I simply say, "Because it works for us." I like to add that I am a single mother, and unschooling my ten-year-old.
We homeschool so that we can travel as a family and learn together. We homeschool so our children will be properly socialized, with the help of our community and family, rather than stuck in a room full of six-year-olds and one teacher. Someone tell me how that is socialization? We homeschool so we can experience that thrill when our children master a new concept or skill. I can't imagine missing out on all those special moments. Watching our oldest read her sister a story with that proud, capable look in her eye more than makes up for the little frustrations of homeschooling.
By homeschooling, we can visit all the places we want to go without having to wait in line!
Obviously, we all homeschool for many reasons; but what started me thinking about homeschooling was seeing the amount of damage that my father, my brother and my husband have sustained as a result of what happened to them in school. They are all very lively, intelligent people who were told, pretty much from the first day of school, basically because they wouldn't/couldn't sit still and shut up, that they were stupid, lazy, useless, dumb, defective...whatever. I watch them deal with the damage this caused almost on a daily basis. I also remember what happened to those that didn't fit into the mold when I was in school, and it was downright despicable.
My son is very much like his father, uncle and grandpop and those kids in the "bad row." I have no doubt that if he had started school he would experience very much the same thing as they did. These days he wouldn't be brutalized and written off but he'd surely be labeled and medicated. He'd be told there was something "different" (as in defective) about him, he needed special help, he'd become angry and squelched instead of joyful and energetic, and the light in his eyes would eventually be stamped down to a flicker like all those with the same traits in his family before him.
It is NOT happening to him or any of my children if I can help it.
And happily, I've quickly discovered that homeschooling him is a delight and QUITE healing to his dad, pop and uncle.
In answer to the question, "Why do you homeschool?" I have a serious answer (I wish I had a funnier one): "The public schools failed my children, and they are doing much better at home, with one-on-one help."
I have used this answer quite a bit, and you'd be surprised at the number of times people have answered that, yes, the schools need help; or, no, the schools are not doing that well.
My polite answer: "Because it works for us."
My snarky answer, for people who are questioning rudely or just don't get it: "Why is it that most people don't expect (or want) the government to feed, clothe, or care for their children, but they do expect the government to educate them?"
I am also willing to make this same point more politely to those who are genuinely interested.
Let me count the ways...I do not agree with what the public schools teach, I have no control over who will be influencing my children, I want my children to thrive in a Christian atmosphere at this tender age when they should not have to deal with all the bologna that is thrown at children today. I do not believe it is a natural environment for children of all the same age to be thrown together, they can learn so much more from being around and befriending older and younger people. Why do I homeschool? I love my children too much to send them away to learn what they can naturally and happily learn at home, or abroad, with their family. I want them to always love to learn.
One (of the many) reason we choose to homeschool our two beautiful children is because we as a family would like to be the primary foundation in which they stand. We would not be content/peaceful if they chose to use anyone/anything else as their foundation. We feel the responsibility of raising nurtured, spirited, authentic human beings lies with the parent. As their parents, we would like to be able to help guide them along (physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally) until they are prepared to do so themselves.
As this can turn into a "public schools are awful" diatribe and since it's usually a public school parent who asks me this question, I try to take the high road (read: least confrontational). My response? "Because it's the best choice for our family." I'm pretty sure I stole it from some homeschooling site. J
I chose to homeschool my children for the sake of freedom.
Freedom from unnecessary schedule restraints.
Freedom to learn and explore at our own pace.
Freedom from unhealthy socialization.
Freedom to develop mutually respectful relationships with a wide variety of people.
Freedom from rote memorization and the freedom to develop critical thought.
In a nutshell, freedom in education means freedom to choose whatever paths lead us to success as we define it. Institutions, while useful, are limited in their ability to respond to individual needs. In the end, we are each responsible for our own learning and choices.
Homeschooling makes room for that simple truth.
Well, I'm still new to homeschooling, but I've shortened my answer to simply: we all enjoy it. When pressed, I tell people you can't go wrong with a ratio of two students to one teacher and I don't know of another school in my area that offers that kind of individualized attention. Pressed further, I simply tell tales about my daughter's self-driven improvement in various subjects, and where she'd be placed if tested into public school. Then I let my kids' actions speak for themselves.
I just say, "It works for us." Who I'm talking to determines where I'll go from there. If they know my son, for instance, I'll ask, "Can you imagine him in a sit-still-and-do-your-workbook environment?" because typically he's a blur in red shoes going by. Sometimes, particularly if I'm with a teacher or other school admin-type person, I'll mention that we decided even before our son was a year old, that it had nothing to do with particular schools or anything, just that we felt it would work best for our family. For folks who seem to like big words and "research" and "experts," I'll toss in things like, "We decided that we disagreed with the traditional schooling paradigm...yadda yadda. After all, Connecticut General Statute 10-184 sets the responsibility for raising and educating children squarely on the parents, even if their choice is public school." Lots of quoting of studies, statutes, etc. impresses some folks. And sometimes, I'll just ask, "Why do you ask?" to find out where the question is coming from so I can take a breath and frame an answer.
Why do we homeschool? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I haven't come across this question yet, but I am very new at homeschooling. I took my son out of middle school because he was dealing more with being exposed to fights and drugs than what was being taught in class. He's also a kinesthetic learner and of course this is not the teaching style of public schools. Before second grade, he was "gifted;" after fourth grade he was "ADHD;" and from that point on, because I refused to medicate him, he was "a problem." Despite what teachers say, they do label, judge, and want the kids to be the robots they've become. They know every child is different, but refuse to apply that knowledge to teaching styles! What a shame…and it's children like mine that suffer for many years because of them.
Since pulling my son out and biting my tongue through the deschooling period (eight months!), I noticed a HUGE change in my teenager. Instead of being considered immature, he actually matured very rapidly because the public school peer pressure was off!
I like to tell people that we homeschool because I just never could get it together as early as would be necessary to get my son up, out of bed, dressed, fed, and out the door to school on time. I think that not being a morning person should count as a religious reason for homeschooling, at least when you feel as strongly about it as I do.
I'm not a parent right now, but when I have children, I plan to answer the question by saying, "We want to expand their horizons," or, "We would like them to see more of the world." I hope that will make people pause to think about their other assumptions.
When people ask me why I homeschool, I say: In her last year in public education, my daughter came home with A's and B's on her report card. In the comment section next to math and reading was written "below grade level." I asked, "How can you make honor roll and be below grade level?" The response I got was, "We grade on a sliding scale for no child left behind."
So my child would have gone on physically with her same age friends, but would have been educationally left behind.
The school system failed my daughter, so I cannot possibly do any worse than that.
The reason I homeschool my children is that I choose not to institutionalize them for a good part of their lives.
Okay, I really don't say that, but sometimes I wish I had the nerve to!
Why do we homeschool? There are too many reasons to say. You hear people give so many explanations, but maybe it's best summed up with the things I've NEVER heard anyone say.
I've never heard anyone say, in their old age, that they wished they'd spent less time with their families. That if they had it to do all over again, they'd spend more time at work.
I've never heard anyone say that when their child was little their relationship was okay, but then when he became a teenager and --WOW-- he just suddenly opened up and started sharing so much, and their relationship just became so close. It was like he had turned into someone else!
I've never heard anyone say, "While I was home watching my child take his first steps/read his first book/suddenly get multiplication/ask that earth-shattering insightful question, my office manager came into my cubicle again to complain about that irritating guy in the accounting department and I MISSED IT!
I've never heard anyone say they just couldn't leave work at the end of the day because their coworkers were hanging on their legs saying, "Please, please don't leave. We hate it when you leave!"
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