One of the most common questions I get as a home educating parent is "What made you decide to home school?" The answer is.... Well actually there is no single answer to that question. There are so many things my husband and I absolutely appreciate about home education.
Here are a few of our reasons for choosing to home educate our children:
- We can move through our curriculum at the appropriate rate for each of our students. We pace our studies for the readiness of our individual children. We can camp on a concept longer if needed or move through it more quickly if it is not challenging enough.
- Flexibility and quality family time. My children's father works many an evening and weekend. Home educating allows us to be flexible with our formal learning times so that my children can spend more time with their father. Also because my husband's work has seasons of intense demands on his time and seasons that are not as intense we can alter when we take our holiday breaks to work around his schedule.
- We currently have the freedom to choose our children's curriculum. We can choose one that we believe to be academically rigorous, one that supports our values, and one that is unique to our children's learning styles.
- Influence. Who's opinion matters most? Our children spend more time around their parents than their peers. We are older than their friends, have learned more from life than their little friends about the big, wide world. Who should they being taking their ques from? Who sets an example of what is appropriate social behavior? Our children are taught and mentored by their parents. Yes, they socialize with other children. Yes, they experience peer pressure. Our children spend time with a variety of children their age and other ages; some who share our values and some who do not. My children interact respectfully with both. When it comes to opinions for the most part we've found that our children value our opinion over the opinions of their peers. As. They. Should! There will come a day when our children will decide for themselves. Right now WE train them, give them guidelines, lessons on acceptable behavior, and freedom to explore but with limits. I am not saying you cannot do these things if your child is in public school. I am saying the amount of time you have to model these things will differ and the window of available time you are able to teach these things is more limited. We have our kids at their best moments when they still have plenty of energy left for their day.
- We wanted to give our children the opportunity to interact with people of all ages. Nowhere in the "real world" do people only interact with their peers. Life is richer when all the generations are able to benefit from each other.
- It was a positive experience for us as children. Both my husband and I are second generation homeschoolers and enjoyed the way our parents chose to educate us.
Other reasons some have chosen to home educate
-Their child was bullied at school and no solution was found
-Their child's health made it difficult to get to school or had to miss too many school days due to health issues.
-Traveling as a family frequently or for extended periods of time