Why We Homeschool

After three and one half years of homeschool (Jan 2012 start) our perspective has changed and our reasons for continuing this path have also changed.  You can read my original "Why Homeschool?" post, written shortly after we removed Amber from parochial school, to see how time and the immensely positive results of homeschooling have changed our attitude.

The fact still remains that Amber was definitely an emotionally damaged child when we took her from parochial school.  The extent of that damage wasn't known for over a year and it took a lovely therapist to help heal her.  We have no desire to return her to such a negative situation.  She also still needs time to gain self confidence and finish healing.

But is that all?  Is there any other reason to homeschool?
  • An education tailored to Amber's best learning method.  She was always an academically superb student.  Now, with one-on-one lessons geared to her learning style she has become the best of students learning at an unbelievable rate.  She understands how to use her mind for more than rote memorization.  Her love of learning and thirst for knowledge, that was once lost, has returned full force.
  • In a homeschool setting we can spend additional time on topics that truly interest Amber, while on the other hand only completing the necessary portions of topics she finds dull.  In most cases she desires more information than is initially presented.  There are very few instances where Amber desires to "just be done"  (Alas, poor biology is never going to be a favored subject).
  • We, as Amber's parents, have been able to know our child better in the time she has been home for school.  Amber was always very close to us, but we now understand her better than ever.  We are able to see and enjoy her quirky personality and her hilarious sense of humor.  I am daily amazed by her creativity and kindness.
  • Amber's individuality is not being stifled.  She was once a unique and ingenious child who thrived on imaginative play.  Slowly, after attending school, we saw this inventive and fun personality fade away.  It was awful to watch.  Now, after homeschooling for over 18 months, our funny, sweet, creative, and happy child has returned.  She hums happy tunes all day long!
  • Homeschooling has given Amber the freedom to play how she wants.  We didn't realize it was happening until it did, but Amber changed what toys she played with, the games she liked, and how she played to fit with the likes and desires of the other children at school.  Now, she has hobbies of her own, instead of what might be popular.  She plays the games she likes, and has the toys that interest her.   
  • Time for "after-school" activities is another a huge reason we continue to homeschool. By the time we withdrew Amber from school she had given up all activities that were not school related.  There wasn't time with homework (for a 4th grader) and sleep, which she desperately needed.   Now, Amber pursues her interests easily.  She takes music lessons in many formats, spends countless hours each week at the dance studio, and even tries random other activities, like musical theater and drama, that peak her interest.
  • Busy work is non-existent.  I do not need to issue busy work to ensure she has something to do.  There are other ways, including discussion, to determine Amber's understanding of topics. All of our assignments are designed to encourage learning and teach a needed skill.
  • Sleep is another sometimes forgotten reason, but important one that keeps us homeschooling.  No longer must Amber get up frightfully early for the long drive to school.  She, within reason, goes with her body's natural rhythm.  And let me tell you, this girl has always needed immense amounts of sleep!
  • Sick day assignments are no longer the first fear of any illness.  School can be altered to accommodate doctor's appointments, orthodontic emergencies, and illness.  This was especially useful to us this past year when Amber became very ill with an originally unknown intestinal problem.  She has now been diagnosed with severe Fructose Malabsorption and has relapses anytime a food trial fails or she ingests an unknown source of fructose.  Still, we know that school will fit in somewhere and spend our energy working to heal Amber, not scrambling through make-up work.

And that other question, you know the one about socialization?  Well, if you saw my daughter's schedule there wouldn't be any worries about socialization.  But for those children who don't have quite the abundance of activities, homeschooling does allow more time for meaningful gatherings with friends.  I don't know about you, but sitting at a desk all day surrounded by kids who aren't your friend while your best friend is in another class is not a meaningful way to socialize.

This smile is why we homeschool!



3 comments:

  1. That's awesome! Our daughter, too, was growing more and more depressed and losing sleep. Finally, after begging me for the first semester of high school, to home school her, I figured out a way to make it happen, even though I was still working at the time. Now I'm working part-time and we only have one and a half years left and I'm already getting sad, thinking about it. So happy for your family, too!

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  2. Hats off to you. We started our journey 30 years ago. WE knew our first would be lost to us in any other environment even as a baby she was so independent and so full of life. We took our 5 children to graduation and have launched our last child. I am now out of a job. I loved our years teaching them and watching them grow. They are well rounded adults and never lack for friends. Keep up the good work.

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  3. I linked to your blog from Friendship Friday. Your reasons for homeschooling are very similar to our reasons for homeschooling. I have a son (senior this year) who has multiple disabilities, and homeschooling has allowed him to have a life outside of school. I look forward to reading more of your posts. We are also an LCMS family.

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