Why We STILL Homeschool

Why We Still Homeschool Even After Life Changes

We have been homeschooling since my oldest son was in PreK.  In just a few weeks we will begin our 10th year with an 8th grader, 4th grader and 1st grader! For those of you who don’t know my background, it is important to know a few things about me before reading this.  I was a public school teacher and big believer in group education. I had always planned to send my children to public school and never dreamed of homeschooling until God made it clear to our family. I was never really for or against homeschooling, just didn’t have any thought about it at all.  I didn’t know any homeschoolers and certainly didn’t plan to be one. Funny how God works.

Years ago I shared a post called “Never Planned to Homeschool” which outlined our main reasons for choosing to homeschool.  If you jump over there and read that list, you’ll see that many of those reasons were specific to our season of life.  In the past year, our life has changed and our reasons for homeschooling are a bit different now.  Some are exactly the same, but a few are very different.

I wanted to share a bit of our reasons for choosing to homeschool still, even though our life circumstances have changed.

In the former list, our first 3 reasons were tied to where we lived, our missionary lifestyle and my husband’s work hours.  Those three things have all changed and when we moved we never considered NOT homeschooling and I bet many of you may wonder why. Actually some of you have emailed me to ask!  

Our Current Season of Life

Last winter we moved from the northeast, to the southeast.  We moved because of a calling my husband felt to further his education.  He is in seminary, getting his master’s degree in Christian counseling.  This is a minimum 3 year degree and the school he is attending is the main reason we moved.  We lead a very different lifestyle down here due to our move.  He is home most of the day, and homeschools the kids along with me.  I am the main teacher but there are a few subjects he leads for each of our children {which is nice!}.

We live near decent schools, both public and affordable private. We are also no longer living the busy and very full time missionary life. This is a huge change for us after over ten years.  We have no idea what God will bring after my husband finishes school, but for now we are here.

We now live in a location where the public schools are fine, we aren’t missionaries anymore, and my husband is a full time graduate student who is home most of the day {doing schoolwork}.  So why would we still homeschool if 3 out of our original 5 reasons are now nonexistent?  Obviously we have chosen to continue homeschooling, even after these major life changes.  Below you can read why!   

Why Still Homeschool?

We love the lifestyle!  Obviously, the discussion came back up again once we decided we were moving.  Not so much between us, but mostly from others asking us if we would still homeschool when we moved.  For us the answer was always yes, with no hesitation, at all. The core reason ~ we love the overall homeschooling lifestyle. It fits our family, fits our personalities, fits our goals as parents. There was no need to even consider changing when we were all happy. We all like the lower stress mornings, being together throughout the day, having freedom to adjust our school schedule, the list goes on and on.

Who is influencing our kids? We want to be the ones influencing our children on a daily basis for so many hours a day.  Back in my teaching days I knew many wonderful teachers, but I also knew many I would not want my children spending hours and hours per day with. We do not take the “shelter our kids” approach, but are thankful for the greater opportunity to better choose and have say in who is spending many influential hours per day with our children. This includes both adults and other children.  Our kids are very well “socialized” and I don’t believe the traditional group education even provides for the socialization necessary these days.  I am not saying group educated kids aren’t properly socialized, just saying that homeschooled kids {on average} aren’t different simply because of their educational lifestyle! It depends on individual circumstances and people, not a model of education. MANY people ask if we are concerned about socialization and the answer is not at all!

We have the ability to adapt to our children! This continues to be a driving reason for us. Our oldest child is a more traditional student and would probably do just fine in a group education model.  Our middle son and youngest daughter – not so much.  I wrote a post about our middle son, who is now 9, and if you glance at that post I bet you can conclude why he wouldn’t fit well in a group education model.  It has taken me years to adjust to his learning needs and it has been both a challenge and a joy.  He is a very intelligent child, but I have to meet him where he’s at, honor who he is, and how he learns. Having been a teacher, I know there are very few teachers who can do this, especially in a group setting.  The way our schools are run now, it is almost impossible for even the best teacher to truly adapt to the needs of each student. It breaks my heart to see so many fabulous kids falling through the cracks, even in the hands of excellent teachers – all because the system is flawed.  I am not saying I have the answers, just saying I don’t want my child to fall through those cracks.

Our children have a say and they all choose to be homeschooled!  Our oldest {currently 13} obviously has the strongest opinion and is the one we discuss options with the most.  This year we did intensely discuss his schooling options now that we have moved. For a slight moment he considered going to school, but that quickly changed.  Although we are the final decision makers, we do take into account the way each child feels and what would be best for each of them. We will continue to do this and trust that as God leads we will make decisions on a year by year, kid by kid basis. It is our plan to homeschool through the end for all three kids, but we have learned that God sometimes changes our great plans!

Competitive gymnastics and homeschooling are a great fit!  Our 9 year old is a competitive gymnast who is in love with the sport and has very high goals.  While this isn’t a driving reason for choosing to homeschool, homeschooling sure helps with this!  He is free to adjust his school schedule with us and get more hours in the gym without sacrificing family time or “be a kid” time. The fact that God led us on the homeschooling path before he led us down the gymnastics path has been a blessing.  Krash is now on a predominantly homeschooled team and it is such a gift.  We travel with him for a few months out of the year and homeschooling really helps with this also!

It just works for us and we like it! Did I mention we like it? We like the freedom to get up a bit later, spend loads of time together, travel during the off seasons, and take a break when we feel the need.  We like choosing curriculum for each of our children {see our 1st, 4th, and 8th grade choices}, adapting as the year goes along, and helping them when they need it.

It is NOT always easy and many days are a total struggle, but the big picture is good. I like these people. Even though they cause me the greatest stress most days, I want nothing more than to be with them as much as possible during these years. I used to think I could never homeschool {not patient enough, not educated enough, not “good” enough} and guess what? I am not enough of any of those things but GOD is enough!

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