My Reasons For Embracing An Out-Of-The-Box Homeschool Education

I recently submitted this article as a commentary in the Delaware State News, but with our homeschool year just underway, I thought I’d share it here as well for you mamas who may be contemplating or questioning this school option. For the original article, please visit http://delawarestatenews.net/opinion/commentary-my-reasons-for-embracing-an-out-of-the-box-homeschool-education/.

Family Photo copyAfter fifteen years of homeschooling, I still find it difficult to wrap up the “whys” in the 30-second sound bite people are often looking for. My reasons are so many and so evolving that no answer-in-a-nutshell exists. Still, I am aware that many people are curious about homeschooling, while others are contemplating this venture, and still others would rather pluck their fingernails out one by one than take on this counter-culture form of education.

I almost don’t remember when homeschooling was foreign and when I believed I was disqualified because I wasn’t “patient enough” or “organized enough”. But with two children who have graduated, I’m relieved to say that despite my fears of messing up my kiddos for life, they are happy, competent adults who both plan to homeschool their own children some day.

However, with an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old, I’m far from finished. While I do have a short list of reasons to quit homeschooling, which include the fact that I’m still not patient enough or organized enough, my list of reasons to homeschool continues to grow.

The Family Dynamic and Focus on Relationships

I have a passion for my family, and homeschooling lets me savor the moments with them. Instead of whisking my children off to school and coming home to a chaotic night of dinner and baths and homework, we all get to slow down and enjoy each other. After years of life together, we still like each other, stand with each other, and feel blessed by each other.

The Socialization

This is definitely the concern I hear most and once had. However, I now know that if you can put siblings in a room or a house or a yard together every day and they all live to tell about it, that’s socialization at its best. Really though, despite fears of raising kids who couldn’t look adults in the eye or play kickball with the neighbor kids, I have found that because my children join me on nursing home visits, trips to the grocery store, hospitals to see newborns, as well as take part in sports, co-ops, church events, and park outings my children mix well in any gathering. It didn’t take me long to realize the “unsocialization” fear is unfounded and my oldest children have lifelong friendships with age-mates and adults alike.

The Freedom

This is huge! As a homeschool mom, I have the freedom to choose our curriculum and our schedule. We are free to travel, pursue individual passions, and learn whatever interests us. My children are free to master a skill before moving on or skip through easier topics. I may not be as free to chat on the phone or lounge with a cup of coffee, but I am free to read to my children all day when it rains or shelve the books for a walk in the park on a sunny day.ID-100203595

The Education

I may not know Calculus, but that doesn’t mean my children can’t learn it. There are curriculum options to suit every learning style, such as traditional texts, video and online learning, and even satellite classrooms, so opportunities for learning are limitless.

Besides academic education, my husband and I have the advantage of directing our children’s moral education, which ensures consistency and provides a sense of security. Our children will one day have to make their own choices, but we want those choices rooted in our value system.

The Opportunity to Work

It takes effort to run a full house and a family business. My children learn that work is part of daily life. This instills competence and subsequently confidence. We are a team and depend upon each one doing his part, so our children learn not only the value of work, but also that they are a valuable part of our work.

 

Even after all these years, there are times still that homeschooling overwhelms me and doubts wash over me. Did we cover enough material? Am I pushing them too hard or not enough? But one thing I am certain of; this journey has taken my family down invaluable roads. For us, for now, it is not just a choice, but the best choice.

 

2 thoughts on “My Reasons For Embracing An Out-Of-The-Box Homeschool Education

  1. Hi Rita,

    I’m contemplating homeschooling my 8 year old,who was diagnosed with ADHD last year, and my 4 year old. Both boys are struggling with just being kids in school. My husband travels and is gone for a year sometimes. We also have a newborn daughter. Life’s pretty hectic right with my husband gone. We live in Alabama but he works in Iowa? How can I homeschool our kids if I were to temporarily relocate to Iowa?

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    • Wow, Ariel, you sure do have your hands full :-)! I love that you are considering homeschool for so many reasons, but probably the biggest is because I know it does wonders for strugglers. I have many friends who were in your shoes and homeschooled simply because they felt they had no other option only to find it was the best choice they could have made. It’s amazing what a dose of one-one-one, eye-to-eye time can do. It won’t be perfect, and you will be certain you are messing up every single day, but I promise you that in the long run, no one is more in tune to your children’s needs than you are. As for specifics, please feel free to contact me personally at clucasclan@yahoo.com because I could point you to some great resources specific to your situation. But to answer the immediate question of relocation, that would just depend upon residency. You are responsible to know the regulations of and answer to the state you are a resident of. You can find those typically on the state’s DOA site, but a little google search should pan out. I hope that helps. Best wishes Ariel.

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