Choosing to Homeschool

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Homeschool, public school or private school? These three schooling options often make parents defensive and is a topic of heated discussion.

I’ve mentioned planning to homeschool a time or two and a few months back received this question:

“Will you share why you’re choosing to homeschool over sending your child to traditional public school?”

I’ll start with my background. I went to public school K-12 and then went on to a public university. I’m very much so a product of the public school system.

All through school, I wished my mama would homeschool me, it seemed like such a wonderful way to learn. I was an avid reader but during the school years never had time to read for pleasure because I was always reading boring textbooks, doing endless homework, studying for tests, working on ‘group projects’ or writing papers. I rarely had free time to pursue my passions.

Once I graduated from college, I finally was free to pursue my interests! I’ve turned into more of a learner in the past 4 years since graduating college than I did all through school.

Since I had a wish to be homeschooled as a child, I naturally was interested in becoming a homeschooling parent. While I was pregnant with Paxton, I started researching homeschooling. I began reading homeschool books, blogs and talking to other homeschool mamas. In the years since his birth, my husband and I have a pretty good understanding of different methods of homeschooling and at this point are undecided exactly which method(s) we’ll be using but we do know we’ll be homeschooling. {I really think the method we use will depend on the child and their learning interests.}

Our driving force behind our decision to homeschool is simply education.

  • We believe children are born ready to learn and that school thwarts some of that learning.
  • We also know that boys learn differently than girls and most public elementary school settings are more geared towards learning styles of girls.
  • We don’t want the passion for learning to be squelched by school which was the case for both of us.
  • We like the flexibility that homeschooling offers. No worrying about getting out of the house on time every morning, no carpool lines and no dealing with makeup work for absences.
  • And, I really like spending time with my children and look forward to teaching and learning alongside them daily for years to come!

To us, there are numerous benefits in homeschooling.

Paxton isn’t even 3 yet and we’re not officially homeschooling but the reality is we’ve been homeschooling all along.

Babies are born ready to learn. Both of our boys are like sponges so we’ve read to them, talked to them, exposed them to different genres of music and believe in following their interests.

Little Drummer

At 2.5, Paxton loves music. He received his first guitar and drum with mini drumsticks at 20 months. He adores the worship leaders at church, he even knows the guitars they play! He loves going to music stores {he’ll pick a guitar store over a toy store!} At the age of two, he was creating his own drum set with his toy drum and metal buckets. A few months after turning two, he had his own mini drum kit. And, it’s played with all the time.

Right now, we’re following an unschooling approach by fostering his love for music and instruments. He has a drum kit, an acoustic guitar and a Paper Jamz guitar with an amp. John David takes him to local guitar/music stores to expose him to different instruments and we listen to a lot of music. He is soaking up knowledge about music due to his interest in it.

And, we’re excited about following this same approach with Weston as his little personality is emerging more and more!

That’s a summary of why we’re choosing to homeschool. We simply think it’s the best fit for our family.

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Related Posts: Choosing Preschool Curriculum

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responses to “Choosing to Homeschool” 15

  1. "we’re not officially homeschooling but the reality is we’ve been homeschooling all along."
    I say this all the time about homeschool! We already are!

    Great post on why you want to homeschool. I always have a hard time getting my thoughts down on paper about why we'll be homeschooling, but you say it so clearly.

    I love that you focus Paxton's attention on music. It's obvious he has a love for it and y'all seem to be doing a great job exposing him to different types of music and instruments.

    Nyla loves to help me cook and read so we do a lot of that in our home. Right now the toy rotation I have out are her cooking tools, food and kitchenette. She also loves to help with chores so she helps clear the table, unload the dishwasher, sweep and take out the garbage. It's never too early to start "doing" chores, although she thinks its a game. 🙂

    1. It took me a while to write out these reasons (and there are many more too!) And I think real life activities are so important and when they're little they sure do love to help! One of Weston's favorite toys right now is his toddler sized broom…whenever I'm sweeping he goes and finds his. It does take a little extra effort to include them but I'm hoping in a few years they'll both be big helpers because they're learning to do chores. And, I'm pretty sure Nyla will be cooking yummy lunches and dinners by age 6 or 7! 🙂

  2. I agree with nearly everything in this post! I too wish we could homeschool but the reality is, for us, it's just not in the cards right now. Between us both working full-time and Amelia's speech needs, I know the elementary school is the right place…for now!

