Thursday, February 18, 2016

Why Do You Homeschool?

For years, I pondered the idea of homeschooling my daughters. After all, I knew several friends who were homeschooling their children and they were doing it well. When I first started talking about it with my husband, my daughters were only three years old. We still had a couple years before we really needed to worry about it, but at the time we both agreed that we didn't have what it would take to homeschool our kids.

In our minds, homeschooling families were on-the-go, active, engaged families who went on field trips every day and were involved in everything. Surely in order to be successful at homeschooling, children need to be "socialized" and in order to do that, it takes an active family that purposefully initiates contact with the outside world on a regular, daily basis.

If the kids were not going to go to school Monday through Friday where they can be "properly" socialized, it would be up to us to ensure they receive these vital life lessons. There was just one problem with this. We are not what you call social people to be begin with.

We are introverts.

So, how could we responsibly give our children a well rounded educational experience when we were not the go-getting type of parents who would willingly and joyfully sign their kids up for every sport, activity, and hobby under the sun? These parents schedule back-to-back commitments with a smile and eagerness. Not only would they do that, they would be the coach, the parent volunteer, coordinate the ice cream social, and still have time to put a five course dinner on the table.

This idea scared me.

As I considered every excuse as to why I didn't qualify for being an adequate teacher for my children, I was reminded of these truths:

1. I loved my children more than anyone else in the world.

2. I cared about my children's education and their future more than anyone else in the world.

3. I would do whatever it took to ensure they received what they needed to develop in all aspects of their life in a way that was fitting for our family.

4. What they learned was important to me and ensuring that was founded on biblical truth.

5. Letting them explore who they were and letting education come naturally was important.

When I consider the truths listed above, it reminds me why I am homeschooling my children. And it is exciting to see how my kiddos have blossomed into more confident social creatures outside of the brick and mortar school. They are learning to engage people of all ages, to be kind to those younger than they, and find humility when they are not treated kindly back by those who have embraced the age/social pecking order of the public school world.

I am also learning the balance of homeschooling my children and not getting caught up in the doing-it-all mentality. Taking care of myself is a vital part of maintaining order in the household. While I am not always perfectly in line with my energy levels as an introvert and our daily workload, I remind myself why we are doing what we are doing. All I have to do is remember, and the idea of homeschooling doesn't scare me anymore.

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