I always think it’s fascinating to find out why people choose/love the type of education they do for their children. Public, private, charter, homeschool – parents can be passionate about what their children are learning from in all areas. As a former teacher, I have heard so many stories during the years I taught from families who wanted the very best from the institute they picked.
Often, homeschooling is linked with religious reasons. However, there is so much more to it for many other families. For some, religion doesn’t even play a part in the decision.
We decided to homeschool for different reasons than simply religion. That is a part of it, but it’s not the whole picture. We are definitely not anti public school, or private either. I’ve taught at both and see wonderful merits to that kind of an education. I never dreamed we would ever, ever homeschool our children.
However, our lifestyle has become one where homeschooling our children truly was the best option. Not just for them, but for us too. Each reason became clearer until at age 4, we know that this is something we really want to do.
So here are some different, non-religious reasons for homeschooling:
Moving Often 1 of 9
One of our main reasons for homeschooling was my husband joining the military. As a child, I moved a lot. This taught me that education isn't cohesive in all states. Meaning in 4th grade I might learn about Russia, and move. My former classmates would go onto learn about India in 5th grade, but in another state I might learn all about Russia again.
Knowing this, and how hard it was on me as a child, we decided to homeschool with the knowledge that if we were settled somewhere long term, we would reevaluate what was best for our daughter.
Time Flexibility 2 of 9
I honestly don't know how dual our of the home working parents handle their children's school/activity schedules. But they do - and my friends do it amazingly well. However, I can get easily stressed and tipped over with all that. Throw in the fact that my husband can be deployed for long periods, and is asked last minute to do things that take him away for days and weeks - school schedules would add a whole other level of crazy. Homeschooling lets us set our pace and revolves around our life.
Growing Up Outside 3 of 9
One of the (few) perks of living in El Paso is for the majority of the year, we have warm weather. This means that we spend a lot of time outside, especially from September to May. I can't think of anything nicer than the mornings Bella and I are in our backyard learning without having to even open a book.
Wanting Children to Learn at their own Pace 4 of 9
I know from teaching that children of the same age grouped together are also expected to have the same range of skills and comprehension. I also know how hard it was for the students who fell below or soared above that range to be taught. Homeschooling allows me to watch my child for signs of readiness in different areas. I can start her early on subjects she shows an interest in, while holding off on others she might not be ready for - regardless of where her peers are.
Working From Home 5 of 9
I always thought I would be an out-of-the-home working mom. But instead, I was forced into stay at home before our daughter was even born because of a hard pregnancy, then after when we realized my teaching job wouldn't pay her daycare expenses. After a year or so, I realized I truly wanted to be at home. I have been blessed in the past 4 years to be able to become a work at home mom, and this allows me to spend time teaching her and working.
Socialization 6 of 9
This is a huge hurdle for homeschooling parents - both to reconcile with themselves and to explain to others. So many of us still think homeschooling means isolation. Your child grows up a bit "off" and sheltered. However, homeschooling actually offers more interaction with a wider variety of ages and personalities. Co-ops, field trips, group settings, homeschool gatherings - these types of situations give children more ages to interact with than just their peers.
Strong Sibling Bonds 7 of 9
Right now our daughter is an only child. But should we be blessed with children we're able to bring home (we've lost 3 sons the past year and a half) we want them to have strong bonds with each other. Not that this can't happen in another kind of school setting - I attended both public and private and am very close with my siblings. I'd love to see my daughter get that special time with a long waited for brother or sister - even though she's almost at a public school age. Homeschooling would make that easier.
Travel 8 of 9
We love to travel. Both Sam and I have been all over the place - Singapore, India, Okinawa, Caymans, etc. So it seems like homeschooling was such a great way to be able to do this, but also to take school with us. No matter where we are, we can tie in a unit with it or just learn on the go without any lessons at all.
Learning Life Skills Early On 9 of 9
I'd like our kids to grow up knowing how to do real things alongside learning math, reading, etc. While education is so important, so is knowing how to care for yourself, your home, and grow up knowing this from an early age. Homeschooling lets us incorporate that into everyday.
Photo credit: istockphotos.com
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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