Every single time I talk to someone new I get asked where my children go to school. I absolutely hate this question, because I know the response I will get as soon as I say I homeschool.
“Oh, wow. I could never do that.”
“I wish I could homeschool, but I’m just not patient enough to do so.”
I really hate both these statements.
I want to start off this post by saying something; I am not patient in the least. That’s not me being modest. Or humble. I’m seriously not patient. When listing my attributes no one would ever use the word patient to describe me. No one ever has, and no one ever will. But yet I get that label the second someone hears I homeschool.
Want to know why I homeschool?
First, I am extremely selfish. I worked hard to get my babies here. Most were overdue, and most took lots of planning, dedication, tons of tears, prayers and my savings account to get here. I don’t want to share them. I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. I want to watch them learn and grow. This is also why we’ve made it a priory for me to stay home with my kids. I was there for their first smile, their first laugh, first tooth, first step. I want to be there for the first time they solve a long division problem, the first time they successfully sound out a word. I want to be there when they surpass my math abilities. And they will surpass my math abilities, in a few years in fact.
Second, I’m paranoid. I do not believe that school is the safest place for my children to be. I don’t think school is a positive place to be. I think that’s it can be extremely harming to your self worth. I was bullied through most of school, and I don’t think it gave me “character.” I don’t think that being teased and tormented daily is a necessary part of life. I don’t think it made me a better person. It made me a more sarcastic person, it gave me zero tolerance for it. And school is not a safe place for that. Zero tolerance rules don’t keep bulling out, they just mean that you get bullied badly enough that you’re scared, and ashamed, to tell. Which I don’t think it useful for the real world. In the real world that’s harassment, and it’s illegal. It’s not “kids just being kids.” It’s adults losing their jobs and having restraining orders filed against them.
Third, I honestly fail to see why school is so long and then kids come home with a mountain of homework. You kept my kid for 7 hours a day, and then there are several hours of homework? No. And my lack of patience? I think I’d stab myself in the eye if I had to help with homework. If you teach the lesson it’s way easier to help with the work. But if you weren’t there then the teacher is always correct and you are wrong. Eye stabbing.
Forth, I love the one on one personalized education that I can give my children. I spend an entire year (preschool) learning all about my child’s learning style. I learn what works, what doesn’t, what causes anxiety, their strengths and their weaknesses. When we start kindergarten they know the school drill, they know what’s expected of them and I know how to teach them. I love that each subject is individualized for them, their learning style and their ability. If a curriculum doesn’t work for a child we can change it so that it does work. I’m not smashing them through a mold and hoping it works out. I was once told that this was damaging because it makes them think it’s all about them and that they aren’t use to having to wait. I laugh. Last year, and in Kindergarten, Sydney was given lessons while I nursed a new baby and kept a toddler from harm. There is always someone yelling or jumping off of something. They have learned to study in a war zone, and they’ve learned to be patient while I get to them because their needs aren’t always met first. So she’s learning to pull out a book during the boring moments in life. I call this a win.
Fifth, I absolutely love the relationships they are developing with each other. Sydney and Audrey are best friends, they get to spend all day every day with each other. The most important relationships they will ever have are with their family. If you can get along with your siblings then you can get along with anyone. Especially when one of those siblings does everything in his power to irritate you.
And most importantly? I homeschool because it is what I feel is best for my children. These are my children that I have been entrusted with. It doesn’t make me a better mother because I homeschool. It doesn’t make you a worse mother because you send your children to public school. My job is to do what I believe is best for my children. Period. Their needs above mine. I’m not going to lie, this is hard work. But anything worth while is difficult. Yes, it would be nice to go to the grocery store without four kids in toe, and it would be nice to have some alone time. Both of those things will happen, long before I’m ready, and before I know it. I’ll enjoy them then, but for now I’m enjoying learning with my children.
And PS, you could so homeschool and you’d rock it. But if you don’t want to that’s okay too. We live in an awesome day and age where we have choices. You might think you’d never be able to homeschool, but I think I’d never be able to send my children to public school. You do you, but let’s still be friends. If you want to homeschool though, I’ll be your cheerleader. I look great in the uniform! 😉