Why Homeschool?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


When we are asked about Homeschooling, I rarely know how to respond in the 'nutshell' people are looking for.  It seems searching for the perfect sound-bite to appease the begging question "why?" is just too difficult.  The reasons "why" are far too many and too complex to sum up in a 2 minute response.  But, because so many parents ask, and so many more are curiously considering the option of Home Education for their own family, I want to come up with the best response I could humbly offer.


Here is my work-in-progress list, but keep in mind, every day I learn more reasons why home education is so wonderful!



Why Home Education? 



1. Because we feel called to teach our children at home. 

A huge part of why we choose to educate our children at home is because we believe it is what God would want for our lives.  A lot of people call people like me 'religious'.  I'm not.  I'm a follower of Christ.  His love is a free gift of grace.  I love God, and I want to follow Him.

Biblically, as parents, it is our responsibility to be our children's primary educator.  (If you're looking for a great book about Christian home education, please, consider reading Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson.) 

God created the sanctity of the family unit, and discipleship was to occur naturally and daily within that unit. 


We are to raise them up in our loving arms and also in our protection and guidance.  We are to teach them to love God and love others and show them our faith as we walk in it every day.

We also believe God created the world and made everything in it and created us for His purposes and His glory.  We try to infuse aspects of God's word and truth into everything we learn, every subject, every outing, every moment.  The centre, the focal-point of all creation is Christ, and we desire this perspective as a goal for every day growth just as we're instructed to do biblically.  Home education for us is primarily spiritual with academics placing second.  We're nowhere near achieving this perfectly but we're humbly trying.

I also acknowledge that homeschooling is not every Christian family's journey either by choice or because homeschooling is just not logistically possible.  I want to mention that our family honours and respects the choices all parents make for their own children and we support you in love.

If you are a follower of Christ wondering what path to choose for your children, I would simply encourage you to boldly seek God and ask for His guidance.  If you feel the Lord tugging on your heart with regards to homeschooling - pray!


2. Because we believe in family togetherness not peer reliance. 


 Families who learn together and spend every day growing with each other are going to be close-knit, period.  It's not that schooled kids can't have close relationships within their families, but parents will have to fight harder to make it happen.  They are competing with the bond children are forced to make with their peers, in their parent's daily absence while they are at school.

Peer dependence is a huge part of growing up.  Peer pressure, kids relying more on their friends than their family - it all goes with children spending excessive amounts of time fending for themselves with peers in tow.  It surprises me how amazed so many parents are when their schooled children do not value their opinion, but rather, look to their friends for what they think.  Of course they do!  They spend more time with their friends and have formed trusting bonds with them out of necessity.  Far more hours are spent with peers, so why wouldn't kids look to them as a sort of 'family'?



As parents, when we send our children and teens to school daily, we remove ourselves completely from their lives for the majority of the day.

The child, who now doesn't have their parent to look to, looks to those they are surrounded by for cues as to how to live, how to behave, how to 'socialize'.  Quite frankly, I am not comfortable handing my kids over to their peers and hoping they do a good job at influencing them for the majority of their days.





3. Because we don't want to miss 'it'.  

It, is everything!  Our children are the most precious gift in our lives.  They are only young for such a short time.  The moments with them are precious, fleeting, too few.  I've lost people in my life suddenly and far too soon.  I've watched them leave this earth.  I know life is fragile and sacred - each day a gift.  I am not willing to miss every day, all day with our children - that time is just too precious to me.  If they leave this earth too soon, or, even if they grow up naturally, still, the time is too short to give them away for the majority of their week.  No way.    
 
  

Some people who've heard me speak this way, say things like, "Wow, you're living in fear!".  No.  I'm living in reality.  Life is no guarantee.  God gives breath and He takes it away.  No one knows the time or the place our children will leave us.  I want to embrace every moment I can with these gifts...

Thinking of life as fragile puts things into great perspective. 


When I hug my children at night, I try to hug them with the passion and love that reflects my thankfulness for their daily existence.  Daily.  When they are driving me crazy, I can center myself with the realization that they are a gift and I'm BLESSED to be their Mom.  I can calm myself by reminding myself that although the days can be challenging, and a lot of sacrifice is required to Homeschool - I wouldn't miss it for the world.  I wouldn't miss being part of their every day, all day.  Being the primary person they look to and see while they grow and learn.




