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Why we Homeschool

One of the most common questions I get asked is why we homeschool. Why did we choose this life? Is it faith, values, academics? Before I explain some of our own motivators, let me share a bit of my story. I was homeschooled along with my siblings. In my growing up years there were four of us really close in age and we all did school together. My mom was an AMAZING homeschool mom–the kind that I compare myself to even now wondering how I could improve. I tried school out for half of grade 2, for grade 6, and again in high school. School for me had a lot of questions… “WHY did I have to do it that way?” It felt like we wasted a lot of time, I remember being done and waiting and waiting for the teacher to help someone else or explain something to them. I was bullied in grade 6, made fun of, ostracized. And I felt totally displaced and insecure in high school. I LOVED being homeschooled (click to read more about my experience). My family were my best friends. I built relationships with them that I would never have had otherwise. I was a homebody and I never felt uncomfortable or pressured or awkward at home. I never felt judged or unsure of myself or stupid. I felt SAFE. Every day. I could wear what I wanted to wear without a second thought, I could make mistakes, I could learn what I wanted to learn about, and I got to do it alongside people who loved me.

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It was one of the great highlights of my childhood. The school part came easy to me, I ended up advancing two grades by the time high school came around. I went to our local high school and graduated when I had just turned 16 years old. Homeschooling prepared us for life in a way public school could not. I think a lot of that stemmed from the fact that instead of being put in a fish bowl of only children our own age growing up (which is unnatural when you think about the real world AFTER high school), we learned to communicate and express ourselves and be comfortable around people of all ages. My parents had us volunteering at local care homes, many of our homeschool friends were much older or much younger than us, and we did a ton of field trips and activities outside of the home.

When Jonathan and I first got married, we talked a lot about homeschooling. He thought public school was fine, I mean he turned out okay! We debated back and forth a LOT in the early years. But it all changed when he started working more closely with the schools around us (he is a police officer up here in Canada). By the time our kids were old enough to really start thinking about school, he was the complete opposite. He has become my strongest supporter, my biggest advocate. On the days when I question if we are doing the right thing or if I can handle this, he keeps me going and reminds me why we do this. He is passionate about our decision to homeschool and does what he can to support that decision.

My Kids are Free to Learn and Grow at their Own Pace in their Own Way

So that leaves us with my own reasons why, other than the fact that I loved it and saw the benefits of it personally. Do I think they get a better education one on one instead of in a classroom ratio of 1:24? Yes. Do I think they are building closer relationships with their siblings and with us? Yes. But those aren’t my primary reasons. I honestly think my kids would do very well in school. And school is less about the education as much as it is about learning how to learn and developing a love for it. In light of that, my decision is based on the here and now, elementary school: the early years.

Why I homeschool

Because they are homeschooled, in their day to day environment, my kids don’t ever have to feel dumb, inadequate, unsure of themselves, embarrassed, self conscious, bullied, unsafe, or confused. They are comfortable 100% of the time. They are safe and secure in who they are and are free to express themselves in any way without fear of rebuttal or what people will think of them. Does this mean I protect my kids from the real world? Absolutely not! At this age, they still experience all those things in various groups or outings. Such as group classes they are involved in, friendships outside of our family, church, heck even the playground! They have felt bullied or dealt with kids that they just didn’t know how to handle. They have dealt with peer pressure and been embarrassed or unsure of themselves. That is life, that is childhood. But it is not in their face every single day. And because of this, they are incredibly sure of themselves and self-confident.

Taking the Time to Grow Closer as a Family and Ground my Children in their Faith and Values

Another primary reason we choose to homeschool is to ground our children in their faith. To give them time to form roots, ask questions, experience it for themselves before they go into a school environment where it becomes a religious vacuum. Not just the basics of our faith, but our values. In this day and age, everything is under re-evaluation, including basics like gender. I am all for gender equality, but now we are transitioning to the Gender Spectrum (click to read more). “Boy” and “girl”, that just creates confusion and stigma. Now there is a spectrum and your child is free to explore where they fit on that spectrum. You don’t want to go to the “boys” bathroom? Then go where you feel comfortable! This is approved and being implemented in schools across BC. I want to teach my children MY values, not the governments. I want to instil what I believe, I want them to be confident in who they were created to be, a boy or a girl. Not told that those don’t exist.

Our values and faith will not be taught in the public school setting nor accepted. Where does that leave my children? Caught in between two opposing worlds?

Why I homeschool

I homeschool because I saw the many benefits I personally received from it. It IS a sacrifice. I’ll admit the odd jealous twinge when I see mom’s drop their kids off at school and meet for coffee or go shopping. But in the end, I KNOW it is worth it. I don’t know if we will do it forever but I am willing to trust that God will lead us in this and what is best for each of our children.

