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Why We Do School at Home

There are lots of reasons to homeschool. Today I share why we do school at home.

Hubby and I just got home from the California Great Homeschool Convention. I only mis-navigated the adventure a few times during our travels, and we only took a couple wrong turns.

But, it was an overall success because FishPapa and I had a chance to reconnect and revisit some ideas as regards our homeschool. 

We also talked about the why’s and what for’s of our children’s education at home.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for several years: Why do you homeschool? It’s a question that folks wonder about, especially since I was once a public school teacher, raised by public school teacher parents with a mother-in-law who was, you guessed it, a public school teacher.

It’s also a good question for us to ask ourselves from time to time, so that we can be reminded of our purpose. And be encouraged when the days are hard. Because, yes, the days are sometimes hard.

Why do we do school at home?

This question has lots of answers. And the answers have evolved over time. We got married 18 years ago. In that time we’ve welcomed six babies to our family. We’ve lived and schooled in two different states. Life has been full of all kinds of twists and turns.

When we married, I was in graduate school getting my teaching credential in secondary school English. At that time I had no vision of ever teaching my kids at home, at least not as their main instructor. Surrounded by other teacher families in our church and community, we took the stance of being as involved as possible in our community and in our local school, but never would we homeschool.

Things have certainly changed since then. Ready to go back in time with me?

1997: Just a beginning of a beginning

In 1997 I was a teacher in a public high school, in my second year, desperate for tenure (read: job security) as I taught  American Literature and Introductory French as well as served as the Yearbook advisor. I was the youngest teacher on campus, a mere four or five years older than some of my students.

The odd thing about that experience was that parents looked to me for advice with their children. Many of them were old enough to be my parents but they looked to me to counsel them, not about French and English, but about parenting and discipline issues. Me?!

All because the state had handed me a teaching credential.

During that second year I was burdened by the parenting and discipline issues more than the teaching of subject matter. In a department meeting I was stunned to hear my colleagues sigh about the parents, roll their eyes about the parents, complain that they were tired of doing what the parents wanted when it came to educating the children.

Many of these teachers really felt that parents were in their way. They wanted carte blanche to do, say, and teach whatever they wanted in the classroom, regardless of what the parents of their students wanted. This sentiment may be “normal” or traditional, but it didn’t sit right with me.

I hoped that I would someday have children and I knew that I was responsible for the care of my children. I wanted them to have an excellent education and a strong moral compass. And though I was only a 23-year old teacher at the time, I didn’t appreciate my young, whipper-snapper peers dictating what children should or shouldn’t learn — or rolling their eyes when a parent “interfered”.

Whether it was disdain for the parents’ religious viewpoints, values, or literary preferences, these folks wanted to call the shots.

Disclaimer! Now, I know that there are many, MANY teachers who do not take such a cavalier stance about their students. Many of my friends are such teachers. There are multitudes of very fine teachers who really do partner with parents to educate children in the best way they can. And in the defense of teachers, there are many parents who abdicate their responsibilities and leave teachers holding the bag not only to teach subject matter, but also to serve as a child’s sole  guide into adulthood.

That said, this was a situation that concerned us. Later that year our first child was born. From the get-go we decided that we would teach him at home. While I don’t believe that there is anything wrong in delegating a child’s education to others, the climate in California education — and especially in my own community — at that time convinced me that I couldn’t completely trust those in charge. I wanted to be hand’s on and not give ear to the siren song that says, “Don’t worry. The school will take care of it.”

FishPapa and I saw the responsibility as ours, not one to abdicate to those who may or may not hold the same values for a quality education or even simply respect our position as parents. At that time, I would say (and still do):

We are choosing home education because we want to be as “hands on” as possible.

2002: The beginning

Of course, it’s easy to say one thing when you’re pregnant or holding a newborn. It’s an altogether different thing to actually do it. When our oldest was one year old, we moved from Santa Barbara to the small town of Paso Robles. There we bought a house, dug down roots, met a bunch of homeschoolers, and had two more kids.

In those preceding years, I had devoured all the homeschooling literature I could lay my hands on, including but not limited to The Well-Trained Mind and Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. I was sold out on homeschooling. My love of curriculum and my teaching background made me eager (probably overly so) to get started. I couldn’t wait for my son to be old enough to “do school.”