4. Because we believe in giving our children the best education possible. 

Kids are all different, period. I don't believe children learn best in 'schools'. I've had so many conversations with parents who do not agree with Homeschooling mostly because they believe teachers are more qualified to 'educate' my children.  I couldn't disagree more. 

I respect teachers very much, but I don't think they can educate my children more effectively - it doesn't matter how much 'education' they have behind them.  In our home, every child has a one-on-one, individualized education plan with curriculum that is created specifically for them based on their interests and learning styles.  I am with them every day, all day.  I am always re-evaluating, re-assessing, learning, growing.  They have the ability to choose what they would like to learn, rather than simply having to follow a school-based curriculum.



They are actively involved in every learning experience, many happening outside the home in real-life settings.  We follow our hearts and our minds and learn about things that interest us.  Sure, we can spend a week at a time going on journeys back to the Middle Ages, because our son is suddenly enthralled with Knights.  We can spend an entire day building toad habitats and exploring their anatomy first-hand.  The ability to not follow a schedule, if we so choose, is an open window to the world God gave us.  The ability to allow our children to be the authors of their own education is priceless. 

As home educators, we have the ability to study world history in first grade.  To follow Charlotte Mason's teaching that all children are beautifully gifted beings capable of so much more than most adults accept.  We study art, poetry, culture, language, famous painters, scholars... and this is learning at a Kindergarten to third grade.

We also want to keep our children free from a system of busy work, tests, grades and teacher-based 'evaluation'... instead gauging real learning by the fruit of their growth and understanding.

When they achieve, they are embraced and celebrated on an intimate level.  When they struggle, they have the loving arms and eyes of an encouraging Mom who cares more about them than anything.



  

5.  Because we believe in focusing on real life preparation. 

I'll go ahead and say it - I don't believe "school" is the best training ground for real life.  I don't believe in separating children from their families and every day community life.  I don't believe in putting them behind walls in big huge buildings all day, every day.  I don't believe in learning while sitting in desks inside rooms.  I don't believe in putting 20-30 kids who are all the same age in a room together and forcing them to learn the same things, at the same pace.






What I do believe in, is encouraging children to be part of their community on a daily basis.  I believe children belong in their family unit primarily, with friends playing a much smaller role in their life.  I believe in interaction between kids and people of all ages, not just those within a year of their chronological age. I believe in learning from daily experiences and I believe children belong outdoors.  I believe children learn best through experiences and daily life with their family.

When we pull kids away and put them in another place and label it the 'place of learning', we suggest that 'learning' only happens in school, with a teacher telling you what to learn.  







6. Because we believe in nurturing individual gifts and talents and interests. 


We firmly believe all people are given gifts and talents, by God, that should be nurtured and encouraged.  Our children all have their own individual gifts that could develop into their unique way to serve others, bless people, earn a living, etc.  When children are in school, their opportunity and time to develop their gifts is very limited.  

After they're done learning within the schedule of the full school day, it's often hard to find time to truly focus on what they're really interested in and talented at.  Homeschoolers are able to cover the basics of the 'school year' often in the morning hours, leaving loads of time to nurture individual interests, hobbies, and gifts.  Whether that be at home or registering for daytime classes or spending time with someone who is a specialist in a specific area... Home Education just offers far more options for a tailored journey.



7. Because we long to live life at a slower pace. 

The majority of the world lives on over-load.  Media over-load, 'to-do' list over-load, extra-curricular over-load, school and homework over-load; a rushed, harried frenzy of daily existence.  I see it everywhere we go.  I'm used to the feeling of people constantly being on our heals, oblivious to the idea that maybe we don't need to rush.  

Homeschooling gives freedom. 

Our days have purpose, sure - we have tasks that need completing and lessons need doing and projects waiting to be accomplished, but, we also have a lot of flexibility.  Nothing is ever an emergency.  We don't have to be anywhere, usually, at any given 'time'.  I don't have to worry about pulling along three exploring kids.  At this tender age, life is to be savoured, enjoyed - not hurried.  It will pass quickly enough!  I love the pace we can go when we live by our own schedule and rules, it's liberating and peace-inducing.






