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Should I Homeschool?


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When parents who were considering homeschooling ask me, “Should I homeschool,” I don’t offer an immediate yes or no answer. It’s a difficult question to answer because homeschooling is a personal choice and a serious commitment.

I don’t necessarily think everyone should homeschool – but I do think everyone should consider it as a viable educational option. Rather than tell you whether I believe that you should or shouldn’t homeschool, I’ll tell you why we decided to give it a try and why, over a decade later, I’m glad we did.

Should I Homeschool?

My oldest, now 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, it was clear that homeschooling, with its ability to offer tailored education and one-on-one teaching, was the perfect fit for our non-traditional learner. We never looked back, adding her younger siblings into the mix as they reached school age.

Customized education

One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the ability to 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 Lexercise. He was officially diagnosed with dyslexia and learned, through at-home therapy sessions, to work around it.

I have always loved a hands-on, eclectic, unit-study-inspired approach to learning. That’s exactly what we did up until the year I discovered, to my horror (I’m kidding – mostly), that my teens prefer workbooks.

Guess what? They used workbooks for a couple of years before moving on to a more eclectic mix of resources.

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, adjusting as their needs change.

All About Spelling

No labels

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 (even if unintentionally) because they don’t learn well in a traditional setting with conventional 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 them from reaching their full potential.

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 incredibly talented musician who can tell you more than you ever thought there was to know about guitars and quite a bit about muscle cars. He’s built half a dozen computers.

My youngest loves writing stories, painting, and singing. She has an eye for photography and image composition.

Homeschooling means that my kids are known for their strengths, not their weaknesses.

Should I Homeschool?

Input on education

Another enormous benefit of homeschooling is that I can choose our curriculum and have an impact on what my kids are learning. 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 includes 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 does mean that I know what they’re learning and that we can discuss issues 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, Josh has incorporated music instruction and theory, along with computer literacy in his education because those are where his interests and career goals lie.

Megan loves photography and took a photography course in 9th grade. She’s making plans to prepare for dual-enrollment courses to get a head-start on college credit because she’s considering becoming a counselor.

Homeschooling means that I have a direct impact on my kids’ educations.

WriteShop

If you’re considering homeschooling, I can’t 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: Give homeschooling a try. You can’t ruin your kids in a year.

You won’t know if homeschooling is a good fit for your family until you do it.

What advice would you give to a family considering homeschooling?

updated from an article originally published July 20, 2015

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14 Comments

  1. Thank you…. I’ve been going back and forth now for four to five years wondering whether to homeschool or not. This year just might be the year! Praying and trying to make a decision within the next week or so. I have a son who is dyslexic! Oh how we have struggled with him! I really appreciated reading your article. I have been thinking the same thing that this would be our trial year…. how poorly could I mess them up in one year’s time! You’ve given me some great things to think about!

  2. Another great benefit of homeschooling is the lack of the morning rush associated with school. When my kids were still attending school, every morning was utter chaos as we searched for missing shoes, lost homework, and dealt with sibling squabbles. Now I just love to look out the front window on those especially cold days and appreciate the fact that we have the luxury of starting when we want to (even IF we want to). It doesn’t get any better than this.

  3. Thank you for this. I have really been praying about whether or not I can homeschool my oldest daughter. I am a single mom and have very little extra time. I was going to try dual enrollment this year but she is asking for full time homeschool. Thankfully she is really advanced academically – I just don’t know how self motivated she is and because I work full time outside the home she will be doing a lot of independent study. It’s been a challenge finding others in my situation. Know any successful single parent/full time working homeschoolers out there?

    1. I know of some work-at-home homeschooling moms. I don’t personally know any who work full-time outside the home, but I know they’re out there. I would think the most difficult part would be figuring out the logistics. How old is your daughter?

  4. How do we know if we are in the first 5000? And thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate in this giveaway. It is definitely going to be a blessing to the winners!

    1. The Rafflecopter widget shows the current number of entrants. It’s not showing 5,000 yet, so you should have made it. Janine, at the blog True Aim, is handling all the behind-the-scenes aspects of the giveaway, so I’m not sure when those 5,000 will be contacted. I would assume at the close of the giveaway. Hope that helps!

  5. This post helps solidify my reasons for homeschooling again after a year of my kids in public school. It was not a bad year, and my kids excelled academically. However, they did receive watered down teachings and I was not pleased with common core. Anyway, this was confirmation that I am making the right decision!

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  6. I love to ask others why they homeschool if I think they want to discuss this. Your response here is very well written. Thanks for the insights. They were helpful to this newbie homeschooler

  7. This is a very helpful post. Home education may be a growing movement, but it’s been around for as long as people. It’s just that it used to be reserved for only the richest and most influential and it was called a tutorial education.

    It doesn’t require an expert in order to homeschool – you’re right it is a personal choice and commitment. I like thinking of home education like an apprenticeship – I’m a learner and I’ve taken 3 little learners under my care to bring up. It’s exciting to see where learning will take them.

  8. Thank you for this lovely article! I have been reading lots about homeschooling and feel very inspired. In my case I will homeschool my 14yr old daughter beginning this autumn. She has been bullied at school, but also responded badly to mainstream education technics, she shuts off completely when not interested…. My question is: Do you know anyone who has experienc with homeschooling kids/teens who have attended mainstream school for years before taking the decision to go for home school education?

    1. Hi, Silvia. I do know many people in that situation. None of them are bloggers, so I can’t point you to articles they’ve written, but none of them have regretted the decision to homeschool. Two or three of the families that I know personally made the decision to homeschool in high school or middle school. One of them was dealing with a bullying situation like you are. I’m sure it will be an adjustment for both of you, but I suspect that it will be a positive experience for your daughter to be able to learn in a safe environment. Best wishes to you!

      1. Thank you for your reply! If you, or anyone else reading this comes across some information regarding a similar situation, please let me know!

        1. Hello – wondering if Sylvia, you found some good starting points to help you begin the process with this homeschooling path for your teen? My freshman has struggled with bullying and social issues throughout his entire public school life. He is so miserable and I am so sorry I haven’t looked into this option sooner.

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