalization and flexibility that is hard to match in traditional educational settings. By being attuned to each child’s unique requirements, parents can create a nurturing and effective learning environment that can lead to personal and academic success.
I know this has been a bit of a long read, but I wanted to be totally transparent with y’all. Because for the mama out there who is wondering if she is doing the right thing by knowing in her heart she wants to homeschool her babies, homeschooling is a wonderful things, and YOU’VE GOT THIS, because God has called you to it.