8. Because we believe in fostering real, deep-rooted self-assurance and independence. 

Kids who homeschool have been proven to be more confident, self-assured, and comfortable in their own skin.  They are able to cope better in a wide range of social settings, especially with adults.  They are far less influenced by peer pressure.  They have a firmer grip on their purpose in life and the initiative to pursue their goals.  Because they are nurtured within a solid family unit while they're developing, children develop independence at their own pace.  Rather than forcing children into an isolated "independent" situation like pre-school or Junior Kindergarten at the precious age of 3 (or younger for day-care children), kids develop a solid foundation on which to build true independence fostered in natural time.

Our family has taken our share of grief from well-meaning parents and teachers who scoffed at the idea that I was not willing to leave my children, if they weren't ready.  Our eldest wasn't ready to be without us (except with close family) until he was five years old.  All of a sudden, he wanted to be in Sunday School on his own.  So, we fostered that independence.  Today, people tell me he is one of the most confident, self-starting, young kids they know.  






We want to live differently and have chosen to stand up (sometimes with a lot of criticism) for what we know is right and healthy for our children. 
Children develop independence at their own pace and with the nurturing love of parents who unconditionally support and nurture them.  The route we've chosen isn't always easy, and we often feel the need to defend our choices to the masses, but, we're comfortable and confident in how we are raising our children and ourselves!




9. Because we believe kids belong outside. 

Every day.  As much as possible.  Wild and free - exploring, learning, discovering.  With their parents engaging with them.  Period.  Call us hippies - it's ok, it wouldn't be the first time.  *wink*










10. Because we want to know what our children are being taught. 

I know this is a touchy subject, but the reality is, if our children were away from me every day, all day, being taught by individuals I barely know, within a system I do not believe in - I'd be pretty on edge.  

There is a lot of material taught in secular schools that completely contradicts our beliefs as Christians.  It's not just Creation vs. Evolution.  We're talking lifestyle choices presented in curriculum, often amoral, books and materials covered that we would never present in the home, and general attitudes projected by teachers in some cases. 

It's not enough to say the school system simply doesn't teach a biblical world view.  In fact, the school system teaches the Enemy's world view.  In the school system, God is dead.  This world evolved into existence, we came from apes, and our lives are nothing but hap-hazard.  The cosmos banged into being and when we gaze upon creation, we have evolution to thank.  Our children are taught they are here by chance with no Maker, no creator God.

We believe in raising our children and teaching them God's Truth.  Also, they are so young and so impressionable and we are incredibly uncomfortable not knowing exactly what they are being told and taught throughout their days.  If we want to raise our children up in the 'ways of the Lord', how can we send them away to be taught content we don't believe in and have no power to control?

It just doesn't make any sense.






Everything here is written in love, coming straight from the heart.    

xo

Cassandra

If you would like to chat with me more about homeschooling, please, email me at cldorman (at) sympatico (dot) ca.  Thanks!  




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Thanks for reading.




50 comments:

  1. I agree with you on so many of your points, probably all of them. The hard part is in explaining our choice to homeschool to our friends who choose not to. How to do that without sounding judgmental. I believe this is right for our family. I hope and trust that our community has given their children's education the same amount of thought and prayer. It comes down to a personal choice, but I know this is right for us.

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  2. Hi Jennifer! I'm totally with you and understand where you're coming from. So often I've considered writing a post JUST about my efforts to not offend people about Homeschooling.... because people are offended SO easily by our decision. Don't you find that? There are two groups who generally feel 'upset' by our family's choices - 1. People who pour judgement on themselves (when it isn't there), 2. People who feel the need to put judgement on you (simply, because you are choosing the narrow path). What I generally do is I don't talk to people about HSing unless they ask. That is most often, as most people just keep their distance about HSing. (Which I respect, as I don't quiz parents about their children's 'school' experience!). I also just try to stick to saying something like, "I really felt this was the right choice for our family, I just love being with my children and want to be close to them as they grow." And leave it at that. Sure, I feel convicted that this is the right choice for my family based on our faith, my view of the school as an institution, the notion that kids are better raised by teachers and peers than by their parents, on and on... but I just don't talk about it. (Unless they read my blog... ha). Unfortunately, a lot of parent don't prayerfully consider their children's educational journey. They just do what is the cultural norm, which is why the notion of home education is so 'weird' to them. Some parents just can't homeschool, some really don't want to, and a ton of other reasons. I just try to focus on encouraging others in their choices, as I find, for some reason people feel judged by my individual choice to homeschool... and I just don't get that! You don't really have to explain your choice either. I mean, not really! No more than a friend 'has' to explain her reasons for putting her children in school. It's our choice as parents how we raise our munchkins. I wish people were more open to alternative forms of education, and I do believe that is happening, slowly! Big hugs... hang in there!!! Cass

