Why We Homeschool: The Great {Education} Debate

Every Wednesday in the month of August we are exploring The Great {Education} Debate. However, it's not technically a debate...not here, anyway. We are simply learning from families who, for different reasons, have chosen different educational options.

This week, I am so excited to have my lifelong friend Lora from My Blessed Life here to share about their decision to homeschool. If you are considering homeschool for your family, you have come to the right place...Lora has some great resources for you to explore!

education-debateThank you so much, Nancy, for inviting me to share our homeschooling choice with your readers.  I've really been looking forward to this series!

While I often explain to people {in brief} why our family homeschools, I don't think I've ever blogged {in-depth} about it.  It's become so second-nature that I don't think about it a lot. It truly is a lifestyle for us.

To give you a little background, I was homeschooled through 1st and 2nd grades (I skipped kindergarten because it wasn't required in my home state at that time--yes, that's how "old" I am). My parents chose to homeschool because we traveled full-time.  I come from a ministry family and we were in a new place every week, living it up in our Holiday Rambler.

My mom was very involved in the ministry, and being apart as a family just wasn't an option. So while homeschooling was a relatively unheard-of concept in the 70's I was part of the beginning of the movement, even if it was a short stint. I loved it, and, of course, traveling is an education in itself.

When I was going into 3rd grade my parents started pastoring and my dad's travels became more solo ones for a time. I continued the rest of my education in private, Christian schools. I never forgot my wonderful homeschooling experience though.

Fast forward a few years to when my husband I first married. We, of course, weren't quite ready to have kiddos yet, but we certainly knew that we wanted a family.  Some of our good friends--who had already started their family--were just beginning to homeschool. I hadn't thought about homeschooling in years and I was amazed at the changes in the homeschooling community.  There were so many options!  So many styles!  And I was in love with the idea of being with my (then future) children and helping them learn in unique ways tailored to their learning styles.

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Lora and her star pupils

Six years later, the first kiddo came along, followed by the second one two years later.  I was thoroughly immersed in motherhood 24/7! By the time I came out of the fog (metaphorically speaking), my daughter was preschool age. We still felt very strongly about homeschooling. The more we learned, the more we knew it was for us.  However, when all of my daughter's friends began to head off to their respective preschool I began to wonder if maybe she should go to a preschool, too.

I knew nothing about them, so I started researching. The more I researched the more I became convinced that going to preschool a couple of days a week really wasn't what she needed. We were already teaching her many of the things she would learn in preschool, and our calendar was so full (and has continued to be) that the very thought of needing "socialization" was laughable.  And so our homeschool journey "officially" began.

Our choice to homeschool didn't come from an anti-public school mindset, although my public-schooled husband has lots of personal examples of why that isn't our best choice. It didn't come from a well-we-can't-afford-private school mindset either, even though that is not financially an option for us. And we didn't choose homeschooling so that we could live in a bubble and protect our children from everything "bad" in the world, even though we do feel it is our responsibility as parents to protect them and guard them from evil while teaching them about the real world and our role as Christians in it.

Our choice to homeschool really was quite simply a pro-family choice for us. We have strong convictions about laying a firm foundation of faith in our children's hearts. To put it simply, our goal isn't to shelter, our goal is to lay a good foundation.  We have total peace that God has directed us on this path, has given us grace to handle the ups and downs, and that this is the best choice for our children and our family.

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We are starting our 7th year of homeschooling next month (if you count all the way back to preschool). I'll be teaching a 5th grader and a 3rd grader ...whew! That's hard to believe sometimes! Sometimes I'm impressed that I'm still sane after all these years. Believe me when I say that homeschooling is no walk in the park. I want to laugh at anyone who says "Oh, I would never have the patience to homeschool." If patience is a requirement for homeschooling, I am seriously in trouble.

