I wrote in my last post about how much I loved homeschooling – an easy thing to say during a week spent having fun outside in beautiful summer weather. In fact, while I was floating leisurely down the river on Thursday with my friend and our kids, having the usually packed place all to ourselves, I was actually singing, “ha ha ha, the other kids are in schooooooool”. Yes, I was gloating, but I was lovin’ it. It was a fabulous day. We had sunshine, we had great company, and there wasn’t anyone on the rocky river beach but us. We were enjoying one of the highlights of homschooling at its pinnacle.
But is that the REASON that I homeschool?
I get asked that a LOT. “Why do you homeschool?” And I usually respond, with, “uhhhhhhh, do you have an hour?” because I don’t have that one sentence answer that they’re seeking. For some reason, this just isn’t an easy answer for me. Many people have clear cut reasons: Their child is special needs and wasn’t getting the help they needed from the system, or their child is brilliant and was being held back by the system, or bullying was a huge problem, and so on. Some people simply say that God spoke to their heart. Hmmm. I was just going to write that none of those reasons fit for me, but may be God did speak to me. You all know that I’m not a religious person but I don’t mean that to sound facetious. There IS something in my heart that tells me homeschooling is the right thing to do for my family (the entire family because we all benefit). The end. I don’t have any other sparkly reasons.
People don’t seem to understand that reason, though and I don’t blame them, either. Nine times out of ten when I’m asked why I homeschool it’s in the best possible light. The person is genuinely curious while at the same time not looking for a huge long discussion on homeschooling. And here I come up with stuttering answers and lame reasons. I’d been thinking about this recently and decided that I needed to come up with a short and sweet response. One that might satisfy their immediate curiosity. So, I came up with what I said above, “I just feel it’s the right thing to do for my family”. Then when I was at my friend L’s house just a few days later her mom asked about my homeschooling motivation, and I felt prepared because I had my answer. However, after I delivered it I was greeted with a blank look. He he. I guess that statement did nothing to satisfy her curiosity. Unfortunately, it’s the truth. 🙂
As time has gone on, I HAVE found more reasons hense the “do you have an hour?” comment. For instance, I hear so much about severe bullying that I’m grateful we don’t have that experience. And I don’t think J would thrive in the school system. She has a real creative spirit and likes to take her time with projects (from art to math), a luxury she wouldn’t be able to enjoy in school. And R loves to move around while he learns. And I love the long thoughtful discussions we have together. And I believe that the development of good character is more challenging at school. But as good as these reasons are, I discovered them during my homeschooling journey. They weren’t my original motivation.
Therefore as unsatisfying, non-glamorous or sparkly an answer it is, my original one has to stand…
I homeschool because I know it’s the right thing to do for my family.