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  3. I always just tell people ," we were homeschooled too, so we're used to it." Meaning my husband and I. Then if they want to know more, they ask. If they don't, then they aren't usually offended because it's more of a family culture thing than a "my way is more thoughtful than your way" thing...

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  4. I just found your blog. Great post here!

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  5. Wow! This is a great post! From now on when people ask me this, I'm just going to send them over here, because these are ALL the exact same reasons why we're homeschooling!

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  6. We are considering pulling our kids out of school and homeschooling. This post was helpful. Thank you. Following you now.

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    1. How old where your kids when you pulled them out ? My child is in kindergarten and I have been praying and praying what I should do . Of course I have all the ... I'm not smart enough , I don't have patience .... But this article is all the reasons I want to homeschool .

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  7. I was enjoying lightly reading your post - but then I came to the pictures and started paying much more attention. They really resonate with me. My childhood was very, very much like that; all the field trips, in the backyard or to the science museum, all the incredible books, the games with my sibling, and on and on. I was homeschooled all the way and am now studying music in college. Thanks for the reminder of how much I have to thank God and my parents for - blessings on all of you.

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  8. I love your blog! And I love how you explain your reasons to homeschool. I would love to homeschool as well, but homeschooling is illegal in Germany. Sanctions against homeschooling parents have included fines of thousands of euros, successful legal actions to remove children from the parents' custody, and prison sentences. Kind regards, Beate

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    1. This is so sad, I'm sorry you have to adhere to these kind of rules - completely unfair and senseless. I'm so thankful that we are able to homeschool and never take it for granted. Thank you for reminding me of this. Blessings to you.

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  9. Thanks you for your blog! So inspirational..really. I just began this undertaking with our four youngsters this fall (only ONE week under my belt so far!!). It's nice to have 'met' another person who has given me encouragement for the longhaul :)

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  10. If I could sum up your blog in one word... that is INSPIRING! God is blessing you greatly, and I look upon you with much admiration and inspiration:) Not only on the homeschooling issue, but for how you contribute for Nurture A Child Uganda:) You are a perfect example of what Jesus has called for us to do, and you are a great encouragement for me:)

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    1. Thank you so much. You're the sweetest. Wow... thanks. please, know, I'm really a crazy mess - just a girl God has poured grace on in HEAPS. ;)

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  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post!! It sums up my feelings exactly. My daughter just started Kindergarten in a public school this year and I am not going to lie, I hate it. I have felt God speaking to me for so long to homeschool her, but have been bucked by many people (including family) that think she won't be "socialized" enough.

    Well since day one in a public school she has been bullied and her attitude went from sweet and loving to short and rude. It is amazing how the influence of peers can affect our children. After reading this, it truly confirmed how I feel about homeschooling and now I just need to figure out how to pull her out of school! I don't care what anyone says, the love and one-on-one attention that a parent can provide is priceless.

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    1. Oh gosh, you're going through a tough time, for sure. We never even enrolled our children in school because we felt called to homeschool from the get-go. (I feel blessed with this too). Please be encouraged to stick to your guns and listen to your heart. Our family was a little concerned at the beginning too but it isn't any one else's decision. We felt called by God to educate at home and now I really believe our parents and family see why and how that calling has played out. If you need to talk or need encouragement, feel free to email me through the "About Us" page. much love.

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    2. Hello sweet girl!

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and support! Your blog really was the last link in confirming how I felt about homeschooling and what I knew God was calling me to do.

      I am super duper excited to update that we just finished week 3 of homeschooling! I wrote to you that Friday and the following Monday I walked into school and pulled her out of public school.

