Since public school will be starting in our district next week, I thought now would be a good time to talk about why my kids won’t be there and haven’t been for years.
First, let me start by saying that deciding whether or not to homeschool is a personal decision that is up to each individual family. I won’t deny the fact that I am pro-homeschooling, or I wouldn’t be doing it, but what’s right for my family may not be right for yours.
With that being said…
Why This Mom of Many Chose to Homeschool
1. I didn’t agree with what was being taught in school.
When my oldest son was in 9th grade, he came home from school with an assignment that went completely against our Christian morals. Up until this point, I had been considering homeschooling for a while. This high school project was the wake up call for me.
Let me be clear that this was not the first time I didn’t like what was being taught. This was simply so bad that it woke me up to the realization that it was only going to get worse from here.
2. My kids were getting sick all the time.
The attendance policies of our schools really presented a dilemma. Since students (and their parents) didn’t want the truant officers knocking at their doors, they would often show up to school sick. Because of that, they would get a bunch of other kids (including mine) sick.
Let me just say that when an illness is brought into a large family home, it makes its rounds again and again….and again.
Inevitably, the kids had to stay home from school. Since we had so many kids in so many different classes with so many sick kids, my children started to miss school quite often. I got to the point where I actually received a letter from the vice principal stating that my kids had missed too much school when, in fact, my kids were getting sick because of school.
3. I felt like my children weren’t my own.
Being away from my children for 7+ hours a day took its toll on our relationship. I felt like a secondary parent. My kids’ teachers were seeing them more than I was, and it wasn’t a good feeling.
To make matters worse, parents of school students have to answer to the school for everything. You have to, more or less, ask permission for your kids to stay home when they’re sick. You have to fill out a form and ask permission to take your own children on vacation. You have to give up the only family time you have for your kids to sit and do homework for hours every night.
4. I was sick of my children dealing with violent classmates.
I have been blessed that my children were never the victims of bullying at school, but the violence some of them, one of my daughters in particular, witnessed every day was terrible.
Each day my then-2nd grader would come home from school a nervous wreck because she had to watch a boy in her class hit the teacher, pull off her jewelry, run around the classroom knocking all of the book baskets over, and just being a general nuisance. At least once a week the entire school was being put on lockdown for this child.
My daughter loved her teacher, but she was afraid at the same time because the teacher would spend the whole day screaming at this boy. No 7-year-old should have to go through that.
The final straw came when my daughter came home and informed me that the boy had thrown a desk and hit her in the leg with it. Now, this school would send home a note from the nurse’s office for every little scrape or cut that one of my kids suffered there, but do you think I got a note about this?
I called the school district and the principal and was given the run-around about chain-of-commands and protocols that had to be followed, but within a week, the boy was finally gone.
My daughter said he returned a month later and acted like a different person.
5. Bomb threats were a regular occurrence.
I’m not even exaggerating. They happened several times every single year, and we would never be informed about it. It just so happened for one of them that I drove past the school and saw everyone standing outside with the fire department there. I parked and asked a teacher what was going on.
Another bomb threat.
I located my kids and marched up to the principal and told her they were leaving. She actually had the audacity to tell me it would be unexcused.
6. My kids fought constantly.
That first hour after the kids used to come home would be awful. After not seeing each other all day, they were cranky and tired and took it out on each other.
Since they never spent much time together because they were always either in school, at an after-school program, or doing homework, they didn’t know how to get along. They simply weren’t used to their own siblings.
It wasn’t a pleasant time for any of us.
Over time, my reasons started growing. I began to realize how important it is to keep the Lord in the center of everything– including school. I discerned the importance of parental supervision over peer relationships– something that can’t happen in school. Most importantly, I came to love the freedom we homeschoolers have that simply aren’t possible with a traditional education.
I used to say that I regret the time my children spent in school, but I don’t feel that way anymore. The memory of those days are a constant reminder that we are 100% doing the right thing and will never look back, no matter how difficult it seems sometimes.
Homeschooling is a gift, a blessing that I will be forever grateful for.
It’s changed our lives forever.
Do you homeschool? What were your reasons for making this decision?
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