Why would any sane human being decide to homeschool? This is what I asked myself in the very beginning, when homeschooling was just a fleeting thought. After talking with homeschooling friends, I have come to realize this is a common and normal question to ask before deciding to homeschool. Why would anyone decide to homeschool? The answer was quite simple for me: because I love my children and want what is best for them. I could see early on that my oldest son was going to have a hard time sitting still in school and most likely would be asked to take drugs to help him concentrate. Many parents are facing this dilemma today, especially parents of boys. So I thought to myself, why force my son to sit still all day when I could teach him at home and allow him to move as much or as little as he chose to each and every day. I knew I wouldn’t shame him for being an active boy and wanting to run around, but I couldn’t be sure that a teacher who has 30 other children to work with would see it the same way. They have a tough job and have more children than just mine to focus on and teach.
It may sound selfish, but one of the concerns in the beginning was whether or not I could have the patience to be with my children every day, all day. After being home with my kids full time I thought about how nice it would be when they went to school and I had time for myself. Simultaneously I also knew I would be sacrificing the limited amount of time I would have with my sons. Their childhood would go so fast and I was not ready to be away from them more hours a day than with them. When my boys were five years old, I still wanted to be there when they had moments of surprise, excitement, learning and fun exploring the world around them. I wanted to see the look in their eyes when they watched a butterfly hatch or hear their laughter when I read them Judy Bloom’s books. I also wanted to make sure they were nurtured when they fell and cut their knee or their feelings were hurt. And at the end of the day I did not want to worry about how they were doing in school; instead I wanted to be part of their learning and growing. And looking back now, those were precious years together.
I homeschooled two boys, the oldest one is out of high school and the younger one is a senior in high school. They thank me often for homeschooling them. They know now that I chose to homeschool and yes I did sacrifice building a career and time to myself. Yet homeschooling did not mean I did not have lunch with friends; I just did it with my kids in tow. Homeschooling did not mean I skipped yoga; I just did it at home with the kids watching and often participating. So although I didn’t have time alone, I had lots of time with my boys. Not a bad trade off in my eyes. If spending time with your children is enjoyable for you, homeschooling is an amazing journey that you will absolutely fall in love with. I knew that I had the best companions in the world to spend my days with, my boys.
Looking back, if I were to do it all over again I would homeschool in a heartbeat. Not many times in my life would I want to repeat. I am grateful for all of the past experiences in my life, but I don’t have a desire to go back to high school. If anything, I now wish I had been homeschooled. I think I would have been better served as a human being than going through the public school system. At the end of the day, I felt lost on who I was and what I was here to do. I spent my school years working hard to be a great student, but really no one ever stopped and asked me what was important to me. I just knew I was to go to school and if I was a good student that was most important.
I thoroughly enjoyed my college years. I actually fell in love with learning in college and I did find more of my interests. But then again I would still not want to repeat those years all over again. Yet when thinking of homeschooling my boys, I would repeat those years in a second. I actually told them if they have children, and would like to homeschool, I would be happy to help if their significant other was in agreement. They jumped for joy and said that they were thinking of how great their childhood was and wanted to give that to their children. That was such an amazing thing to hear!
I am so grateful that I decided to answer the question of, “Would any sane human being choose to homeschool”, with a yes! At first I decided to try it for a year. I thought that would be a great experiment to see if I enjoyed it. That was fifteen years ago and was the best decision I have ever made, besides saying yes to marrying my husband six years before that.
So if you are thinking of homeschooling and thinking you could never do it for whatever reason, I beg to differ. You are the perfect person to do it. Who else will care for your child as much as you will?