Home Life for Children and Homeschooling

We (I) really want to home school our kids.

My oldest daughter will be in Kindergarten next year, and I don’t have many reasons to NOT send her.  It’s a great school, good teachers, lots of recommendations, it’s close by.  I know she’d have fun.  It’s just that there are so many reasons to home school!  It feels so right, and sometimes the things that just feel right are hard to justify.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to adequately answer everyone’s questions, especially my family.

The biggest one right now is “She only gets to do Kindergarten once!”  I know.  And I want to do it as a family.  We’re not completely decided on where she’ll be next year- she decided that home school kindergarten sounds like fun, but after that she HAS to “go to school.”  We’ll talk about it more when we get closer- I definitely don’t want to do anything she’s dead set against.  But at the same time…she’s 4.  There needs to be a balance in who decides what’s in her best interest.

The choices we’re making right now in our home mean that life is better when we’re here.  I love being with my girls, and having a natural rhythm in our days.  Even when that means I’m up at 5:30 with a perky toddler, I love the peace that’s here.  The girls wander around playing and learning, I do the daily chores of cleaning, baking, cooking, sorting, gardening, etc.  The girls are learning to do their part in the home- my oldest (she’s 4) clears the dishes and wipes the table after our meals, and sorts and puts away her own laundry on laundry days.  The youngest (16 months) follows her older sister around learning.  She loves to help empty the dishwasher, handing everything to us to put away.  We come together and play, we have meals together, we feel like a unit.  The day flows from morning activities to rest time to afternoon playing to family meal to night time.

Another concern people have is that I will be completely stressed.  I’m not so sure.  My husband sees me at the end of the day- I try to have dinner ready when he walks in the door, which generally means I’m stirring pots and being hounded by hungry children with low blood sugar, and my patience is shot.  The rest of the day isn’t like that!  I’ve been teaching piano for over 10 years.  I LIKE teaching kids.  I’ve learned when to pull, when to applaud, when to joke, and when to just walk away for a week or so and come back and see if they’re ready to try the task again.

So much of a young child’s life is bound up in the home life- their imaginary plays, learning the lay out of their neighborhood (where the parks are, etc…the important stuff!), having rest time in a familiar place, learning the roles of their gender in the home.  Knowing that the family unit is the most important social structure on earth, I want ours to be the best it can be.  I know that I can teach our children, and I know that I can do a better job than the public school system, if nothing else than by virtue of student-to-teacher ratio.  (And besides- do you want your child to have 200 same-age mentors, or a wide range of ages to watch?  That’s what I thought!)

I have so many ideas, and I am so excited for this.  This is getting long, but have you ever considered home schooling?  Would you ever consider it?  (Or have you ever home schooled?)

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13 Responses

  1. Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  2. Good luck!! It sounds fabulous and what Matt and I are thinking as well. We don’t have our first kid yet (waiting for September…) but homeschooling is on our to-do list.

    I’m not terribly impressed with how schools are forced to adopt a “learn to pass the tests” approach in order to obtain a rank that will allow them more funding. I think it’s a shame in that it curbs a teacher’s ability to choose their own curriculum and infringes on their need to adjust their teaching styles at times.

  3. Try it…you can always change your mind later. If you have some good homeschool groups and activities in your area, a very social child won’t miss out, and will probably be very happy filling up her social time tank with sort of thing. A Co-op is another alternative. It’s more work for the moms, but good for folks who like to learn with groups.

  4. You would always regret not trying, at least that’s what I told myself when we started this year. So far we are loving it, and we are so glad to be able to make learning a family event. It’s hard sometimes, but so worth it. And the good parts way outweigh the hard parts. I agree that a homeschool group can be really beneficial, socially for your child and for support for you. You can do this and you will love it!

  5. HI there!!! WOW, homeschooling – give it a go, I did!!

    If you need to read something about how I decided to try it with my two girls, head on over to my blog and look at (un)schooling on the archive page….I have picked some of my more interesting and helpful posts and listed them for people to read there.

    I went through a process of ‘de-schooling’ with my eldest as she had three years at preschool before we took her out – sounds like you have not put your eldest into school yet though – that’s GREAT!!!

    anyway, feel free to ask me any questions about routine, curriculum or lack of it etc. I am here to help because I know exactly how daunting it can feel.

    good luck,
    Louisa x

  6. Hi! I’ve been clicking through links of various craft sites, and I arrived at yours.

    About homeschooling – from the beginning I’ve been unschooling my two children, who are currently 12 and 13. My 13 y.o. daughter went from complete unschooling and decided to jump into high school. It was FINE. That was one of my biggest worries when they were tiny, that it wouldn’t “work”, and they’d be at a disadvantage educationally. No worries.

    There are so many books to read about homeschooling/unschooling – John Taylor Gatto, John Holt, so many others you’ll find along the way as you continue to investigate. Another great book, though not exactly about education, is “Hold On To Your Kids”, about the importance of a child’s primary attachments being to parents rather than peers. Can’t recommend that one enough.

    I’d really encourage you in this. There’s barely a day that goes by that my son (12) doesn’t thank me for not making him go to school.

    • Hi, I’m so glad you came! I’m amazed at how supportive everyone has been- thank you for the book recommendations, I’ll be adding them to my “hold” list at the library 🙂

  7. I just found your blog after reading a comment you made on futuregirl’s blog. I was going to suggest home schooling groups too, but it looks like others beat me to it. I saw a couple cooperative home schooling ventures on my mission for the LDS church, and they seemed to have the best of both worlds. The children got to socialize more than the strictly home-schooled kids, they did not have to deal with the “dumbed down” curriculum of public schools, and the parents pooled their talents so that they taught the subjects they were best at. I applaud anyone who is willing to give that much time and effort to her family. I hope you have a fantastic journey!

  8. Hi, just came across this and thought I would comment. I home school and am currently doing grade 2 with my oldest. I have a younger daughter as well. I work from home and am a single parent. I wouldn’t change anything…the rhythm of our day is so comfortable and I thoroughly enjoy all the time I get to spend with my girls. I would recommend it to anyone.

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