Why WE Homeschool.....

If someone would have told me 15 years ago,  that I would be a SAHM -  in addition, a homeschooling parent, I would have said you were off your rocker!   But here I am , mother of 4, wife to a wonderful man and homeschooling our three youngest. (note to self: invest in crystal ball)

I can't tell you how I first became intrigued with homeschooling.  It was probably within the last 10 years.   Although I was homeschooled for a year of my highschool life, it was due to an illness and not because my parents thought it was best for their children.    I never knew of any children, personally, that were homeschooled. Can't really say I ever heard the term used much in the 1st 25 years of my life. But somewhere in my heart of hearts, there was a voice inside me telling me that this is best for US.  

Over the past few years I have been asked, countless times, why we homeschool the children.  As with most homeschoolers, it's a wide open question with a lot of reasons (usually).    The other question I get a lot is (besides that socialization one...which I address at the end of this post)  Did you homeschool your oldest, Jeremy?  (he is 22 now)...My answer to that is a sad, No.  I was a single mom for a lot of Jeremy's childhood and it was not possible for a lot of it. He did go to a private school (approx 400 students in the entire school pre-K thru 12th) up until he was a Sophomore and then to public school.   Suffice is to say, I have been there, done that with regards to education and my 1st born. 

Getting back on track as to why WE homeschool.  There are probably hundreds of reasons I am sure, but here are some of ours (in no particular order)

Flexibility to switch or experiment with various curricula (which we do)

Plenty of time for kids to follow their passions. (umm can you say LEGOS)

We can be my kid's biggest influence, not peers or teachers that may have different values than our family

Home schooled children are able to think, explore and discuss topics in ways not possible in a classroom setting. (like having school while camping for instance)

Take a break when your child NEEDS a break. (or when Momma needs one)

Break up the day anyway that you desire and make it fit the attention span of your child. (a much needed bug hunt)

Far fewer wordly/negative influences penetrate your children at a young age when home schooling.

Avoid your child being given educational labels

Your child's achievements, advancements or academic pursuits never need to limited by age or grade.

You can wear your pajamas all day long.  (love this)
You can teach your child your own beliefs and values, and not worry about what they're picking up at school--or being directly taught.
Lessons in conflict resolution that they'll actually be able to use as adults!

The ability to take inclement weather days to enjoy a beautiful day. (an impromptu Ice Cream Social)

"Jesus" is not a curse word... "crap" and "stupid" are

You don't have to miss school because of pink eye, cold, lice (ew, and less chance of getting that)

You can go on vacation in the "off season", which saves money and is more enjoyable because it's less crowded.  

You don't have to worry about who your kids are hanging out with

I get to spend soooooo much time with my kids. (on the Train to NYC one day)

Hugs and saying "I Love You" while we are doing phonics lessons are the norm.

Field trips, field trips and MORE FIELD TRIPS!!!!  (Bronx Zoo is one of our regular and favorite Field Trips)

 Real world experiences, going to the grocery stores and bank constitute a math lesson, gazing at stars on a beautiful summer night and seeing bats inhabit our bat house is science. The list is endless!

The freedom to do every single project in the science book, or none of them, or only the ones that make really big messes. :)

Portability of the schoolroom: make it a beach one day, a park the next day, a bedroom the next day, the living floor another day, whatever suits your family. (
little Wii anyone)

You may teach sex education when and how you want it taught.

There are SOOOO Many more reasons, but this is a good list....

So to the people who ask "what about socialization?"  I say this to them:  our children are involved in skiing, gymnastics, Sunday school, playdates, T-ball, soccer and more....if you ask me, we need to cut back on socialization sometimes.  

You may not agree with HS your children, but that is ok.  One thing I like to tell friends, we are not anti-school....we are just PRO homeschooling.  

Kerri (Jeremy's girlfriend), Jeremy (my oldest), Sammie (my youngest), Molly and Zachary. 
These are the ultimate reasons we homeschool!


Judy said…
This post is so interesting. My kids are 10 and 13 and they attend public school. My daughter is a prodigy when it comes to tennis and we have toyed with the idea of home schooling her. The truth is that my son would be much easier to home school because he is a very motivated student and school comes very easy to him. Definitely food for thought. Your kids are young...what happens when they get to be older and the curriculum gets harder? I know my son is in all advanced classes at school which I don't think I could actually teach. I don't really remember algebra or calculus. Just wondering some of your thoughts on that.
melismama said…
Hi Judy, how are you? Thanks so much for taking the time to read that LONG post...lol....In the years to come, it actually gets EASIER for ME! Imagine that...more on line classes, classes with our co op group that are "taught" by retired teachers and experts in their field also community colleges offer tons of classes to students who are homeschooled. Now I do all the teaching (well me and my hubby), in the future it will much more self driven...There are a lot of people who HS because their children are of the advanced group...takes so much burdeon off the child so they are not so frustrated in the main stream of school. My sister graduated high school when she was a few months after her 17th birthday, she was very advanced. Skipped parts of some grades. I remember her crying at times that she was so board, never called on anymore etc...hope that helps! 8)
Lisa said…
This is such a great post! I can say amen to all your reasons. I have a 7th grader and a 4th grader and we've homeschooled since the beginning. Thank you for sharing your list with us!
despite the fact that my 4 oldest go to school outside of the home, I am very pro homeschooling.

I am very interested in homeschooling my dd sofia since she so innocent and yes I would like to keep her that way. I still have a few years since she is 3 but I would like to hs her for at least k.
Anonymous said…
Great post! Loved reading your reasons and answers to the questions. I need to sit down and right mine out.. so when I finally get the nerve to tell my parents I have my answers formed already!
Kristin said…
This was perfect and right on!
Loved your answers and if I ever make it up your way, will you take me on the train to the Bronx Zoo??? ;o)
I think we have a lot in common as far as younger kids and older kids.
I homeschool my second grader and this is our second year. He started out in kdg at a private school, but you know, I didn't want to give up anymore of our time to someone else. So I took a leap of faith and kept him home for schooling. I will do the same with my toddler. Except I wont even send him for kdg. To say that I love this is such an understatement! But, sadly like you. I have a 20 year old daughter that I didn't do this with and a 16 year old son who is still in private school. Teaching high school scares the bajeebies out of me. But, it's coming up more and more and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't jump off the deep end on that one next fall! Oh Lord help me. I wish I had a cool co-op to lean on!
He keeps asking...and I feel bad because having one away during the day and two at home, even if he is a "cool dude", feels like we are on different islands. And I know when he sees me doing this with his younger brother, he wishes I would have done this with him too. Makes me feel bad that I just didn't know enough or have the surety to do this sooner! ;o(
Great job and thanks for sharing!
Love, Kristin
melismama said…
Thanks Lisa - 8)

O'Connor - I hear you about the innocent thing. So hard to let go of them these days...girls are growing up WAY too fast these days..

Lindsay - YOU GO GIRL! you can do it! and if they don't like it, do it anyway, your child, your life!

Kristin - thanks for your reply! It's a hard choice to have some in school and some home...the home can feel divided at times I am sure. Keep on keepin' on!
Christi said…
What an interesting post....
I recently started homeschooling my 5 year old after her doctors advised her to stay out of school due to health concerns for a year. she has thrived, as has my three year old. It has not been as structured as I had hoped, but we are learning as we go. I do feel confident that she is meeting all of the requirements put forth for kindergarten and is even advanced in some areas (I taight first grade for 6 years). I never imagined myself taking this journey, but am thrilled that I have had the opportunity and am looking forward to continuing it!

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