Why do you homeschool?

If you liked this post, check out:

The pros and cons of homeschooling from a mom’s, dad’s and homeschooled child’s point of view.
The homeschool style quiz
The personality quiz
The learning style quiz

Comments

  1. Kudos to you Becca. I’m doing it for many of the same reasons. My hubby wasn’t quite as “on board” at the beginning but sees the benefits now. We have always said we’ll take it one year at a time. I thought that would likely only get us through elementary….but now my kids are grade 4,5&8! It’s still hard. And I still love it:)!!

    • Thanks Heidi! In the beginning we said we would just do it for the early years but I can’t bear the thought of putting them in school anytime soon 😉

  2. My wife homeschooled our kids as well (I helped). The oldest went to 2 years of public school, but the others never set foot inside a school classroom until University. Now, the oldest has a Bachelor’s degree and is going after his second. The second oldest has completed a classroom based photography course and the yougest (twins) are set to enter University this fall. You nailed it on the head when you said it is about learning how to learn. Keep up the good work. Stay focused on the end goal and the little bumps along the way get softened.

    • This is such an encouragement to me! And that is awesome that you did it together! My hubby is very supportive but he works shiftwork and is often not around to help. OR if he is, I need him to watch the baby and toddler so I can do school with the older ones 😉

      I think with the younger grades, my job and main goal is to just inspire a love of learning. If they have that, they will be able to learn whatever they want as they are interested in it.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to make a comment!

  3. There was quite a bit of what you wrote that was my experience too being home-schooled. Like what my Father said I am now in University attempting to get into a Masters program (by way of a second undergraduate degree). My wife and I have had discussions on the subject of homeschooling and she felt that this post made a lot of sense to her (probably two women speaking the same language kind of thing).
    I’m not sure if this is your experience but I grow tired of the excuse for public school being a superior source for socialization like as if you do not get any at home OR that (all other things being equal) socializing with a narrow age cohort/peer group is an accurate refection of life in general (as you point out in this post).
    I remember that in my childhood we felt as a family to put God first would cause all other aspects to fall into place. Most every day we started by reading scriptures and praying together as a family. I feel that my success now in life is because we (I) did put God first when laying the foundation of my education. Now in University I am better able to sift through the tumultuous flood of information and misinformation that unfortunately comes from (intelligent) people trusting/using themselves as their only source of enlightenment.
    Thank you again for this post as it has helped organize what I have tried to convey!

    • Hi Matt! Thanks for the read and the comment!

      I do get tired of the argument that homeschooled children are not socialized. I think firstly that it doesn’t have to be that way at all! If your children are involved in swimming lessons and co-ops and play with neighbourhood kids, they are getting plenty of socialization! Also, in a larger family setting they are socializing every day! I felt that we were very well socialized and most people wouldn’t recognize us as “homeschoolers” because we were strange or anything noteworthy.

      Secondly I think that EVEN if they weren’t…. that is the very last thing I would be concerned with. We are not talking about a child who isn’t vocal, is shy and afraid and doesn’t know how to play! We are talking about a child who perhaps lacks a bit of social tact or awareness due to lack of exposure.

      Exposure to what exactly… I have seen the schools all around us. In elementary school children are being molested and bullied by other students. They are teaching our children about sexual awareness and to start to think about where they identify on the gender spectrum, when they are 5!!!!! They are learning behaviours from their peers that I have no control over and wouldn’t even be aware of until the damage was done. They will be taught tolerance and yet their faith with NOT be tolerated. Not only will their faith not be taught but they will be discriminated for it by teachers and students alike.

      I do not base my decision out of fear, eventually our kids will go to school I’m sure and will have to learn to stand on their own two feet. But in these early years when they are forming their values and ideals and thoughts and identity, I will not simply leave it to chance, to whatever peers are in their class, etc.

      Anyways, it is good to hear from a fellow homeschool “survivor” 😉 Look at that, we CAN become well adjusted adults 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. My son is only 4 so we are at the very beginning of all this and not sure how long we will. But our MAIN decision is that we want to give them experiences. I look at young kids in school and think it is so sad that all they do is sit in 1 classroom all day – aside from recess/lunch/art and music (if they’re lucky). I’m glad public school exists for all. Our area has a TON of kid programs – the zoo, the nature center, the art museum, “the bug lady” for science, music lessons… The older he gets, the more there is to do.
    getting him out in the world and learning to learn from the world around him. There’s that Tedtalk by the 13yo homeschool boy who was doing internships and community work. That was our tipping point.

