This is the 3rd week of the getting to know you blog hop going on at Our Worldwide Classroom. It has been great fun meeting others around the blog world while at the same time, letting you know a little bit more about me.
The question this week is Why? Specifically, why we home school. As Kylie at Our Worldwide Classroom points out, this is one of if not THE #1 question asked of home school families. We have only been homeschooling for about a year and a half, and our oldest is still only 4 (3 by school district standards since her birthday is late) so I have just started to hear this question. I am happy to have the chance to 'perfect' my answer before it starts coming en mass.
The short answer is: Because we truly feel that God is calling us to do so. I feel He has put people in our lives at just the right time to encourage us in our home school adventure, and has continued to provide the strength and resources as well.
If you want the full story, keep reading :)
I should tell you that, prior to having children 4 years ago, I would have told you that homeschooling was for weird people, even though my own cousins where home schooled and not weird. Even 3 years ago would have have told you that, even though I no longer thought homeschooling was weird, I would not be homeschooling my children.
Fast forward to the summer of 2008. Up until this time I had been working full-time outside of the home while being a mommy of 2. This was difficult, to say the least, especially since I felt strongly that I should be at home with my children. But, we finally found ourselves in a financial situation that would make it possible for me to stay home. The last day at my job was in September of 2008.
While we were deciding if the time had come for me to be a SAHM, Mustang was offered the opportunity to go to preschool for free. She has a slight speech delay where she substitutes consonants in various words (which makes teaching phonics very interesting). She had been receiving speech therapy one day a week and they had referred her to the local school district since her therapy ended when she turned 3. She 'qualified' to receive a free preschool education at the local school district, 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.
If I had chosen to continue working, we would have sent Mustang to school and life would be very different. But, I thought, "I am leaving my job to spend MORE time with my children, not to send them off to school." I also knew that she was too young for school and we would think about it for the next year.
About that time, my husband heard a series of radio shows by Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberties, about education and the benefits of homeschooling. My husband heard, from someone he respected, about how home schooled students often score higher on standardized tests, and about how many ulterior motives the public schools, specifically the NEA, has for 'educating' our children.
In addition to this, I, too was starting to feel called to teach Mustang at home and started reading anything I could get my hands on about how and why I should do so. And to top it all off, my brother had just married a sweet, creative, totally normal, home schooled young lady.
So that's the LOOONG version of how we started to explore the idea of schooling our kids at home. But the reason we have continued to home school and intend to do so in the future, is that it is so much FUN! I love being there to see Mustang learn to read words and I love seeing how many letters that Charger can already say. I am amazed at their interest in learning and love trying to find things to encourage that love.
I heard on 19 Kids and Counting (I think it was 17 Kids and Counting at the time) from Gil & Kelly Bates a GREAT reasoning for homeschooling. They said that if you grow a plant from a seedling, you will keep it inside and protected until it is strong enough to plant outside in the ground. If you put it outside when it is ready, it will be able to weather any storm that comes its way.
We do not home school our kids because of the big, bad, evil, school system (though the more I learn about it the more I am glad we chose a different route). We home school so that we can provide our kids with a personalized education, tailored to their learning style and motivations. I pray that we will also be able to teach them about the Lord and to have a heart for His people.
And that is the reason we home school. Are you considering homeschooling? Check out the links below to hear why others have chosen home education for their children. God Bless!