When my husband and I began having children we never imagined we would do homeschooling. We both attended public school and lived to tell of it all.
I always imagined my kids going to the neighborhood school. And in fact they did. My oldest son was very advanced academically, and was mature for boys his age. He tested in early for kindergarten as his birthday missed the cut off. “He will always be the youngest and smallest.” They said. “He might be advanced now, but he could fall behind later on.” They warned. One week after turning five, he began kindergarten. And “they” have been wrong so far. He has always excelled in everything he does.
My other children have done decent in public and private school as well. But after watching my kids struggle at times, deal with bullies, and watching their behavior change for the worst, I felt a nudge in my spirit that I knew it was time. Time to bring them home to be with me. Time to educate, spend more quality time together, nurture their love of learning, and nurture their walk in The Lord.
We are currently in our second solid year of homeschooling. My oldest has begun attending a small Christian school that fosters our beliefs. I have to admit I’ve seen angry, hostile children who were often frustrated by our rigid schedule of school, homework, extra curriculars, chores and just every day life, become calmer happier and less stressed. We spend our school days doing school work in a relaxed environment of their choosing. At any given time we work outside in the back yard, kitchen table, giant mushroom chair, living room floor, and one time my oldest set up a work space in a bathroom just so he could call it his own. They have more time for extra-curriculars because we don’t do homework. They have more time for play because they get their work done earlier than a typical school schedule requires. They get to be kids for a while longer.
We chose homeschool because my heart was to see them grow and learn at their own pace and in a less stressful environment. My heart was to educate them and guide them spiritually free of hostile opinions. The world is a tough place. And they will be grown and out there before I know it. I’m hopeful that it will be a better place to live because I’ve invested into my kids a little more than normal.
Editor’s Note:This piece was written as part of an ongoing conversation nationwide leading up to National School Choice Week — January 26 – February 1, 2014. All schooling options, including homeschooling, private schooling, public magnet and charter schooling and traditional public schooling, are celebrated that week through independently-planned events. To read more opinions on the topic from parents, head to Twitter and search the hashtag #schoolchoiceworks.
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