      Talk about a scary and heart-pumping moment! It literally felt like me against the world haha. Surprisingly, her teacher was incredibly supportive and said she wished all families could homeschool because it gives a foundation that public school just can't give. She was a Christian woman and I didn't even know it! She threw my daughter a make-shift going away party that very day and said we could come visit anytime :) She even has been in contact the last 3 weeks and wants to keep in contact with us throughout all of our daughter's educational years and beyond. Talk about a blessing <3

      The last 3 weeks have been incredible and amazing! My daughter loves every second of homeschooling and so do we! Thank you so very much for sharing your life through this blog because it truly has inspired our family!!! I even just gave up my iphone (I am having withdrawals lol), but I just felt like I was missing life instead of living it! I am finally learning how to just be in the moment, rather than worrying about the next.

      I am so excited for what God has in store for us! And I will definitely email you and would love to keep in contact. Thank you, thank you again! :)

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    3. Oh my gosh, I just saw this now, I am SOOO SORRY! I'm so happy you've made this transition and really hope you are doing well. I wish you would email me your contact info!~ That's a major blessing about her teacher, I'd say that's a pretty rare response... so that's awesome. I'm so glad you are having a position experience at home and I trust this has continued over the past few weeks as well. A book I'd highly recommend is "Educating the Whole Hearted Child" by the Clarksons. That is a fantastic guide to starting biblical home education. Thanks you so much and I'm so glad you have been inspired by this blog... it is the whole reason I'm here. :) xo Cass

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  12. In Sweden home-schooling for other reasons than medical ones is illegal... Can/will you home-school all the way up through high school (sorry can't type question mark - the key is stuck :)). I guess the only problems with home-schooling would be if parents are struggling with some subjects themselves and if the children would be taught inappropriate values (more inappropriate than those of today's society). I liked regular school for the most part, but I too am concerned about general attitudes and norms in today's society. This particular limitation of freedom in Sweden is something I don't like (along with the fact that a lot of politicians want to force moms and dads to split parental leave equally) but we do live in a great country in other ways (healthcare at low cost for all people, 480 days paid parental leave per child et.c.). :)

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  13. Hello,

    Thank you for your posts. What an inspiration. I was looking for more Canadian homeschoolers. I read quite a few American Christian homeschoolers, who are great, but nice to connect with someone in the same country as well.
    Looks like you do an amazing job! I'm in my second year of homeschooling my two kids. I did not have any problems leaving the schoolsystem. My oldes (son) was in Kindergarten for the year, had a fabulous teacher, couldn't have been a better teacher and for the most part, really nice classmates. But I did not put him back in the school for grade 1. My husband and I felt called to homeschool (even before his year in K) but took the plunge. Most people don't give me grief because I am a "certified" teacher (B.Ed). Believe me, I struggle every day every day with my kids, also re-assessing, re-doing, re-thinking, creating, etc.
    To be honest, even a degree does not give me the knowledge and wisdom that only God gives. Homeschooling has brought to light my many flaws and short-comings. It drives me to search out God and his wisdom and knowledge for each of my kids and for us as a family.
    My family doesn't say too much, supportive or against. They're on the fence. Which is ok. I've had others really commend us for homeschooling (not that we do it accalades by any stretch of the imagination). I've had some innocently ask us about it and I always promote the positives. I don't get on my soap box to say that everyone should do this, cause everyone is different and most are not ready for change. Homeschooling requires a lot of work, dedication and selflessness, all which I'm constantly working on. But I encourage others who already feel that calling from God to go for it. There are lots of aids out there, great curriculums, with the computer age, can get teachers online! Every child learns differently, the same curriculum won't necessarily work for the same children in the same family.
    A great reason to homeschool is the one-to-one programing and attention children receive. And the family unit is soooo very important. We need to strengthen the bonds in the family unit much more than kids need to strengthen their bonds with peers or strangers.

    I also had sent both kids to a great nursery school in their preschool years, just 2 hours a day. It was a fantastic, welcoming nursery school who welcomed parents with open arms. 2 hours is a lot different than having your child away from you for 8 hours, 5 days a week. Even with K. it was every other day, all day. That was tough enough. Again, great teacher and I could go in anytime.

