There are many reasons we decided to homeschool. I've always liked the idea of homeschooling. My Dad was always very supportive of the idea, and I actually did homeschool for part of fifth and part of sixth grade. But, it never seemed like it was the right time to homeschool my own kids before this year.
Here are the main reasons we chose homeschooling:
We have nothing against our local public school. It's a great school and serves a lot of children well. The teachers are great. But, our kids were having a hard time. They are right in that crack where they need a little extra time on some concepts, but aren't far enough behind to be in the "extra help" group. I wanted them to have a chance to catch up and take extra time to solidify those concepts they aren't quite ready to move on from. Right now they have a bad taste in their mouth about school, so I want to help them gain some academic self-confidence and increase their love for learning.
Also, last school year they spent a lot of time on test-prep, preparing for the high-stakes NY state assessment tests. They didn't have a spelling list for the first six months of school, and only did a tiny bit of science throughout the year. They crammed in a bunch of science the last few weeks of school, when the kids are totally checked out and ready for summer-- especially since they didn't get out until the end of June!
I want my kids to be able to study subjects they are interested in more in-depth. For example, a few weeks ago we were in NYC and went to Chinatown. The kids were fascinated with the culture, and Katelynn wanted to learn a bunch of stuff about China. Great! Let's do it!
Freedom & Flexibility
As the end of summer was approaching, I started to feel this tightening in my chest. During the school year the kids leave the house by 8:15 and get home around 4:00. Then there's homework, dinner, chores, and bed. That doesn't even include any extra-curriculars, sports, or church activities. When do we have a chance to spend time together as a family that doesn't involve fighting about catching the bus, struggling with getting homework and chores done, making dinner, or rushing all over town? Plus, after a long school day kids are cranky! I was starting to feel like the only time I'd be seeing my kids would be times I was fighting with them! That's no way to foster a good relationship! With homeschool we can ease into our day, work on schoolwork for a couple of hours, then spend time doing fun things! Have a day we don't feel like "doing school"? Head to a museum or zoo! They'll probably learn just as much on our field trip. Shh...don't tell! ;)
Now, I'm not saying that every moment with my dear children is bliss (it's not), and I'm not saying that every homeschool day will be perfect (it won't be), but I do feel like this is the right thing for our family at this time. It might be different next year. Who knows? But, for now it is, and I'm going to run with it!
Do you homeschool your kids, or did you homeschool as a child? What were your reasons?
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