If you were to ask me in college, where my kids were going to go to school, homeschooling would have been my last option. I had so many preconceived notions about what homeschooling was and the families that chose to participate in it. To me the people who homeschooled were the parents of kids who got expelled from school or the parents who didn’t want to interact with the community that they lived in.
So what changed my mind?
Honestly, I met some people who homeschooled that I related to. I got more information on what the benefits of homeschooling are and the challenges that it brings. Here, in Green Bay, there are many support systems and homeschool communities that make it easier to learn about and gain insight from. From gaining that information, I realized that homeschooling was a good option for my family.
Why homeschooling was best for our family.
Learning never stops
My husband and I are firm believers that once you stop learning you stop growing. We will never be perfect people, but we can always strive to get better in life. We can learn how to handle situations better, give more to others, and gain more skills that will improve not only our lives but the lives of others. We decided the best way to impart this love of learning to our children is by setting good examples and showing them they can learn everywhere, not just in a school setting.
Understanding both sides of a story
Looking back on my schooling (public school), I noticed a trend of not learning all the sides of a story. Textbooks and/or educators misrepresented theories as fact or only taught one angle of a subject. It wasn’t until I gained the ability to read books with the ability to see an author’s bias or to read books on the other side that I was able to form my opinion on topics. This is a skill that I feel is needed today and one that I wanted to instill into my children. I want them to learn that they can form their own opinions not based on popularity or what the media chooses to publish.
Learning at their own speed
My son, Zach, wanted to read at age 2. He is one of those kids who thinks reading an encyclopedia is fun. I love that he loves to learn. He is 8 years old and can read almost as well as an adult. When schools group together children of all the same ages, naturally some have different abilities, and the ones who could be challenged more can get bored. The same goes for the reverse. When my children are not able to grasp a concept, they can spend more time learning it without the pressures of moving on because the other kids understand it.
Tailoring to learning styles
People don’t learn in just one way. Not everyone is a reader or someone who learns by listening to someone explain a concept. My son, Xander, is a ball of energy. He learns the best when he is moving and touching things. Classrooms are not set up for children like him. I honestly believe that he would be the troublemaker if he was to have to sit in a desk for most of the day. At home I can take this into account and once he starts getting restless we can change things up for a bit.
Ability to be flexible
Homeschooling gives us the flexibility to travel and learn while we do. We visit different museums and pick topics to study that pique our interests while we are there. About 2 years ago, we took a trip to Washington D.C. and that sparked interest in the boys to learn more about George Washington and other presidents. That trip also sparked interest in space travel as we got to see the Discovery Space Shuttle. Just looking at pictures or reading books cannot create this excitement.
There are many more reasons that people make the choice to homeschool but these are the top reasons we decided to do so. If you are looking to learn more, reach out to those who can give you resources to make the best decision for your family.