    I've been in both public school (student & teacher) and now homeschooling. I choose homeschooling. On days that I've subbed in public school, I'm soooo thankful I homeschool. :)

    Thanks for your blog.

    Sheila K. in Manitoba

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    1. Thanks Sheila, I really appreciate your kind words. I haven't been 'writing' on this blog very often lately, as life has just become too busy to write about it. haha. I totally agree with you - home education is not only a journey for the children, but a journey for ourselves as well. You are absolutely right. And the whole, "Oh, I could never homeschool, I'm not (insert adjective here) enough..." is something I'm always so tempted to argue! I mean, I'm not 'patient' or 'educated' or 'whatever' enough either... but God is ALWAYS enough and I truly believe He calls us to educate at home, so, in Him, we get our strength and through that flows blessings and overflowing joy!!! Great to hear from you! Thank you.

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  14. Thanks so much for this post. Came across it "accidentally" (ie. God lead me here!). I put my 2 oldest kids in school as, even as a trained teacher, I couldn't imagine homeschooling. However, God is convicting me that it is something he wants me to do and showing me the flaws in my previous schooling philosophy. It is so easy to just go along with culture and not question its validity or fit for us. I am contemplating pulling my daughters (in gr.1 and 4) out of the "system" and never having my 4 year old in it. With a 4th baby on the way and due in Sept., it's a huge and very scary decision. I am not getting support from my husband and definitely not from my family. This blog does a great job of summing up what I have been trying to tell them. I plan to show them this in the hope that it will be clearer coming from a stranger!! God bless you as you teach your precious little ones.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! :) Wow, I'm humbled that I was able to put into words what is in your heart. I'll pray for your situation, that you would have favor and their hearts would be open to the possibility of something different and far better for your little ones... big hugs. :) xo Cass

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    2. AGS, I was in your same position last year...wanted to homeschool and had a baby on the way (Due in Oct). We finished up our year in the private school we were in last May and then I started homeschooling in June. We homeschooled all summer until Oct 1st. Then I/we took off Oct, Nov, Dec as our "summer break" while I had our 3rd baby and got into my new rhythm with 3 little kiddos. By Jan 7th, baby was sleeping through the night and I was ready to homeschool again. It worked great. We then followed the traditional schedule and homeschooled from January until May. We're taking June off and then will start up again in July. I give my support to you as you explore the option of homeschooling and as you work to gain your husband and family's support as well. Perhaps if you homeschooled this summer as a "trial" run - it will give everyone the peace of mind to see what a wonderful "life-style" choice it is!

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    3. AGS, I was in your same position last year...wanted to homeschool and had a baby on the way (Due in Oct). We finished up our year in the private school we were in last May and then I started homeschooling in June. We homeschooled all summer until Oct 1st. Then I/we took off Oct, Nov, Dec as our "summer break" while I had our 3rd baby and got into my new rhythm with 3 little kiddos. By Jan 7th, baby was sleeping through the night and I was ready to homeschool again. It worked great. We then followed the traditional schedule and homeschooled from January until May. We're taking June off and then will start up again in July. I give my support to you as you explore the option of homeschooling and as you work to gain your husband and family's support as well. Perhaps if you homeschooled this summer as a "trial" run - it will give everyone the peace of mind to see what a wonderful "life-style" choice it is!

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  15. Hello, I absolutely love this article. I have been struggling with the idea of homeschooling, and this article has helped me understand all of the benefits and makes me want to put in the effort. I'm nervous, but I know that with God all things are possible :)

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  16. Absolutely love this perspective and I couldn't agree more (I have a 5,4,2 yr old) and while it is stated perfectly it's still so hard to wrap this up in a minute answer to family and friends who just don't understand why you would go against the grain. Every decision I have made since having children has been altered to this one simple scenario...what is best for them, not me, not the future but them in this very moment. We live in the present and our choices should reflect that - this has taken me years to discover and now that I understand the meaning of life I really can live it to the fullest. Every point you made was valid and makes sense. Thanks for sharing your beautiful perspective and happy homeschooling ; )

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  17. Holy cow this speaks to me! I googled "why homeschool" and your blog was one of the first to come up. My son just began kindergarten, and while yes I know we are still in the adjustment period, I'm just so ... skeptical of it all. I now have two school schedules to juggle (K and preschool), plus a toddler and another on the way. I question our schools. I question their intentions and curricula such as common core. I have become a school system questioner and skeptic! And boy do I want to get my kids outdoors more. Unfortunately our immediate area isn't so great for exploring, but we can drive locally to parks to have some neat experiences.

