My oldest daughter attended kindergarten at our local public school, half day. It went against every feeling I had as a parent, I wanted to homeschool from the start. Family and friends insisted I send her, that’s what you did. I couldn’t not send her to school, that made me a bad parent.
Now, before I get too far, even though there were shitty times during that year, she does some fond memories of her teacher (who retired) and two friends that made a difference to her.
She was 5, and kindergarten was rough. We went through bullying, physical violence, schoolwork troubles, and friendships that belong in high school. It was crazy. The worst part about it was that parents do not think their kids could ever do wrong. They called my daughter a liar, to her face! She was 5! My gracious, people.
We had her finish out the year until June, we took that summer off and started homeschooling in September. I will have many posts documenting our journey from there until now, and so on. For now though, 10 Reasons To Choose Homeschool.
First and foremost, freedom. The ability to literally go anywhere on any given day without any restrictions is seriously amazing. You can do schoolwork in the morning, middle of the day, or at night, completely wrapped around whatever schedule you want. It’s almost summer here in WA state, and we have been playing outside, going to the park, running errands or whatever else during the day, and homeschooling after dinner! It’s been the best thing for all of us. The girls are much more laid back during schoolwork after playing all day, and once we’re done, they pass right out! It’s been a fantastic change in gears around here.
TO ENJOY LEARNING
Kids should enjoy learning. They should want to learn, and be eager to learn. A very high percentage of public school children I talk to say they don’t like school, they don’t enjoy going, they get bored, or yelled at, or tired and hungry. It isn’t fun. Recess is fun and lunch is fun; learning isn’t. There are a select few who thrive in school, don’t get me wrong, but majority of kids don’t. If they struggle, they are told they don’t know how to learn, or they have ADD or ADHD or they’re on the autism spectrum because heaven forbid kids struggle with anything. My oldest hated coming home and doing schoolwork, she dreaded it, yelled about it, cried about it, and usually it just didn’t get done. Now, most days, she is eager to get to schoolwork in the morning or at night. She jumps up and down when something clicks for her, and talks mine and her dads ear off because she is allowed to.
BEING WITH YOUR KIDS
I honestly enjoy having my kids home with me. I see so many moms that want to throw parties when school starts up again, or they’re begging their state to pass a year round schooling law, I mean, some moms are being silly, but the idea makes my heart hurt. Kids are gone on average 7 hours a day at school, 5 days a week, 180 days a year. That is a total of 1260 hours a school year that they aren’t with you. They are with their peers and teachers more than they are with you. These are our children, and they should have togetherness with their family, closeness. I am not saying you should never be away from your children, but it shouldn’t be so often. (Yes, I know some parents both have to work, or they are a single parent, not judging, or singling anyone out here, so keep the “reading between the lines (that aren’t there) to yourself. )
Kids have dreams. Some can’t come true like being a princess with 120 feet of hair, but most of them can if they have the environment they need to thrive. The one size fits all just doesn’t work, and so many parents are starting to realize that. Kids should be on a track that works for them. If they want to be a vet, teach them basics, and when they’re in middle school let them follow that path. If they want to learn how to do something completely out of the public school box, they can! They have the opportunities in front of them, the time, and the drive. They aren’t chained to a system that doesn’t care that they want to be creative or spend all day learning how to cook.
Don’t you remember teachers always telling you “we’re not at school to socialize!” Will someone please tell that to all the people who question my reasons to homeschool?! School is not for socializing kids. They can’t talk or play or interact with other kids unless they are told to by an authoritative figure. I’m pretty sure that is not how real life works. My kids interact with everyone from older people telling awesome stories of their lives to babies just learning to crawl. My kids are very social, they love to talk and have conversations, usually with all walks of life. That is socializing, not sitting in a desk among 26 other kids your own age only allowed to talk when told to do so.
I know this one is going to get some flack. “Bullying is a normal part of childhood,” “it makes your kids stronger,” “get over yourself, and teach your kid to do the same.” Those are just some of the things I have heard people say. Um, no. Yes, I will teach my children that there are terrible, cruel people in this world, I will teach them that can’t control how other people act, but they can control how they react, I will teach them that life will throw them curveballs and how to get through them, but I will not for second teach them that their feelings are invalid, that no one cares, and that it is completely normal for people to treat you like shit. No sir, that will not happen, and that is what happens at schools. School officials do not care that kids get bullied, they blame the parents and send you on your way.
CURRICULUM (OR LACK OF)
You have full control over what you teach your kids and how. There are guidelines you can follow if you want that sort of thing, I have used them. You can choose to only do math on Wednesdays. You can use one super laid back program, or a super rigorous program completely dependent on how your child is doing in their work. Need to pull back a little? Do it, you can. Need to move ahead? Do it, you can. I believe that public school pushes too much too fast, so my kids are considered “behind” in some stuff per the eyes of a public school parent/teacher. I get told all the time my kids are going to be dumb, and never make it in life, but what we do works for us because we take the time to master things. And, they can still remember what they’ve been taught a year later when they take their assessment, we just did it differently, not wrong. We did it how it works for each of our children, and you could too.
NON-PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSES
We have the freedom to take classes that aren’t available at public school. Pottery classes, cooking classes, fitness classes, glass-blowing class, archery, gymnastics, whatever we want and it doesn’t drain us because we aren’t spending so much time at school. We aren’t exhausted when these classes start, we have the time to drive further for classes we really want to take. My daughter is super interested in photography so she can learn online, take a class, and spend hours outside taking photos on my phone or camera or whatever. (we’re buying her a camera of her very own in a few months, she will be so excited!) My other is a creator, she loves play-doh, rocks, sticks, coloring, anything she can create to show what she sees in her mind. She spends hours drawing out her ideas and then making them come to life! So much fun to watch her little wheels turning. She gets the tinkering from her daddy!
SLEEPING IN AND RELAXING WHEN NEEDED
This is a great one. Some nights my kids are up until 11pm, other nights they’re in bed by 7. Don’t worry we have a routine, and schedule we loosely follow, but sometimes you can’t fall asleep. I know for a fact that happens to adults all the time. Yes, it happens with kids, too. Sometimes we have later movie nights, other times we’re still learning. In the spring and summer we play outside until it gets dark, that could be as late as 9 pm. My kids can sleep in, they don’t, but they can. Haha! If we have off says we can rest, and the best part of this is we can take days off snuggled on the couch helping our bodies heal whenever we get sick without the worry of truancy or the school system gettin’ all up in my business.
Yes, I am aware that I can not stick my kids in a bubble and protect them from all things terrible, but I can protect them from school shootings, angered parents or teachers, and sad students that take things into their own violent hands. I can keep them away from drugs and sex peer pressure, and teach them to follow their own path. I know where they are when it matters most, their childhood. When they are adults and make their own choices and mistakes, I will still be there for them, but I will allow them to make their own choices, for now though I am their protector, their guidance, their guardian, and I have the right to keep them where I feel they are safest; at home. You can, too.
| Danielle ✨ |