Homeschooling as an Option

I remember when I first heard about homeschooling.  A few years ago, I was chatting with some people from my church, and they happened to mention that they were homeschooling their children.  I must admit, I thought  the concept of homeschooling seemed unorthodox and potentially harmful to a child’s social development.  But, since then, I’ve seen the many benefits of homeschooling and I’m happy and relieved to say I’ve quickly changed my tune.  I am now actively spreading the message of homeschooling to other families I know who have school aged children.  Many of those families are interested in pursuing homeschooling as a wonderful option to educate and grow closer to their families.  Although I don’t homeschool any children now, I fully intend to in the future, for several good reasons. 

There is no escaping the constant reminders of the value of education.  Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in western and democratic countries have ample opportunities to pursue post-secondary education in pretty much any field of our own choosing.  Usually, however, post-secondary choices are made when we are adults, after we’ve completed secondary school education.   By this time, many people will have tried going through the Government (public) schools and had such a horrific experience being educated there that they simply give up trying to pursue their destiny. 

Governments can do a wonderful job at supporting and caring for us as human beings, but they do not always know what is best for each individual.  Government schools are simply scary places for vulnerable children who are forced to attend a place they may not ever like or ever feel comfortable in.  Each person has a different learning style and a different life path and education works better when it’s one on one.  However, in public schools, each child is forced to learn in the same way and that can be very harmful.  Some children need more time to understand concepts than others, and that can cause anxiety and low self-esteem because of comparisons to other students. 

Public schools resemble prisons in so many ways and the teachers are like wardens, forcing each child to conform to the school’s commands.  No child should ever be forced to be an inmate.  Schools strip many freedoms from families.  Homeschooling families have the benefits of many homeschooling groups and associations to help walk out the homeschooling path and build stronger and more self-confident highly educated individuals who will most likely reach for the stars in their lives.   

Homeschooling as an Option

Many people speak about homeschooling, but, sadly many of them have never home-schooled, or even have accurate information, regarding the topic.

Before my son, now 20 years old, ever stepped onto a school bus, I had already made the decision to home-school him.

Let me tell you some of the reasons I choose this option.
First, I have never believed that children as young as age 4 or 5 are meant to be separated from their parents and their family unit. Aside from the facts that demonstrate the negative effects of early separation of children from parents, there is also the fact that, to me, looking at my small son, it just didn’t “feel” like the right thing to do. It was against my natural instinct as a mother. Who decided that my son was old enough to go out into the world on his own, to fend for himself, at 4 years old? And how did they know what was best for my child? Historically, the traditional school system we have today, has only existed for less than 100 years. Looking back over the history of our country, what discoveries are being made about the “rightness” of this idea? An enormous amount of students graduating today do not even know how to read and write, let alone have sufficient life and social skills to cope with the world.
Children as young as kindergarten age are NOT ready to go out into the world, be confronted with ideas and experiences that are well beyond their understanding, and have the intellectual, mental and social skills to deal with these types of situations. Children of this age do not know who they are, or what they believe, which leaves them open to suggestions from many different sources, not just teachers, but other students. A child of 4 or 5 years old doesn’t even know right from wrong yet, and I don’t believe they should be thrust into situations where they will have to make many choices without adult (parental) guidance and assistance.

Next there is the fact that my son at 4 could read, could write, could spell, could do basic addition and subtraction, had the ability to tie his shoes and do all kinds of other wonderful things. I seemed to do a pretty good job getting him to this stage of his growth without any help from the state, so why would I suddenly become incapable of being a parent? (parenting is teaching.) And who said I was suddenly incapable? And did that person know me, or my son?
I was not willing to do anything just because “that’s how it’s done.” or because I was too afraid of what other people would think, or say or do. Also I wouldn’t do something just because someone about a hundred years ago said it was the right thing to do- when the evidence in this day and age is increasingly showing us it is not the “right thing to do.”

The next thing I have to say is how frustrated I have felt when conversing with parents who choose the traditional school system. As a general these parents have never looked into the alternatives, and know very little about homeschooling. However the most frustrating comment I heard, and I have heard it very often, is “Oh I could never do that. I couldn’t stand to be around my kids all day.”
They usually throw some bit in there about socialization as an after thought.
I feel that if you can’t stand to be around your children, then by all means please send them to public school. But if you care about what’s best for them, then do consider it as an option.

Socialization is not a problem for homeschooling children. The first they learn is that school is for learning, not socializing. The second thing they learn is that once school is over, there is plenty of time for socializing, playing, going places and doing fun things. I have 3 children who have been home-schooled their entire lives. They are probably the most popular, well loved people in the town we live in. My children have more friends than I can count. My sons play in a rock band, my daughter is recently became our counties Miss Outstanding Teen. They spend quality time with friends, and their school time is for school.

If you are considering homeschooling as an option for your family then I commend you for considering it. Too many people just do things because “that is the way they are done.” Thinking about your child’s options gives you the opportunity to make a wise, and informed decision about how you will raise, instruct and guide your child as he/she grows up.