We did a preschool program at home, including lots of books and imaginative play. By the fall of 2002, I had three kids, aged 5, 2, and infant. We were well on our way to learning at home together. I couldn’t imagine sending my boy off someplace else. We were having too much fun together! And while the days were certainly long, I enjoyed spending them with my kids. At that time, I would say (and still do):

We are choosing home education because we love being together and learning together.

2011: Reassessing

In the years that followed, we moved cross country — twice: To Kansas and Back Again. We added three more children to the fold. Last spring, they were in 8th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, and pre-school. So far I had taught four kids to read, write, and do basic mathematics. We’d reaped a multitude of benefits, including:

  • a custom-made curriculum for each child
  • an abundance of field trips and extra-curricular activities
  • a flexible school (and vacation) schedule
  • an ability to change a curriculum that wasn’t/isn’t working
  • a freedom to take a break when everyone was tired, fussy, crabby
  • an overall atmosphere of learning and peace in our home that isn’t interrupted by school schedules, conferences, or conflicts with people who may or may not love my family the way I do
  • an independence of thought as we realize that we don’t fit the typical homeschool mold (we agree with lots of folks on lots of points, but aren’t “lock step” with any one philosophy, method, or denim jumper style)

Yet that spring we did a massive reevaluation. When you take on the sole responsibility of teaching your children at home, there is always that nagging fear, What if you make a mistake? It’s there. And there’s no teacher or principal to blame.

The flip side of that is that there’s no one to blame. The responsibility is ours. And this, really, is what we signed up for. It certainly hasn’t been easy. But, it has been good.

And as we reevaluated last year, wondering if we should charter or private school for our son’s upper grades, we realized: If it’s not broke, why fix it? We’d enjoyed these years of benefits. Our kids were (and are) people who we love to be with. We enjoy learning things together and helping our kids make sense of the world. Standardized testing showed that everyone was on track for his age. And they all know how to look someone (of any age) in the eye and hold a decent conversation.

Again, it hasn’t been easy. But, it has been good. And if you asked me last spring and summer, why are you homeschooling, I would have said (and still do):

We are choosing home education because it’s working for our family.

2012: Today

In the last five months, I’ve done an extreme homeschool makeover, gone on a blogging trip to meet a homeschooling hero, reread one of the guiding influences over my educational philosophy, and now am fresh from two days spent at a homeschool convention listening to speakers, swapping notes with my peers, looking at curriculum, and chatting with my husband about this wild and crazy thing we call life.

I’m excited about the year ahead and feel my confidence renewed that we can go the distance. We may not do it like anybody else. We may be carving a path in the jungle together. We may make a ton of mistakes, but at least they’ll be our mistakes, not someone else’s.

We enjoy our family, weaknesses and all. We love being hands-on with our kids’ education, learning together, spending time with our kids — and it’s all working for us (more or less).

Why are you homeschooling? Today I say:

Why not?

We don’t have any reasons NOT to homeschool. So far in this wild and crazy life of ours, our kids are literate, sociable individuals who can read, write, and do math. They are fun to be with and can converse with folks of a range of ages and dispositions.

So, that’s my story. What’s yours?

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Comments

  1. I love the way you presented your beliefs on homeschooling. I have never seen such an open minded point of view by a homeschooling parent when talking to them. I am a school teacher and in September 2013, I fully intend to send my daughter to kindergarten in public school. However, I feel like you are the first homeschooling person who respects those who choose public education and for tlhat I say thank you! Too often, I have been criticized for being a working mom (will be leaving my teaching job at the end of this school year) and I felt so inadequate because we simply could not afford for me to stay home.

    I choose public education for two main reasons:
    1. My best friends in high school were Christian. They showed me the path to Jesus and essentially saved my life. If their parents had chosen to homeschool I don’t know where I would be today.
    2. So many children have parents who will not or cannot support their children at home. I feel like, if good parents do not step up and push for good education for all students, then the gap between homeschooled or private school students and public schools will continue to widen and widen.

    Thank you for your positive position on homeschool vs. public education.

