Monday, March 2, 2015

Why I homeschool

Although the calendar says March, the winter doldrums still hold us firmly in their grasp. Snow everywhere, very few days over freezing, and everyday -- school, school, and more school.

Now and then I dream of a "free" day. Rush around like mad for an hour or so and shuttle kids out the door to school. Then, settle into a truly quiet devotional time. A couple hours of cleaning, run some errands, prep an amazing dinner and then warmly greet my children with a plate of fresh home-baked goodies as they return. Seems like such a carefree existence, but I know I'm looking through rose colored glasses.

Then I am reminded of all I would lose in that scenario, and I need to remember the cost so I stay the course.

So, here are the first of literally thousands of reasons why I homeschool:

Academic excellence. No class of 30 students, or even 15, can come close to the one-on-one time that my kids get each day. Specifically tailored to where they are and the pace they learn at. The bar set as high as they can reach, no higher and no lower.

Spiritual excellence. Even a Christian school can have teachers that vary in their theology or their depth of spiritual insight. I don't know every answer, but we dig them out together as needed along with that constant reminder that God's Word is the ultimate authority and has the final say in everything.

Social excellence. A room full of junior highers makes me cringe. Their expressions, their clothing, their topics of conversation, their standards, etc., etc. Is that really the ideal learning environment? My kids see enough of it during a couple hours of youth group to feed our conversations the rest of the week. I'm sure there will be moments of social awkwardness here and there, but overall, they have greater opportunity, adult-mentored not peer-mentored, to gain understanding of social propriety. 

Psychological excellence. Okay, no studies that I know of prove this, but I find this interesting subtlety in the typical homeschool personality. A kind of confidence, maybe at times bordering on naivete, but a free-ness to be whoever they truly are. As they spend their days in a loving home, they have a freedom of expression unknown in a roomful or hallwayful of kids ready to deem them "uncool" or "weird." They'll learn soon enough and a little more gradually that some behaviors are unacceptable to their peers, but in the meantime they stay young a little longer, explore life a little deeper, and enjoy a little more freely.

Familial excellence. I'll be the first to admit that my kids probably fight with each other a little more since they are around each other 24/7. However, at the end of the day we know each other. We talk, text (yes, even while in the same house), laugh, interact, ask, listen, argue, learn, cry, grow, and eat together all day long, pretty much everyday. There is no amount of quality time that can trump the quantity of time that we have together.

I feel better already. A little less hypnotized by that dreamy image of traditional school. And I have just scratched the surface of the many, many reasons that I homeschool.

Why do you homeschool?

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