Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why I Homeschool.....a series

in an effort to psych myself up for the coming year, I am embarking on a little therapy project to remember why I homeschool. I figured you won't mind coming along on the journey, and if you do...there's a huge blogroll on the lefthand side.....thanks for checking in....

"Wow, you homeschool? I could never do that. That takes a HUGE commitment."I've heard it a hundred times if I've heard it once (and I have). What I want to reply is "Wow, you send your kids to school. I could never do that. That takes a HUGE commitment." I don't say that. But it does take a huge commitment. I don't think people realize how huge.

It requires that five days a week, you wake up really early and get your kids up and ready for school. Then you have to take them there (unless there's a bus). You have to make yourself available when they get out of school or arrange for after-school care. Then your evenings consist of homework, baths, and bedtimes.

Since I did go to school myself, and because I know many parents who send their kids to school, I happen to know that for many families, getting kids up in the morning, getting them to school, homework, baths, and early bedtimes are often not pleasant experiences (I get exhausted just thinking about it). And that is five days out of your seven day week! After all of that battle, your kids' most pleasant time of the day is the only time you don't get to be with them!

It bothers me that when my child turns five, a force completely outside of myself takes complete control of MY entire day, and not only dictates where and what my child does, but what I do also...to some extent for the next twelve years. Now that's what I call sacrifice!

That's doesn't mean that our lives are completely oblivious to structure. We have wake up times, chores, bedtimes, school time. But WE decide what works best for OUR family. We can wake up at 9:00 or even later, if we so choose, and its okay. When you homeschool, what takes a school six hours often takes us just a few hours. There is no time devoted to crowd control, grading, etc. We can also choose to go as shallow or as deep into a lesson as we want. If there is a problem understanding, then my kids don't get left behind and we don't spend endless evenings trying to 'get it.' Either I can work on it as long as we need to before we move on, or I can decide to conquer it at a later date. There usually is no homework, because by doing the lesson with my children, I know whether or not they understand. If my husband works late, then we can make an exception and let the kids stay up to see Daddy...and then wake up later the next day. We also only "do school" three days a week. Wednesday is choir, library, and errand day (all full of educational value, of course! ahem). Friday is Dad's day off and devoted to fun and relaxation (possibly field trip).

This strengthens the family instead of separating it out. We are together for our days, and over all, that is a pleasant thing. Many of the battles that a school family undergoes every day are averted (we do have a few though). All in all, it is a truly peaceful existence.

go to part 2

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Marie N. said...

The most immediate reason I'm thankful for right now is -- I can start the day in pajamas and shower before lunch. I've cought a miserable cold, but it is not holding us back because I start school after Labor Day.

And during the school year my 4th grader gets be bed around 10 p.m. on Wednesdays due to German language school in the evenings. I love that we can move back the start time of our day by an hour every Thursday.

Devona said...

I'm still 3 or 4 years out of "formal" homeschooling, but I'm going to enjoy reading this, since I'm commited to it and want to know all the reasons why it's worthwhile.

I have my guesses, but it's always good to hear some "psych-you-up" info from those in the trenches.

Presbytera said...

When we started homeschooling our son in the 7th grade, I never realized how much of our like centered on school. Once September came, our life was not our own. Wake-up time, food shopping, home in the afternoon, supper time, bed time. Time, time time -- all regulated by the school. Homeschooling gave us the freedom to let FAMILY be at the center of our life.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

As I said on my blog, my daughter went to school through second grade, so I know exactly what you're saying! I also had the matter of clothes, especially after the school went to uniforms. Did my daughter have a clean uniform and socks for the morning? Then we'd have the homework struggle every night after school. Do it before dinner, and she didn't have enough "wind-down time." Do it after dinner, and she would get too tired. It's a lot of work!

Annette said...

it's one of the things that appeals to me about homeschooling is that my hubbie's day off, can still be hubby's day off. and it's more flexible and ... well...ad naseum. I also like the idea that if I want to do year round schooling... you know...20 days on, 10 days off, I can do that too! :)