    • Hey Charyse,
      I read your comment and I know of those you speak of. It saddens me that some homeschoolers can and do behave that way. It makes it sound as if we are somehow better than others because of what we do.
      We do homeschool our children but we also realize that every family is different and need to do what is put on their hearts to do and it’s not our place to judge.
      Just keep on doing what you are doing if it’s working for ya girlfriend. LOL!
      Have a great day.
      Kim

      • My view is much like Jessica’s. How to educate our children is a very personal decision and there is no one right way. Since my son was born, I have felt so strongly that God wants me to homeschool even though I had never considered it before. Often when I mention to friends that I am going to homeschool, it seems that they get on the defensive as if my decision is a criticism of their parenting. Thank you Jessica and Charyse for exhibiting the tolerant attitudes that I wish everybody would have.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Charyse, thanks for sharing your experience. While I think anyone could homeschool, I’m never going to say, “thus sayeth the Lord.” That gets overused a little bit. ;)

      Blessings to you on your journey of motherhood!

      • Hi, I enjoyed reading your post. I actually don’t agree that anyone COULD homeschool. I have a couple sisters, for instance, with addiction issues and very unstable homes and believe their children are far better off in a public school for part of the day. I homeschool and consider it a great privilege and responsiblity but also believe we need healthy public/alternative schools out there.

  2. This was a wonderful post. I was reading Charyse’s response and I know that some homeschoolers can isolate themselves to those who send their children to school and it’s a shame that they would act that way.
    On the flip side though, we’ve had people say we’re crazy for homeschooling and that we are damaging our children’s chance on a good start in life. Oh and then there’s the “socialization” thing. LOL! I know you know.
    Ultimately though you gotta do what’s best for your family because each family is soooo different.
    We homeschool for many different reasons. Many you’ve mentioned right here. But for us it’s also a biblical stance. Most public schools are so anti-God now a days it’s scary.
    Well anyway, I just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed reading this. I didn’t mean for my comment to be as long as your post. LOL!
    Have a lovely day.
    Kim

  3. I am 2 weeks away from graduating my first child, whom has been completely homeschooled from the beginning. (We have four more behind her.) She has been accepted into a great university in the program of her choice. Did we make mistakes? Yep. Do I wish I had done some things differently, looking back? Absolutely. But you make what seem to be the right decisions at the time, based on the current circumstances/goals/guidance; and then you just do your best and trust God to fill in the gaps in His own way. And we are SO PLEASED and PROUD of the woman she has become. We are SO aware of the fact that even with homeschooling, it is not our effort but God’s grace that raises our children. But we have loved our homeschooling journey and I want to encourage you in yours, even through high school, if that’s what you decide. As parents we are fallible, as teachers we have error–but God is neither of those things, and we can lean on Him and trust in His sovereignty over our children’s lives.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Amen!

      Thanks for your encouragement. Yes, we are on track for high school. Outsourcing some subjects so that we all stay happy. ;)

  4. I really enjoyed reading this! Thank you for sharing your journey.

    I’m now in that “Just a beginning of a beginning” phase, with only one child so far, my 4 1/2 month son. It’s exciting and also intimidating to think about teaching him.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      It is. But, so is parenting in general! LOL. This is just a part of walking alongside him as he grows and develops. Of course, for the moment you have to carry him. ;)

    • I’ve heard this fear before, but I’ve also heard a great response. As parents, we teach our children to walk, talk, use the toilet, etc. Why do we suddenly think we’re incapable of teaching because they’ve turned 5? Just something to think on while you’re tending to your precious little son.

  5. Michelle says:

    Thank you a million times over for this post! I am making the transition to homeschool and it is daunting. I often feel judged by others for daring to do something different. I also have felt uncomfortable with many homeschoolers’ general attitudes toward those who choose public school. I was so happy to read this post that simply illustrates doing what works for your family.

    My son seems to be some type of dyslexic but because his IQ is slightly above the average for his age, our public school cannot help him. His self-esteem is ruined. His teacher is AMAZING and has been such a help on her own time. She recognized the signs and tutored him for free. But in the end, she was bound by the system.

    I am so very blessed to be able to do this and I know not everyone can. But I cannot feel bad or guilty for giving my son what I can. I know not everyone can stay home and not everyone would want to homeschool, but I am thankful to have the freedom to choose it….or not.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Yeah! So excited for this journey you’re off on. Fresh from the homeschool convention, I feel confident that you will find your path to make your son’s school rich and rewarding for you both. Let me know how I can help!

  6. Great post! We are entering our 10th year of homeschooling! Having a great homeschool support group around has been such a huge blessing for us. The kids have made great friends and it’s great for the mom’s to be able to have someone to go to for information and help.

