Years ago, homeschooling my own children was not an option solely for one reason: I did not know that option even existed. The first time I met homeschooling families was during an overseas missionary trip to Japan and Mongolia. I was privileged to stay with a particular family for a week. During those times I thought how cool that the children can take their lessons everywhere they go, even overseas. I was curious but not at all interested in finding out more about it. When I moved to the US, I got to meet and know many other homeschooling families. I kept an open mind and started digging into different school options after I had my first child. Despite having no experience or whatsoever, I was convinced that homeschooling was the path I wish for my family to tread. The more my husband and I talked about the pros and cons, the more we are convinced about the choice we made for our family.
So, why homeschool? Here are my reasons:
- Balance. When it comes to learning, I wish for my children to have balanced, well-rounded experiences that reinforce these four important life aspects: spiritual, mental, physical and moral.
- Mentorship. As a former school teacher, I know how effective one-on-one learning can be. The children get the immediate assistance and necessary attention they need in their formative years. Homeschooling also encourages self-motivation and self-reliance in children which is vital to pursuing and achieving goals on their own.
- Character-building. This is an important aspect of a child’s educational growth which I believe is lacking in many schools. With so many other things to stress on, values education has taken a backseat in many schools. We wish this to be the highlight of our learning every day, if not a way of life for our family which we learn together alongside other subject areas.
- Freedom. We get to choose which kind of curriculum to use and lessons that our children will learn. We can choose to supplement or subtract lessons according to each child’s needs. The children will have a lot of time and opportunity to try different areas of interest, not just in math, science or language but also in home economics, art, music, and some other skills. They will be able to pursue interests and focus on the ones that bring meaning and satisfaction to them and to others.
- Flexibility. When my daughter turned 3, people started asking me whether I send my child to preschool. The question always caught me off guard. I know there’s no age limit as to when a child should learn but I personally believe in giving children enough years for exploration and play. Little kids shouldn’t have to worry about school at such a young age. Education is not just being able to read fast, memorize the multiplication table, or recite the alphabet. It is much more than that. School can wait for those who want to wait. Some children are just not ready to start formal education at 3 or 5 or even 8. Homeschooling allows schedule flexibility. No pushing the child to tears. No threatening. No briberies. Children learn at their own pace and have little to no stress. And when it comes to schedules for family vacations, it can be done any time of the year, too.
- No Bullies. Bullying is such a big social problem in schools. It is disheartening to hear stories after stories of children being bullied by classmates or peers. Although this is not the main reason why we homeschool our children, it still weighs down as one of the important ones. Of course, we can’t protect our children forever but while they are young and vulnerable we want to save them from the trauma of being bullied. Bullies attack when there is a lack or no adult supervision.
- Family Time. The home is a child’s first school and that children will learn mostly on how to deal with life’s challenges through home life. Sometimes this has been skipped due to parents’ busy schedules. Although I believe that there are schools that teach well, the one thing that doesn’t come with it is family togetherness and memories. Guiding our children early on will equip them better and help them manage well when they are on their own.
- Healthy competition. Not all competition is healthy, some can do more harm than good. No competition, no feeling of inadequacy, less stress to the child. More quality family time.
- No homework. Every day, our high school student comes home and expresses his frustrations about school work—way too many homework. He stays up late at night to finish them. What I don’t understand is that the child spends 6-7 hours at school and comes home to spend another 6 hours doing homework. No homework allows early bedtime which means happier parents and happier kids.
- Peer Pressure. We spend so much time teaching our children basic principles of being obedient, being truthful, being careful in what they say, exhibiting good manners, etc. A few minutes spent with the wrong group of peers might change all that.
- Belief. Our faith as a family is important to us. The Bible verse that inspires me in this journey is Matthew 19:14 – “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Every day as we start “school”, I lead my children to the Lord — for wisdom, for strength, for grace.
FEARS. Yes, I have fears. Since I am responsible for teaching my children, I fear I may not be good enough. I fear because a part of their future will largely depend on how we educate them. I feel a bit sad that they will miss little victories like we had when we attended school, medals, and certificates or opportunities of being on the honor roll. Haha…I know I am being silly for even thinking about that. The benefits far outweigh my fears. God is great and His promises are true: James 1:5
There is a time for everything. We may one day consider traditional schools but for now, homeschooling has brought our family the freedom and the opportunity to grow and learn together. Reinforced with church activities and community events, I am convinced that homeschooling will bring blessings to our children and in return, they will be a blessing to others. Maybe I think too much about how I want to educate my kids. Sure, maybe I do. But when it comes to learning, for us, nothing is as cool as homeschool.
What do you think about homeschooling?
*This post is part of my 31-day Challenge: Homeschool is Cool School. Click on the image below to be directed to my posts. Thank you for being here today!