How our experience with public school affected our decision to homeschool
I know that “Reasons Why I Homeschool” posts are a dime a dozen, but this particular list will refer specifically to how our experience with public school affected this decision. I could probably list more than ten reasons, but for the sake of time I’m going to limit myself.
1. My children can learn about what interests them, and God is never a taboo subject at home.
When Arianna was in 2nd grade, her teacher asked the children for examples of authority figures. One child answered ”God” and was told that since not everyone believes in God, she couldn’t include Him as an authority figure.
What kind of a message is that to children being raised in Christian homes? At home they’re taught about the sovereignty of God, and at school they’re taught (often by teachers that they assume know everything) that God has no position of authority.
2. We don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn and rush around to get ten children dressed and ready for school.
I know what you’re thinking…get everything ready the night before! In theory, this sounds wonderful, but in practice, it’s laughable. Have you ever heard of Murphy’s Law- if anything can go wrong, it will? Yeah, well, my house is a prime example to the validity of that. I could have all the clothes, shoes, and backpacks neatly lined up and ready, and without fail, something would still be missing when it was time to leave!
3. We don’t have to walk to and from school in inclement weather.
We’re a one-car family, so every morning I would have to bundle up a baby and two toddlers to walk the other children to school in all kinds of weather- heavy rain, snow, freezing temperatures…you name it.
4. I don’t have to report to anyone when one (or all) of my children is sick.
I understand the concept behind this…I really do, but when I’ve got eight kids throwing up, the last thing I’m thinking of is calling the attendance office.
5. I don’t have to worry about unexcused absences.
When Caollin was in kindergarten, I was pregnant with Ireland. At the end of my pregnancy, I had to go in for non-stress tests 2-3 times a week. I would often take her with me and then drop her off at afternoon kindergarten. The one day, the doctor was concerned and had me stay on the monitor longer because the baby wasn’t very reactive. I called the school to tell them that Caollin wouldn’t be at school that day. I explained the situation and the fact that Caollin was with me, and I couldn’t leave. The secretary then proceeded to tell me this would be an unexcused absence because it wasn’t Caollin’s appointment!
6. There is no crazy time when the kids all arrive home.
I love my kids to death, but I used to dread when they would all come home from school because they would act completely nuts! There would be screaming, fighting, backpacks and jackets thrown everywhere, papers strewn all over the place…it was bad.
7. There is no homework.
I know that technically, everything in homeschool, even play, is considered home work, but this is different. The kids used to all approach me for homework help at the same – and it was frustrating because I would have no idea what they had learned all day. Algebra homework was the worst with my daughter because, I swear, the school must have bought the cheapest textbooks available because her book had no explanation of how to do anything! The teacher didn’t help matters, either, because she would only check to see if the students did their homework (they probably could have written anything); she never went over anything!
8. There are no unexpected, um, friends visiting our house.
I’m not referring to human friends; I’m referring to those little friends that are too small to see. Colds, the flu, viruses, and the absolute worst- lice- used to make unexpected appearances in our home. To make matters worse, the school’s lice policy was terrible. They wouldn’t even inform the parents when a classmate was found to have lice because, and I quote, ”It’s not a health issue; it’s a social issue.” Yeah. Try telling that to the mom who has to treat a dozen people and rewash everything in the house. I’m guessing you can tell this is a sore spot with me.
9. I don’t have a million papers being thrust at me every day.
Fundraisers, school pictures, permission slips, PTA notices…oh my word. There were days I honestly used to feel like I was going to have a panic attack. If you think I’m exaggerating, think about it. Take a look at all the papers accumulated for one child multiplied by 10!
10. We can follow our own schedule.
It just makes more sense for our family to learn year-round. A 12 week break can’t be very good for retention. Beyond that, my children need the structure. Even though we have started unschooling, we still have a basic schedule that we follow, and it’s a lifesaver!
We are so blessed to live in a country where we have the opportunity to homeschool our kids. Reasons for this decision may vary, but never forget to take advantage of the freedom that accompanies homeschooling.
Do you homeschool? What were your deciding factors?