    I’m also constantly reminding myself that 1) I am not trying to replicate the school (obviously they don’t work well) and 2)It’s okay to be “behind”. I put that in quotes because being “behind” means someone is “ahead” and in homeschooling there aren’t usually two students in the same class! I remind myself that I’m looking for mastery of Algebra NOT a passing test grade. And if it takes us weeks to master it it’s okay! The foundation has to be there if you’re going to build on it! 3)almost everything we do falls into “education”. My son decided he wanted to play guitar. In the last 3 years he has slowly but surely taught himself how to play (Thanks to You Tube!). Now he’s to the point where he wants lessons…and I’m glad to get them for him…because it’s something he desires. I want my kids to desire to learn new things. 4) I want to to train them to be kind, caring people who love Jesus more than anything. We have discussions on bullying, drugs, alcohol, poverty, etc. We can use the Bible as our authority and see examples around us. We can volunteer in our community and develop their moral compass.

    These are the ones that we currently love about homeschooling…every year we add more to the list!

  7. Kelli T. says:

    Your beginning story sounds so much like mine. I was a high school teacher, who never considered homeschooling, until I taught the first few years in the schools. I saw a lot of the same things you did and decided that I wanted to be in charge of my children’s education. We have our first little one at home, who is only 1 years old, but we have already joined the homeschooling network at our church and have started researching curriculums.

  8. Great read! We’ve been schooling at home for 5-6 years now. I have four kids and one on the way. We’ve gathered a homeschool curriculum, and used virtual public charters as well as private virtual schools. We school at home for the same reason – it works really well for us! As a military family it has allowed our children to be home during the day when their deployed dad calls. It also allows them to stay caught up and not get lost educationally with all the moves. I also know exactly what my children are reading/learning. This has allowed some really great family conversation. Whereas before, my kids responses were things like “I don’t know…I can’t remember what we did today” or “It was fine” and my favorite “Today this kid in my class got in trouble and we watched High School Musical during gym class.” I just feel like we are able to promote things of greater focus and value in the home. I will say though – it is tough but WORTH IT to us! :)

  9. Thanks for this post! I’ve been thinking on this topic a lot recently. We just finished our second year of homeschooling and we had a few friends that tried their first year this year and are sending their kids to public or private schools next year. My husband and I asked ourselves why when we heard this and realized that we homeschool with conviction and commitment. The truth of the matter is that homeschooling is not easy. We firmly feel that God has called us to homeschool and we will tell anyone that asks that answer. We both agree it is not for everyone and it’s not our job to tell others what is best for their children. We love our life, as hard as it is sometimes and wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  10. Annette says:

    Thanks for sharing. This was an encouraging post. I’m completing my fifth year of homeschooling this year and feeling worn out. I have 5 children and trying to keep up with household responsibilities, homeschooling and a baby who is a terrible sleeper has been rough this year. Bottom line though is I do believe it’s best for our family so I keep trucking on and it’s great to hear from other families that have made it through times like this. I think I would really miss my children if they were gone all day and I love the relationships they have developed with their siblings.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I feel like there was a big chunk of the last ten years that was “survival mode” with babies, less sleep, etc. It gets easier — and harder. But, it’s all good in the end. Hang on!

  11. My story is that when I had my oldest son, I noticed that he was bright, but very easily distracted, when he was evaluated, I was told he would probably be recommended for medication since it was difficult for him to sit still. I was home schooled and since the other options did not look like a good fit for my child, I looked into how I could do the best for him I could. It has been a journey…Homeschooling is one of the hardest things I have ever done that was so right for us!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I think homeschooling is a beautiful alternative to drugs! LOL. So glad you found the right fit!

  12. Posts like these are one of the many reasons I enjoy reading your blogs, Jessica.
    You take a subject that can be highly controversial and write about it with such grace and a caring heart.

  13. Thanks, Jessica, for a great post. I loved reading your reasons and perspective, and those from the comments as well. It looks like I am the first to comment as a home school graduate so I’ll share my perspective.

    I was home schooled (overseas) K5-12th. When my mom started homeschooling my brother almost 40 years ago it was largely unheard of and the resources were extremely limited. We are so blessed today with so many options. I love that!

