Why Would I Homeschool?

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.


8 thoughts on “Why Would I Homeschool?

  1. I love this, honey. I can read it AND resist the temptation to edit your grammar and punctuation, too! But…there is that one part about dressing you like a dork. If that’s true, then every other girl your age was dorky, too. :-) It’s ok. Your girls will say the same thing about you when they see the pics Granma takes of them with clothes that don’t match and messy hair from Mommy letting them choose their outfits and didn’t check to make sure the brush made it around to everyone.

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about homeschooling recently and this article was helpful to read. You mentioned that you did a lot of research and I was wondering where you got your research from? Were there articles, books, or papers you’d recommend?

    I would have had a similar background as you growing up. I wanted to go to school and have an education surrounded by friends, fun, and sports. But then went to college and realized how much I actually gained since I loved learning, Jesus, and my family (while most other people I encountered didn’t). But my husband went to public school and got an excellent education too. He grew in his walk with the Lord, was passionate about evangelism and far surpassed many other young men I knew (who were homeschooled) in his initiative, leadership, and serving the church.

    I realize this is a long comment and probably filled with grammatical errors (sry, I’m a math girl) but it’s been on my mind a lot. What are the weaknesses in homeschooling and can I weigh those properly while seeking to make a decision in this area that seems so big? Does homeschooling tend to baby our kids especially as they get older and what can I do to change that (either by putting them in school or just changing the way I train them…?).

    I could find kids in homeschooling or public school who don’t know who the 16th president is…usually the biggest difference is the parents and their involvement (and the DNA of the kids). So taking out those factors, what makes homeschooling better?

  3. Mindy,

    If you email me at jherron@pccaeagles.org I can send you some information on research I did. It was a few years ago, but I do have some.

    Like I said before, I do not think HSing is for everyone. There are some pretty messed up homeschoolers and homeschooling certainly does not insure that your child will be an evangelistic, Godly, wonderful, or even smart, person. I think this is why each family has to pray and hear from God about what is best for them.

    I think the main thing for me with my oldest was knowing that I can direct her education. And that does not mean just teaching her about the Lord. When she was at the age where she was “supposed” to read she had a very difficult time and would tell me she hated it and didn’t want to learn. By the time she halfway through first grade, I stopped trying to teach her. We focused on me reading aloud to her and other subjects. Sometime during second grade, she came and asked why all of her friends were reading and she could not. I explained that she told me she did not want to learn to read. Well, at that moment she changed her mind, learned to read in one day, and within a month was reading about three grade levels above her own.

    My second is extremely advanced. He is at least one grade level ahead in most subjects. This may change, he may not always be a genius, but he keeps me on my toes with finding new, fun stuff for him to do.

    Two very different children. One may have been held back in school, the other would probably be extremely bored and a troublemaker because of it. That would be one example of the benefits of HSing. Working at the pace of the child so that they don’t get burnt out, or overwhelmed etc. They are not forced to go at the pace of the other 20 children.

    The downside of HSing would depend on your situation. I know some would say socialization, but I think that that is something that has been proven over and over to be false. Yes, you could baby them, but you could also baby them if they were not home schooled, so I believe that is just a parenting preference/training issue that is going to vary by family. Regardless of where they go to school. A downside could be finances, or just not having the grace to do it because God has not called you to do it.

    I think I could go back and forth with the pros and cons, but I think what it comes down to is what is your conviction about the education of your children? I think you NEED a conviction to put them in public school because of the many, many issues you would deal with that I may not have to. You have to have a conviction to homeschool and deal with all of the issues that come with that. The Lord will show you what to do. He did me and changed my heart.

    By having a conviction about whatever method you choose, it will get you through all the cons that many people can come up with in whatever you and your husband choose to do.

    You can always email me with any questions! I know I rambled a little bit.

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