My husband and I are a very traditional couple. Like 1950’s traditional. He brings home the bacon while I take care of the kids and house. Well, I try and take care of the house. Or maybe I don’t really try that much at all. Anyway, when it comes to things about the kids it’s nice knowing he will always support my decision. Even if that decision seems to come from out of the blue and isn’t on most people’s radars.
After Green Bubbles was born, and I mean 2 months after he was born, with my husband’s encouragement I went back to school. I already had my associates degree but never continued on to get my bachelors like I had wanted. My priorities had changed since then anyway and, after a little soul searching, I changed my major from English to Liberal Studies. Why liberal studies? Because they had a track for elementary education and I thought teaching was where I wanted to be. At the time I thought I would be a teacher.
It didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t want to be a teacher. My first class that I had observation hours in made me realize that there had to be a better way. I did observation in a 1st grade classroom and while many children did excel I saw many that didn’t. There were boys who were high energy, constantly in trouble, and as punishment were made to miss recess and sit still. How could that possibly help? There was an English language learner who sat in the back of the classroom, lost and confused, and totally ignored. There was no time to help her. Another student with behavioral problems who was actually kicked out of school for a time for throwing things at other students, spitting at students, and hitting the teacher. First grade!
I knew then and there that I wasn’t going to send my son into that. Besides having a classroom of 35 6 year olds to one teacher with a flawed system, there was such a huge push on test scores and testing in the schools. Teaching to tests isn’t real learning. I told my husband what I thought and he agreed. That marked the beginning of our resolve to homeschool our children, before Green Bubbles was even one year old.
Over the years I’ve added a few more to my list. Some because of children and being in the thick of it. Serious and silly, here are 10 reasons we homeschool.
1) Because the public schools in our area, even the ‘good’ ones, aren’t that good.
2) I want them to learn at their own pace. Be that a year ahead in math, or a year behind in reading, it is their pace and not what someone who has never met my child thinks their pace should be.
3) We can get outside! This one is huge for us. We can go hiking at 10am on a weekday, head to a museum anytime we want, get our wiggles out at the playground down the street anytime we desire for as long as we want.
4) Follow their interests. If Green Bubbles wants to learn about bridges, we can drop our science and take a week or two to study bridges. (This was awesome, by the way.)
5) The friends we have met have ranged in age from toddlers to teenagers. And they are all respectful, get along, and are generally more socialized then many public school kids I’ve met. Espeically the teenagers…
6) We can stay in our pj’s all day long.
7) I don’t have to wake my children up at 6am to get to school by a certain time. They wake up when they aren’t tired anymore.
8) No packed lunches! At least, not everyday. We still have packed lunches on fieldtrips and nature days.
9) No peer pressure to wear name brands, do drugs, or other random things.
10) Studies show homeschool students actually perform better on tests, are more likely to attend and graduate from college, and generally just be happier.
I would like to point out that religion or sheltering my children were no where on that list for those that think all homeschoolers are sheltered religious fanatics.
And just in case you were wondering, I did finish my degree anyway. I’m a firm believer in having a back up plan. If anything were to happen later on, I needed a real career I could go to. I focused it on natural sciences however so instead of elementary school I could go into middle school science.