What I do have is God's grace to teach my children. I am fully confident that I am the best person for the job at this time in their lives. It doesn't meant every day is perfect. Rarely do we have a "perfect" day. And there are some very tough days mixed in there. But teaching (and learning as well) alongside your child, rediscovering nature with your child, seeing that "light bulb" go off in their mind when they grasp that new concept, getting hugs all day long ...well, it makes all of the tough days worth it.

I realize homeschooling isn't for everyone. I have friends in all walks of educational life: public, private, charter ...you name it. All of these parents want the best for their children and are making the decisions they feel are best for their families. I also realize that God may have a different plan for our family in the future and we are committed to following His plan. Right now we know His plan is for our children to be at home.

If homeschooling is something you are considering for your family, I would encourage you to begin with research. The three homeschooling books that have most shaped our homeschool and educational philosophy are Educating the Wholehearted Child, The Well-Trained Mind, and A Charlotte Mason Companion.

Secondly, talk with other homeschool moms.  They are a wealth of information!  I'm continually picking other moms' brains--for me the research never ends.  If you don't know another homeschool mom, start by checking out some good forums such as The Homeschool Lounge.

Finally, if you do choose to homeschool, I highly recommend getting involved with a local homeschool group if possible. I have homeschooled with, and without, a support group. I don't advise going it solo if you can help it.

It's always a joy to be here at There Is Grace~thank you so much for allowing me to share!

Blessings,  Lora

Do you have questions about homeschooling? Leave a comment for Lora below or on her Facebook page. Or drop in to see her over at My Blessed Life (and check out her fabulous Learning Room while you're there!) I know she would love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Join us next Wednesday when Tammy at Skipper Clan shares her experiences with multiple educational choices! You don't want to miss it...or any of The Great {Education} Debate series: Enter your e-mail address in the box to the right, and you’ll get new posts delivered straight to your inbox!

Read the rest of the series!
Why We Chose Public School
Why You Will Never Find the Perfect School Option
Why Christian School?

 

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Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

15 thoughts on “Why We Homeschool: The Great {Education} Debate

  1. Great thoughts! We chose to homeschool for pro-family reasons and because the schools in our community were not acceptable to us. I always love hearing other's reasons for homeschooling or not. God bless!

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday!
    Jenifer recently posted...Open HandsMy Profile

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  2. What a great post! I love hearing about how people come to the decision to homeschool. My daughter attends preschool, but will be going to school next year. Though I am not firm on the decision yet, I do not think she will be homeschooled. I was homeschooled, but I'm not sure it would be the best decision for her for a number of reasons. I love posts that reflect that you don't have to for or against public or homeschooling, but really find what works for you, your family and your kids! Great post!
    Brittney recently posted...Returning to BloggingMy Profile

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  3. We started homeschooling preschool 18 years ago with our oldest... we realized quickly that a child who starts reading at 2, doing math at 2-1/2 and has read The Hobbit by age 5 does not fit in to your "average" school. Follow her up with a brother with special needs and we were set... we continued homeschooling through the years as the children kept coming...

    Then we moved to Idaho 3 years ago and tried putting the kids in the tiny public school in our rural area. It was ... okay... but it just wasn't the same. With Common Core coming this year, it cinched in my mind that it was time to go back to homeschooling.

    So, we are starting again... this time with a 6th grader, a 4th grader, a 2nd grader and a Pre-K. Our oldest is now grown and married. Our older boys will stay in high school this year... the oldest only has his senior year left and our 14 year old requested. We will be watching carefully to see if he continues there or if we pull him home as well. Oh, and baby #8 will make his appearance in January, so I think the 15 years we have homeschooled so far will definitely be stretching for another 18 years or so!
    Elisabeth recently posted...Butterscotch Melt In Your Mouth Muffins – Tasty Tuesdays #2My Profile

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂
    Pro-Family - what a wonderful way to explain your choice for homeschooling. The same applies to our family. We've been at this homeschooling going on 23 years now.
    Have a fabulous school year!
    Linda recently posted...How To Make a Frilly ScarfMy Profile

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