    Our area has a big homescool community so we don’t hear much about the “socialization”, but even before we lived here, I rolled my eyes at that excuse.

  5. We are just this following year going to jump into the world of homeschooling. I am as terrified as I am excited!! With children in 6th, 3rd and twin 1st graders it is daunting and can be overwhelming!! But I also want to “steal” as much of the precious time I have left with these amazing creatures I’ve been given. The last 12 years of motherhood have flown so quickly by and I feel my heart strings pulled daily to make the most of the upcoming years with them!! My reasons for homeschooling I think are purely selfish! 🙂 But as a mommy I get to be sometimes 🙂 and my children want to homeschool as well! I will take all the advice I can get on the matter. Like everyone, I surely don’t want to let my kiddos down!

  6. I just found your blog and am so blessed by it! This post, in particular, is timely for me to have read. I’m a public school survivor (from the 80’s, mind you), but feel so strongly led to home educate. Even before we had kids – 2 boys, ages 3 years and 4 months, I knew it was something important to do for our kids. I say this is timely because, as the time to actually “do school” draws closer, I’m getting a bit chicken. Thinking of the demands, lack of me time, etc, and start looking for reasons to go another route. But, your words spoke to my heart, reminding me of all the reasons I believe homeschooling is best for our boys and that my reasons for backing out are purely selfish. Thank you and God bless you!
    Sarah from VA, USA

  7. I’m so glad that I came across your blog! I am getting ready to start homeschooling my 3 boys who have been attending public school. With one other little one at home and a baby on the way I am on the hunt for ideas on just how to make this work!

    • You’re going to rock this Christina! So glad you found my blog as well! I am most active on Facebook so if you ever want to talk, come and find me! Also, I don’t know if you need planning help, but I just started making custom planners for people. You can see samples in the group: Facebook.com/groups/plannercircle

  8. Okay I just have to comment! For one, I am a fellow RCMP spouse (we’re just getting posted back to BC-Salt Spring Island) and I am intrigued as to where you guys are posted. I am so strongly leaning towards homeschooling but scared…with our spouses shift work and career life I also like the idea of being able to fully be a family without always having to work around a “school schedule” (especially in the younger years). Our daughter is 4 and youngest is 2. She won’t go to kindergarten this upcoming year and has one more year of preschool (age wise)…do you do anything specific “learning” related to preschool age? I’d be very interested to hear if you do! The price of preschool just seems outrageous to me. I have yet to go and teach but have my teaching degree so feel that homeschooling would possibly work for us!

    Would love to hear your opinion. I was never homeschooled but went to a religious school which I enjoyed to still have my faith talked about at school daily. I did love school (high school more importantly)…but I’m very open to homeschool!

    • Hi Katie! I’m not Rebecca but I might be able to encourage you! I have no idea what RCMP is, but my husband is US military, so I understand the scheduling reason – it was one of the reasons we chose to homeschool. Moves and trips don’t mean we have to skip school or our family has to be separate. We started preschool with my daughter at 3…I think may be 4? But she was super eager to do ‘school’. I had a Leap Frog preK workbook that we worked through, helping learn shapes, numbers, colors, letters (recognition, writing and sounds). It was fantastic! We also used Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week preK curriculum and we loved it. We just picked and printed what I wanted to teach. It was great! other than that, play play play! Read good quality books (Read Aloud Revival has a great book list if you’re stumped as to good books! Sometimes it’s just luck too…we’ve gotten tons of good books and tons of bad books from the library). For Kindergarten this year, we’re using My Father’s World and we love love love it! Don’t be scared, God will guide you and give you what you need. And bonus points for having an education degree! I have a nursing degree, so if I can do it, you can too!!

      • FYI Ashley- RCMP is an acronym for “Royal Canadian Mounted Police”. 🙂
        I just wanted to thank you Ashley for your encouraging comment. Often times the enemy tries to make us believe that our kids are lacking in the homeschooling environment but they are truly not and I’ll continue to trust in the Lord for discernment in our homeschool.

    • Hey. Ashley, you are awesome! Thanks for piping in in the middle of my crazy 😉 You can pop in anytime! For us, 3 of my kids had no interest in preschool and I never pushed it. With them we learned through adventuring, lots and lots of talking, cooking together, nature walks, etc. For the other two, they have been REALLY eager. My 4 year old would do school all day if I would let her. I needed something that could really satisfy her so I went with a completely curriculum and have been blown away. You can read my full review here, it is the price of 1-2 months of preschool and you can use it the entire year for all the subjects. Plus pass it down to your younger ones! https://homeschoolon.com/charlotte-mason-inspired-preschool/

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