I am a huge advocate of homeschooling and am not ashamed of this. Homeschooling is the best option for me, and my family, but it is certainly not for everyone. I understand this and want to make that clear considering I have started a blog mostly about homeschooling.
I could list many, many reasons why it is not for some, but I think we have all heard them from others who have chosen a different path. My goal in this post is to explain why we have chosen this path for our family, while making it clear that I do not believe this is the best choice for all families.
I should be honest and say I was NOT going to homeschool. During the 1800’s when I was homeschooled (or maybe it was the 1980’s and 90’s) there were not many choices out there for curriculum, extra curricular activities, or people who did not think you were crazy. My daughter can walk into Publix at 11am, tell someone she is homeschooled, and they say how awesome it is. The response I would get was “…….um…..” with a blank stare. I was a sensitive child and thought those people staring at me were thinking I was weird. Actually, turns out they did think I was weird. Which is probably because I was weird.
I decided when I was a teenager, my kids deserved more than what I had. I was going to offer them all of these experiences. Fun, fun, fun. That is what I had missed out on. Not a good education, I had an amazing education, but all the fun of frolicking through the schoolyard playing sports and singing songs with other children. I missed getting great grades, being cool, being the all-star basketball player and getting recruited by Pat Summitt.
Then I married a man who had the opportunity to go to school. I had my first daughter. I went back to college to get my degree. To make a long story short, I did a lot of research, talked a lot with husband, and met many young college students who didn’t know how many amendments were in the Bill of Rights, didn’t know the difference between a verb and a noun, and hated both Jesus and school. I decided to homeschool.
There were many reasons for my decision, but the main one was quality of education in the Florida public schools (which may possibly be another post. And yes, the quality of education is perhaps most affected by the quality of teachers.) Another was realizing how much it would benefit my daughter to have individual attention. She was amazing in some areas and needed extra time in others. I do not want other children, or the state of Florida, dictating what my child should learn and at what pace she should learn it.
The list could go on and on, but what it really boils down to is God changed my heart. He has me here, in this season, doing what I am supposed to be doing. I have learned that you never know what the future holds and I want to hold even homeschooling loosely, but for now, this is what I am passionate about and this is what I love doing.
I do still think about those opportunities I missed out on as a child. Which is why I also work hard to attempt to create them for my children. I am currently starting a homeschool program at Pine Castle Christian Academy in Orlando. A program that offers one day a week classes, gives kids the opportunity to play sports, do drama, and many other extra programs. Trying to create the best of both worlds for other homeschoolers and my own children, but even if I did not have that, I would still teach them at home.
I want the PCCA homeschooling program to succeed, and I think that we’re in the process of creating something that will be extremely beneficial to homeschooling families. Ultimately, though, I’m homeschooling for two reasons. First, that they would both succeed at school and love learning. I blame Mom for dressing me like a dork, but I also credit her for instilling in me a love of learning (except, of course, in Math.) I want to instill that same love in my kids. More importantly, though, I want their education to center on Jesus. I want them to love Jesus more than school. I hope that they see that school is not about report cards, grades, my desires, sports, their goals, friends or getting into a great school. School is about loving to learn. It’s about learning American history, and square roots and that Jesus died to save them. Plus, how else would they have so much extra time in the day to become basketball superstars. Priorities, priorities.