    I do wonder about keeping your sanity though. I don't know how old your kids are, but this is honestly one of my biggest questions because as Penelope Trunk said on her homeschool blog, school is basically the world's best babysitter.

    Thanks for this post - truly inspiring.

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    1. Thank you Lisa. I'm actually really surprised that my blog comes up when you google that!!! WOW. I'm honestly shocked my little blog shows up on google at all! But I'm glad you found us. :) I completely hear what you're saying. It is okay to be a skeptic. That comes from deep within for a reason. I'd encourage you - if you are having doubts, keep questioning and keep soul searching. As for sanity, haha - I'm not sure I AM keeping it. It's debatable. *wink* But, truthfully, it's such a matter of perspective and attitude and God's grace. If you look at each day as a gift and embrace it for what it is - time with your kids at this stage (which never lasts) then it gets easier. There are trying times, sure. It's a big responsibility but I wouldn't give it up for anything. Keep seeking - you'll find the answer. xo. Thanks for stopping in!

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    2. Thank you for your response! I just saw this. :) I'll keep reading, and thinking, and questioning. Yay for Google! :)

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  18. I am with Lisa! I googled "why homeschool" and yours was the first blog to come up for me as well! God is using you in a mighty way to encourage those of us on the fence, struggling with hearing His truth over the lies of the enemy. I am in tears right because God is SO good! You wrote for me everything that was in my heart that I couldn't put into words. My husband and I have two little boys that just entered 1st and 2nd grades in the public school here just three weeks ago. I've had no peace about sending them off into the hands of strangers every day. Last year for K & 1st they went to a wonderful, small, Godly, private, Christian school that we loved! I started a mom's prayer group and several of us met on Tuesday mornings AT the school to pray for our children, the teachers, the students. We are a military family and had to move this last summer so being in a new place the Christian schools are expensive, far and/or wait list. God has been speaking to me while I struggle through all of the reasons you just mentioned. I have prayed for clear signs (and he's given them to me the last three weeks) and yet I still need more. Why do we need more? I don't want to be out of His will for my boys. I don't want to explain to friends (even Christian friends) who don't homeschool why I want to, why I feel God calls me to...but my heart overall wants to honor God! Thank you for the encouragement to speak His truth in love!

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    1. Wow... honestly, so amazed! Aw - *HUG*. I'm so happy that my words helped. These words have been a constant work in progress over the past 3 years of homeschooling. Keep praying for those kids and keep praying for God's direction for your own children. He will reveal His plan for you. Don't worry too much about what to say to people. The truth is, no one ever explains in detail to us why they choose to put their kids in school. (Most don't know the answer...) Why are homeschoolers expected to give a huge justification of what we do? It's such a frustrating double standard. The only answer you have to give is, "We feel called to do this, we feel it's best for our family." No one can ever argue with you on that. That's become my sound bite for those who want it. ;) Praying for you, Julie, as you seek God's best for your family!!! (hugs)

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  19. Well done. I lovelovelove it all. :-)
    I've been trying to do a similar line of posts on my own blog and just not really hitting like you are.
    I think the one thing I seem to miss though, is that 'not having to rush off anywhere' feeling. It seems like we are always under the gun for something. I have four and they are older than yours I think. They are involved in sports practices and church activities and I work 3 nights a week. If only I could figure out a way to give them all the benefits of the activities they love (and I feel are very necessary) and not have the crazy weekly schedule. :-S

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    1. Thank you, Les. I COMPLETELY AGREE with your thoughts on not rushing. I think I did a post a while back about the 'slow family'... we are always moving slowly... and it is glorious. there is no rush because we don't have to 'be' anywhere in particular. It is a beautiful thing to give your children... the ability to relax and enjoy life. There will be plenty of time for having to fit into a schedule...