    Initially, I assumed without question, that I would homeschool. It really was my default. I was home schooled, and most of the people around me were home schooled. As I have matured, I have come to a different perspective. I am a piano teacher, and very often, my home school students were the hardest to work with–always expected exceptions because they were used to things going their own way. My parents were never like this, but I was brought into a whole new world of homeschooling. Where I live, homeschooling is so in vogue that I hesitated to make the decision because I didn’t want to just “do it because everyone else does.”
    I have also seen the superior stereotype that an above commenter mentioned. Thankfully, the stereotype is changing thanks to so many more people (like yourself!) homeschooling than when I was growing up.
    In the end, we are planning to homeschool. I am an educator, and the current district we are in is in very bad shape. I want to be involved and I want to shape my kids love for learning. I want my kids to love school, and therefore, I am choosing to take it into my hands.
    I hope with all my heart that I will be able to find the balance of being passionate about my own kids education without ever sending the message that my way is the only. Thank you for striking that balance!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I live in an area with a WONDERFUL public school system. Great teachers, small class sizes. You even see the administrative people out cheering the kids on at home games. I have my oldest in the high school because they started a program where the kids can graduate high school with their freshman AND sophomore college years completed. It costs $5.00 a credit.
    I was forced to take out my middle son after second grade. We discovered in first grade that he has Asperger’s Autism. We worked incredibly hard to inform the staff and teachers what he needed to succeed, essentially making him suffer for another year and a half. His teacher outright told me to have him medicated or he’d never succeed in life. Um, sorry but there is no medication. I told her if there WAS a pill to help him feel more normal I would give it to him. She was out right nasty to him all year, grounding him from field trips and special class events. When I found out about that Momma Bear snapped and dove into homeschooling. He THRIVES and his ‘Asperger querks’ for lack of a better term have all but disappeared. He is comfortable, confident, finally tries new things and is a very happy boy. Smiles were so rare for him before it broke my heart.
    The more I learned about homeschooling, the more I loved it. Therefore I did not even put my youngest in public school.
    I would love to homeschool my oldest, but it is just too late. I pulled him out for 8th grade and he was beyond miserable. He needs the interaction, plays, musicals, chorus, sports, etc. that public school provides. The influence of the other children are not worth it in my opinion. I am seriously contemplating taking him out against his will. This summer will tell whether or not he goes back. I need to readjust his heart attitude. Either way I go with him I feel as though we are both going to lose. I do not plan on sending the younger two at all, but life has been known to throw a curve ball or two.

  15. Thank you so much for writing this. My husband and I have decided to homeschool our children and to be honest, I’m terrified. I know how to play, and I know how to teach (I actually teach college part time), but how does it work inside the house? What curriculum do I choose? Do I really need to teach math to a kindegardener?

    It’s so overwhelming, but hearing from someone who’s being doing this for many year and still has the same fears and concerns that a new homschooling mom does is very comforting.

    I’ve been spending a great deal of time reading your homeschooling posts and they’ve been an immense help. Thank you again!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      This summer I’m going to be doing an extensive series on curriculum options. Stay tuned. (The Well-Trained Mind is a great resource on a lot of this.)

  16. Thanks for sharing this! I had my first child at 30 and quickly became a hands-on mom. When my 2nd was born (and we knew we wanted a bunch!), as I held him in my arms at some mom party, a book about homeschooling was passed by me and I was hooked. Once my mom said something about taking me out for breakfast after we dropped off my first at kindergarten someday and that got me so upset that I decided I was NOT going to make a good “school mom” … and we live across the street from a public school!

  17. Christine says:

    I enjoyed reading this, because I read so many “mom blogs” and there are so many homeschoolers and I’ve often wondered why. I think it’s less common in my area, outside of Boston.

    Here’s what else I’m wondering: You have teaching skills and training, Jessica. What about those who don’t? I could no more teach my kids to read than I could teach them to fly!

    And someone said in the comments that the public schools “don’t work well.” That’s just not true everywhere, and for every family. We are only three years in, but my oldest has had wonderful, supportive teachers and has learned so much! He loves reading, loves math and writing, soaks up knowledge like a sponge. Because he has some special needs, additional services have been provided to him, and I have honestly felt surrounded by compassionate, devoted educators at all of our meetings about his schooling.

    Also, we are religious (Catholics), and have never found anything about public school to be “anti-God.” (Again, this was one of the comments, I realize, not your post, Jessica.) I think the message the public schools try to get across these days is tolerance and support for many different cultures and religions.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I think the experience really varies depending on where you live, right down to which state, school district, and school. But, we’ve now lived in four different areas and we’d still choose this, hands down.

