Before Peter Pan and I had children, we decided we would homeschool. We used to go to College Ministry night, and the hosts were amazing parents that homeschooled their kids. Their children were awesome! They were smart, polite, funny, and outgoing. We would go over and help their mom while she homeschooled, and we loved how the kids got to all be together and how their mom got to teach them. As soon as Jasmine was born, I knew I could never let her go. We did preschool for a year when she was two, and it was the worst year of my life. The school was amazing, but I just could not stand not being with her. I was at the school every second that I was not in class. I was there so often that they eventually hired me as a substitute! As soon as we were able, Jasmine was back home with me, and we were much happier as a family. Here are a few reasons why we decided to homeschool:
1. We love being around our children. I want to spend every second with them because I know that in 18 short years, they will be on their own. I will only have this time with them once, and sending them away for 8 hours a day just seems impossible.
2. We do not have to side step our religious beliefs. Prayer does not just happen once or twice a year around a flagpole. God is the center of our day, and we pray often about anything that is bothering us. I do teach the theories children learn in school, but we can talk about how our beliefs affect what we learn.
3. I get to introduce my children to different people and places on a continual basis. I am often asked about how my kids will be socialized if we teach them at home. I found a great quote from the blog Terri’s Take: “Social interactions in age-integrated settings are more appropriate and effective in developing socially adept adults than peer-driven age-segregated social groups. As a parent, I can find better social situations for my child than the school playground, classroom or bathroom/locker room.” My kids know how to talk to adults, babies, and children their age. Jasmine will ask anyone we meet a thousand questions and hold a conversation with them. She gets to learn about different people and their jobs often. She also gets to go on “field trips” more than a few times a year. We go out often on various adventures where we learn new things and meet new people.
4. I plan the lessons – Right down to the curriculum we use, the subjects we learn, and the rate at which we complete lessons. I get to adjust everything to fit our family’s needs. When Jasmine easily picks up certain skills, we can move on to the next task. If she is having trouble with a topic, I can easily slow down and work with her until she gets it right and understands it. We never move too fast or too slow because we work at the rate the children can succeed at. I also can answer their million questions – Young children ask questions…a lot! Jasmine always has a question for me, no matter the subject we are doing. I like being able to stop and answer her questions (or look up the answer if I do not know it…happens more often than I ever thought). If she were in a class with 20 other students, she would not get all of her questions answered. I love that she is inquisitive and we often learn much more because of her questions. Jasmine gets the best education because I am the best teacher for her (and no, I do NOT know everything; but I do know her faults and strengths more than anyone else could) and because we move at her speed.
5. We do not have to follow a strict schedule. Peter Pan often works late, but I want our kids to spend time with him. Jasmine often stays up late so that her and daddy can see eachother and talk about their days. Her bedtime (and wake-up time) are later than the average 4-year-olds, so trying to wake her up earlier than 9-9:30a is not fun. I would hate for her to only see her dad on his days off. In fact, one of his days off is during the week, so she would really only see him once a week if she went to school. I also like being able to take an impromptu trip without worrying about makeup work and absences.
These are just a few reasons we decided to homeschool. I do not think that homeschooling works for every family, but it works for us. In fact, both Peter Pan and I went to public school and turned out fine. We did not hate our experience in the school system, but we like the freedom we get from homeschooling. We see homeschooling as one of the biggest blessings our family has. We are all happy with our decision, and look forward to many happy years at home together.