If you homeschool for any length of time you will hear, “So, why do you homeschool?” and probably even, “Is it hard?”
Yes, it is hard, but it is so rewarding. In order to persevere through the challenges, it helps to have a clear vision of why you homeschool. Having a vision will also make the task of planning your school year easier as you ask yourself if those plans line up with your vision. (To learn how to write your homeschool mission statement, check out the step-by-step directions on this post.)
My husband and I sat down before we began this journey and made a list of the goals for our homeschool. We also discussed why we wanted to home educate our children. The reasons have evolved over the years, but the foundation we laid helped us persevere through challenging days and make decisions regarding our family’s schedule and homeschool plans. Here are some of those reasons.
5 Reasons Why We Homeschool
We can cultivate a love for God in our children and see his hand on their lives.
We have a daily devotion and memorize scripture, but that is not enough to cultivate a love for God and his Word. We also talk about how God is working in our lives and how he can help us through everyday situations. There are so many opportunities to point out God’s mercy and love every day: when someone is afraid, when there is a beautiful sunset, when we face a challenging situation, and when we work through a difficult day of emotions.
Being with my children 24/7 allows me the opportunity to frequently see the gifts and talents God has given each child. I am able to see those talents blossom and grow. I also have the opportunity to cultivate them. One daughter loves art; she has an eye for detail and beauty. I am able to tailor her lessons to allow her time to draw her narrations and to provide opportunities for her to learn new art techniques.
My other daughter is full of mercy and has a passion for words. I am able to cultivate her love for reading by providing living books that furnish her mind with ideas. I can also provide her with time to engage in activities that improve her writing skills such as being on the review board of her favorite magazine or time to work on writing a book.
We are able to celebrate each child’s accomplishments on her own timetable.
Every child has different gifts and talents from God. One of my daughters learned to read easily. She prefers to spend her time reading and thinking, and she cares deeply about others. The other is making slow but steady progress learning to read, loves to help others with their work, and has an artistic eye.
My children do not fit into a cookie-cutter education. While they both will study similar subjects, they each will have a different focus. We have the time and freedom to allow them to pursue their individual interests and celebrate their accomplishments. When the light bulb goes off, I am the one to witness that moment with my child.
We have the flexibility of when and how we learn.
Flexibility in homeschooling comes in many forms. For us, some of the ways we take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling include:
- We learn with one-on-one instruction in less time and are able to use our afternoons to pursue individual interests.
- We can read our history lesson while snuggling on the couch in our pajamas, laying on our backs with our feet on the couch, sitting on a blanket under the tree, or in the car on a trip.
- We don’t have to cancel lessons for bad weather, but we can cancel lessons for good weather.
- We have the flexibility to travel with Dad on business trips and take extended family vacations.
We can focus on more than academics.
While we do have a responsibility to teach our children academic lessons and make sure our homeschool complies with state regulations, homeschooling is not just about our children’s academics. We have an incredible opportunity to model good habits and values for them. They see the values we consider important by observing our actions and learn what is important to us by where we spend our time. We can take advantage of the focused time we have with our children to instill good habits and develop their character.
Our children also have the opportunity to learn life skills in a real-world context, such as how to interact with individuals of all ages, older and younger. They are able to serve others through one-time or ongoing service opportunities.
Homeschooling is not just about the children.
Being in close quarters 24/7 tends to bring out the good and bad in our relationships. We learn how to get along with each other, even when we don’t feel like it. Siblings learn to be best friends. And we (the parents) have an opportunity to set the tone of our home and work on our own character.
Plus, I love that I am learning right alongside my children! I am able to review concepts I learned in school to pass the test but did not retain. And, I can read books and learn new concepts to which I was never exposed.
Your reasons for homeschooling may change over time. That is okay and even expected. You and your family change over time so it is normal that your goals and motivations do as well. But one thing shouldn’t change: Keep your focus on God and allow Him to guide your family.