I get this question a lot.
People homeschool for so many reasons that I imagine it’s kind of confusing trying to decipher why someone would choose homeschooling over other options!
I was a semester and a half from becoming a certified teacher. At the time, my daughter was about a year old and I was newly pregnant with my second child. I had done many observations and taken all of the required classes except the 2 that I was half way through the semester with and then I would have a semester of student teaching ahead of me.
Something that really kept reeling through my mind was that there was SO much testing. SO much! It’s so sad for me to think about little 2nd graders throwing up due to nervousness before standardized exams! I also couldn’t imagine being a teacher to 30 kids and having to make sure that they tested well while also trying not to teach to the test. Yuck!
It was in the middle of a “how to teach math” class that I decided I was done. I didn’t want to be a teacher. Heck, I didn’t want to send my kid to the schools that I was in the process of learning to be employed by! SO much red tape, so many rules and restrictions coming at you from all angles, so much I’d miss out on with my own kids by being at work… This was a huge decision.
I did finally make the decision to stop working towards certification and just continue on to get my Child & Family Studies degree. I graduated with honors and it felt fabulous, but I admit I was a little deflated knowing that I’d gone through ALL of that just to find out what I *didn’t* want to be! All that schoolin’ just to find out that I wanted to be a teacher – just not THAT kind of teacher. 🙂
Anyway… for me, it’s all about
1.) No standardized testing (it is not required in my state)
2.) Freedom to educate my kids in any setting I choose, WHENEVER I choose
3.) The ability to be with my children all day, every day instead of letting someone else watch them as the little lightbulbs go off
4.) Being able to know exactly what my kids are learning, knowing what is influencing them, and being able to cater to their learning styles as individuals
5.) Knowing that they won’t slip through the cracks (like I did… long story, perhaps for another post on how the public education system failed me big time)
Now you’re probably looking at this list and thinking, “What? She didn’t say anything about religious studies or God?!” You’re right. I didn’t. While I do influence what my children are exposed to and teach them about my beliefs, I honestly do not incorporate it in every single facet of our homeschooling experience. We are Christian homeschoolers, but the education I offer them is fairly Secular. Believe it or not, I actually don’t agree with a lot of the major curriculum’s offerings regarding their theology, so I avoid it as a basis for my children’s studies. I do appreciate that we’re able to openly talk about God and our beliefs during school, but I do not homeschool for religious reasons.
Why do you homeschool (if you do)? What do you think the biggest perk has been for your family?