      I think anyone can homeschool. I was a teacher, but I don’t believe that having a teaching credential magically made it so. As a mother, you teach your children every day. It may not be intentional, but you do.

      Anyone with a desire to homeschool can. The vast variety of curriculum resources available serves almost every personality and learning style. It’s amazing how much the market has changed in ten years.

  18. Thanks so much for this post, I always love to hear from others on why they homeschool. Especially from the perspective of a former teacher! And I adore your picture with all of the signs on it! Isn’t it true that it’s always the first day of school for us moms as well LOL!

    Erica @ http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com

  19. You don’t know me, Jessica, but I read your blogs all the time and LOVE them. I especially appreciate your maturity and wisdom and grace on this issue of homeschooling. I saw you last weekend at the Homeschool Convention, but didn’t say hello as you with talking with your hubby and I didn’t want to interrupt (it was at one of the SWB workshops). Anyway….thank you for your wonderful post, and may God bless you and your family.

    P.S. I thought of you last night when I was making pizza. I’ve seen Kirkland Pesto in your fridge pictures, and you know what I did with that?!? Used it as my pizza sauce! Topped with chicken and cheese. YUM.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      You should have interrupted! Next time you have our permission. Hubby loved meeting the readers that we met.

      Love pesto pizza. Real good with feta or goat cheese and tomatoes.

  20. harmony says:

    Where to begin….We homeschooled our oldest until her 4th grade year. It was a bit of an exciting experience, but also very daunting. I am always one looking forward to a new journey. At that time, my husband’s job required us to live in two states for half of the year. One being California. And I was just not willing to put my daughter into this system. Also, there were/still are a lot of gang members and their children that go to this particular school district. We also could not afford the sky high tuition for private schooling either.
    So I homeschooled using the abeka school system. It was hard, but it did work. She learned a lot, but I also learned as well. I mainly learned that I had a lot of learning to do with my patience. I would still do it today, though I have 4 children now, and I am not sure how well I would do with the whole “patience” thing, but I do know more now and hope to do much better job with it.

  21. Thanks for you post. We are beginning our journey this fall with my oldest son starting Kindergarten at home! I am nervous and excited. I have such a hard time putting into words why we are homeschooling and this post was very helpful. We have a little added pressure because my husband is the pastor of a church that also has a private Christian school in it. It is hard to help others understand that we are not anti-school. We love the school at our church and support it being there, we are just choosing to be over our child’s education at this time because we feel we know him best and can teach him best. I have found most of my encouragement toward homeschooling on your blog. Thanks!

  22. Hi,

    I saw your post. That is awesome. I have a teaching credential, but I can no longer teach out of secular literature books with a clear conscience. I want to be a paid homeschool teacher. Do you know of any websites where I can find such a thing?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      THAT is a fascinating concept. I don’t know of any, but I would make connections with the homeschool groups in your area and start networking. I love to outsource certain subjects and I’m sure others do to.

  23. Friends, I am a Catholic priest and part of the staff at a Retreat and Spirituality Center in Oconomowoc, WI. I am preparing a brochure for a retreat for Home School Educators and would like to know how to receive permission to use one of your photo images on the cover of the brochure. It is above in the Mary 28, 2012 blog..the mom homeschool educator at the table with her children. Thanks for your consideration. Fr. Ed

  24. Great blog post…and very thoughtful!

    My husband and I began our homeschool journey with our only child, a bright and busy 2.5 year old. We supplement with a two-day parent’s day out program because I work 2 days out of the week. My husband and I are very blessed to have extremely flexible careers (he’s a college professor, I work in church ministry) where we get to create our own schedules and homeschool our kiddo.

    We’ve had a fair amount of “naysayers”, mainly from well intentioned teacher-friends and relatives. However, when asked why we homeschool, we simply say, “Because at this time, this is what is best for our little one”. I could go into a long diatribe about why we homeschool, but at the end of the day we have found that people simply want to know that our little one will be okay, even if she doesn’t attend public or private school. And I respect that…there are a lot of people who do not understand homeschooling or have formed opinions about homeschooling based on stereotypes (raising my hand because I was one of those people). My husband and I are products of public schools and public colleges (both undergrad and graduate school) and we fully support public schools. We are also sensitive to the challenges faced by public school administrators and teachers, especially in Texas where we reside (that’s a story for another day!).

    All of this to say, families have to make the decisions that work BEST for them and to do so without judgement or ridicule. Parenting is rough…let’s all support each other!

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

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