Over the years, I have had parents who were considering homeschooling ask me, “Should I homeschool?”
That’s a difficult question to answer because homeschooling is such a personal choice and a long-term commitment. I am not one who thinks everyone should homeschool – but I do think everyone should consider it as a viable option for their child’s education.
So, rather than tell you whether or not I think you should homeschool, I want to tell you why we decided to give it a try and why, 13 years later, I’m glad we did.
My oldest, who is now 20 and a homeschool grad, went to public school for kindergarten and 1st grade. We soon discovered that my beautiful, curious, intelligent, book-loving little girl wasn’t a traditional-learner type. She is the artistic, big-picture, out-of the-box type who, as it turns out, has dyslexia.
After two rather miserable years, during which her love of books and reading was squashed by the daily assault to teach her how to read (with undiagnosed dyslexia), we decided to give homeschooling a trial run.
By Christmas break that first year, it was clear that homeschooling with its ability to offer tailored education and one-on-one teaching was the perfect fit for her. We never looked back and, as my two younger children reached school age, we folded them into our homeschool day, as well.
One of the best things about homeschooling has been that I can customize my kids’ education to their specific needs. My oldest quickly caught on to reading with Sing, Spell, Read, and Write, so I thought I was ready for the next two.
Guess what? Sing, Spell, Read, and Write didn’t work for them. For my boy, none of the many reading programs we tried had more than minimal success until we discovered, through homeschooling circles, Lexercise.
We were able to have him diagnosed with dyslexia and go through at-home therapy sessions to help him learn to work around his dyslexia.
I have always loved a hands-on, eclectic, unit-study-inspired approach to learning. That’s exactly what we did up until last year when I discovered, to my horror (I’m kidding – mostly), that my teens prefer workbooks.
Guess what? Now they use workbooks. For this season in our homeschool, that is what works best for them.
Homeschooling means that I don’t have to force a particular program or homeschool style on my kids. They can learn using the materials and approach that best suits them.
I have two children with dyslexia and one, possibly two, with ADHD. In school they would have been labeled, medicated, and made to feel stupid because they don’t learn well in a traditional setting with traditional methods. That does not mean that they are not intelligent. It does mean that our children are not cookie cutter replicas of one another. It doesn’t make sense that we expect the same teaching methods to be effective for everyone.
Because we homeschool, my kids have never been made to feel less-than. I can naturally and easily make accommodations so that their areas of struggle don’t have to hinder my kids from reaching their full potential in other areas.
Homeschooling allows my kids time to explore their gifts and talents. My oldest – the one-time struggling reader – loves books, including Shakespeare, which many find difficult to follow. She knits beautiful blankets, hats, scarves, and baby booties. She loves drawing and creating cosplay costumes.
My boy is an extremely talented musician who can tell you more than you ever thought there was to know about guitars and quite a bit about muscle cars. My youngest loves writing stories, painting, and singing.
Homeschooling means that my kids are known by their strengths, not their weaknesses.
Input on education
Another huge benefit of homeschooling is that I can choose our curriculum and have an impact on what my kids are being taught. I am not a fan of Common Core or politically-correct history, and as a Christian family, it is vital to me that our day include prayer and Bible study.
My teens and I can discuss what they’re learning and how that meshes with our worldview. That doesn’t mean that we shy away from controversial topics or views that are contrary to ours. It doesn’t even mean that we always agree with the author of their Christian curriculum. It does mean that I know what they’re learning and that we can talk about that in light of our beliefs.
We can focus on things that are important to us based on my kids’ interests and future and current plans. For example, this year my two teens want to get jobs, so we’ll be doing a personal finance course. With election year on the horizon, we’ll be doing a U.S. government course. Next year, we’ll be spending some in-depth time with the U.S. Constitution. I want my kids to know what it says, rather than the watered-down version Common Core seems to teach.
Homeschooling means that I have a direct impact on my kids’ educations.
If you’re considering homeschooling, I can’t really tell you what is right for your family – what you should do – but I can encourage you to explore your options and consider giving it a try. After our trial year that turned into a lifestyle, I often told would-be homeschooling parents this: Give homeschooling a try. You can’t ruin your kids in a year.
You won’t really know if homeschooling is a good fit for your family until you do it.
What advice would you give to a family considering homeschooling?
For more Why Homeschool inspiration, visit:
Why I Still Choose to Homeschool After 18 Years – Harrington Harmonies
Why We STILL Homeschool – 1+1+1=1
10 Reasons to Homeschool – True Aim
top image courtesy of depositphotos
This post is linked to the Hip Homeschoool Hop.