    I found in school that my interests were, as you said, squelched. I was always being pulled in so many different directions that I never really felt like I could focus on one or two passions. I was in so many extra-curriculars but never fully devoted to one. Well, I was fully devoted to orchestra until the last few years of school! Jason always says we're going to be soooo busy shuttling kids to and from things as they get older and that freaks me out. That's how his family was and I refuse to let this happen to us! I want family time, I was to savor that family time and not just rush through life! I suppose I have a few years to continue to plant this simplicity seed in his mind and see where it takes us 🙂 It's been working in other areas – like possessions. He comes from a long line of, in my opinion extreme, pack-rats but slowly he and I are meeting in the middle when it comes to 'stuff.' Compromise is working for us but it's not always easy 🙂

    Have a great rest of the week!

    1. I definitely don't think homeschooling is superior to other schooling, every individual family has to choose what is best for their children! My sister had speech issues and was helped so much by the public school system (my parents didn't know what to do to help!). I think public schools are great too, I have wonderful memories of school, especially elementary school. As far as the busyness goes, choose just one or two activities that the kids love so you're not running all over town and feel like you live in your vehicle! Even though we're homeschooling and will have more 'free time' than public schooling families, we still plan to limit the extracurriculars so we can still live a fairly simple life!

  3. I think your decision to homeschool is great! Hopefully you won't have to answer ANY intrusive questions about your choice. Though we're not homeschooling, (our school system in Manhattan is actually amazing – not so much for the rest of NYC though) I support homeschoolers 100%. I think you will make a great teacher to your boys. I love this modern trend of young women like us choosing to be stay at home mothers and for some, homeschoolers.

    1. Thank you for these words! It's wonderful when mothers support each other in their choices. I think public school is a wonderful option for many families, especially if you live in a great school district!

  4. Rachel, Great article! School decision is really just another parenting choice, and each family must decide what is best for their children. When the babies are born, new parents are just bambarded with parenting decsions: breast or bottle, cloth or disposable, when to introduce foods, sleeping arrangements, etc, etc. And school is another such decision.

    As a home school mama, with the end of my career (as a home school mom) I have treasured my time teaching all my kids. And the benefits are huge! I was there during all those hard times of learning- sounding out words while learning to read- quite painful for both mom and child, but I was also there for those moments of victory too!

    1. You're so right, it is a parenting choice (and in many ways, a lifestyle choice!) I love hearing the 'success' stories of veteran homeschool mamas (like you!) And, thank you again for your encouragement to a new homeschooling mama. What you told me about preschool and curriculum really has helped me to relax, enjoy these little years and follow their interests!

  5. Being involved in the Natural Parenting community, I know a lot of families who homeschool. It's such a beautiful thing, being so intimately involved in your child's education! ____I think the important point for anyone (homeschooling or not) to take away from this is that parents need to "homeschool" to a certain degree, whether their child attends school or not. We can't expect all learning to occur in the classroom, and we all should be filling our children's days with fun, enriching activities. (I'm not talking about signing them up for a bunch of classes, though. Just great family activities.) ____Sailing has done more to educate my daughter than all of the school and therapy she receives.

  6. I follow your posts from England so things might be different here. my baby is 3 and a half months old now so a bit soon for school. but never too early to start thinking and exploring options! what do you home schoolers do over there for getting your kids to socialise with other kids outside the family? (sorry for bad typing, trying to breast feed squirming baby whilst typing!)

    1. Our children are around other kids their age at church. I also attend a Mom's Group once a week where they go to childcare with their peers. Paxton loves seeing his friends there. We have play dates with other kids too. As they get older, we will probably choose an extracurricular activity like soccer, baseball, theater, etc. for them to be involved in and to have regular interaction with children their age.

  7. Congrats on your decision to homeschool. Your boys are thriving and you and your husband are obviously doing a great job. It's amazing how any type of school decision for children is under scrutiny with many. In this day and age and with so many choices in how we can be educated, it boggles my mind how some women, no matter what method they choose for educating their children, will be criticized by some. We as parents know our children the best. When I chose private school for mine, I was surprised at some of the backlash from family and friends. Before all of my children are grown, we may possibly wind up doing all three- private school, public school, and homeschooling. Good luck on your wonderful journey!

    1. I agree, there will be comments and judgement no matter your schooling choice! We are just doing what is best for our family and I know you're doing the best for yours. I have no judgement or feelings of superiority towards those to choose public or private school!

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