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  20. All I can say is WOW! You've got it down lady! And you said all of that with such beauty and grace. I feel EXACTLY the same way and I could literally print this off and hand it to everyone that asks why I homeschool. Thank you for sharing your heart like this!

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  21. I can relate to alot of things you say, some are exactly the reason why we are (pagan) homeschooling. Thank you for the inspiration, I think I will create a similar list of reasons. :D

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  22. Your blog, writing and photos are absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring the rest of us out here.

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  23. I just wanted to thank you for sharing what God has put on your heart for the "why" of educating at home- I could go on and on with my words but really just wanted to say "thank you"'as your blog and this post particularly have helped to confirm my husbands and i's many prayers and questioning on how HE would have us educate our sweet blessings!

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  24. Great blog post, beautiful pictures.

    As for me, the best part is that you get to see the best parts of your kids as they grow and learn.

    Anne
    http://HomeschoolingOption.com/

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  25. Oh, my heart. I have no words, you've said them all. Thank you! Oh, I pray for the day when we meet Him face- to-face, until then, I will guard and relish in my family!

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  26. I just love this post. So much. You put into words what I have been feeling for so long. We homeschool our boys (8, 6 and 18 months now) and we all love it. I read this aloud to my husband tonite and we were both moved by your words (literally I was in tears in some places). We agree wholeheartedly with what you've said here. I will be reading more of your blog and following you now too. Thanks again!

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  27. I also googled "why homeschool" and you came up! :). Just what I needed to read as I prepare to pull our girls out of school. I emailed you with questions about curriculum you recommend for first time homeschoolers :)

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  28. Beautifully and tactfully written - much appreciated by this homeschooler-now-thinking-about-homeschooling-my-kids. I also am a huge fan of the photos - you've managed to capture the huge variety of learning experiences available to homeschoolers in an artistic way!

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  29. I agree 100% with all your reasons! I find it really difficult to say in a quick sound-byte why we home school (we started a year ago...I emailed you back then, when I first started, not sure your remember me), and I remember reading your website and finding it so helpful (especially because I felt so unsure that it was the 'right thing to do' for us) because it reinforced to me all the great reasons why i'm doing it. A year later, I've discovered I LOVE homeschooling! and it's for all those reasons you mentioned above. -Elaine

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  30. You are so eloquent - thank you for verbally illustrating this topic so well!

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  31. Your words have been a blessing to me today! You have reminded me of all the reasons why we homeschool our three boys. There are often so many that do not understand. Their judgement can be hurtful and distract me from the work of the Lord. We are confident it is God that has called us to homeschool and we will press on! Thank you for sharing from your heart!

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  32. It is obvious that you are surrounded by beauty. To me beauty and nature are essential to the education and character development of my children. Beauty is not something you will ever get in a classroom with walls covered in charts (expectations or "shoulds"). Beauty and nature get into the heart. They stick around. I believe that a child raised around beauty and nature will more successfully navigate the difficulties of adulthood with calm confidence and a spiritual eye for God's intentionality and love.

    While my husband and I care immensely about giving our children the tools of experience and information, character building is a top priority. An innate gentleness and compassion that comes from being surrounded by beauty, coupled with God's word will help them to remain firm in character, build their own faith and cling to hope when life feels hopeless.

    This is one of our top three reasons for homeschooling. Thank you for what you have shared. It is a conversation I am in with other homeschooling Mom's. The answer to the question is complex for us. But I agree with you that it all comes down to being what is right for our family right now.

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  33. I am not an avid blog reader but stumbled upon your website as I'm strating my homeschool adventure with my kids. When we start in a few months they will be, 5, 4, & 3. Though it will only be my 5 and 4 year old who will be enrolled THEY all will be in school. We live in Alaska and live most of our days outside and I have done much learning/ unofficial school there. But, as I look at cirriculum I wanted to see if you had any suggestions? I saw your photo of the Simply Charolette Mason Epistles workbook - would they be too young for me to go through that with them? Thank you! Annie Smith

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  34. Because I want to participate in the life of my family and not be a spectator

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  35. Hi,

    I made this comment "Because I want to participate in the life of my family and not be a spectator" and didn't mean it to be a mystery post. I am Jason a home schooling Dad of three daughters in Alberta.

    P.S. -I enjoy the community affiliated with this blog - thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! :)

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