Everyone has their own reasons. Here’s why we made the decision to homeschool.
People often want to know why we chose to homeschool, especially those who aren’t homeschooling themselves. I was born and raised in South Africa in a time that homeschooling hadn’t yet taken off and I didn’t know anyone who did it. What I knew of the number of children to have in a family was what society said: 1 gets lonely or spoiled, 2 are company for each other, 3 means someone is left out, and 4 is just too many children. So, believing what “they” said, I thought 2 children was the right amount. Also, education in South Africa, as anywhere, costs money.
Within a couple of weeks of being in the USA, I met a family who changed the way I thought about children. They had 4! An eye-opener to me. They lived in a bus, which freed them up to be able to travel, and they didn’t have much money. Oh my, was I gob-smacked. AND… they homeschooled all 4. I had absolutely no point of reference with this family. The result of meeting and spending some time with them led me to join my husband in his desire for 4 children, and to homeschool them.
Before we ever had a child, my husband talked of the little ones we would have, and his conversation regarding homeschooling them was always full of hope, ideas and wonder. I met people who weren’t completely weird who educated their youngsters at home. I had the blessing of knowing people who did it, and had blazed a trail ahead of me to make the timeframe that I entered that unknown world easier than they had experienced, as they had sought to get laws changed and requirements by the state lessened to give more freedom to homeschoolers.
Both my husband and I are college graduates, so we were well-schooled in the educational system. We didn’t want our children to be trained into the boxed way of thinking that institutions like those we had passed through perpetuate. Before we ever had a child to raise, we knew that we didn’t want them to repeat our experience. That said, we have never thought that we have all the answers along the journey of our child-rearing, and we have sought input and suggestions from a variety of places.
My husband loves learning and teaching others, and it was with that sense of wonder and desire to nurture and develop that in our children, that we decided to homeschool. As with many things, the ideal as compared to the practical accomplishment of it is fraught with far more difficulty than we could have imagined. For example, it’s easy to come up with ideals and plans, but what to do that first day after you decide to homeschool the youngster in front of you may escape you. You just need to start somewhere.
We have never been deterred (though I have encountered frustration, guilt and a sense of feeling overwhelmed), and continue to press forward in seeing to it that our children get the best, most well-rounded education possible. We hope that some of the things we have learned along the way will be a blessing and help to you, and look forward to your comments and suggestions to enrich our own experience too.
And now, after years of homeschooling, my reason continues to be my children.