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If you have access to a good public school, but choose to homeschool anyway, what is(are) your reason(s)?

 

For the purposes of this question, 'good' can mean decent academics or extracurriculars, low crime/safe environment, etc...really, anything that you value and the school delivers well enough.

 

I suppose what I'm asking is, if you have a reasonable public school choice, but choose to home educate in spite of that, why?

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Individual attention. Field trips. Education method that makes sense. Shorter lessons. Freedom to pick subjects. I could probably go on for a while.

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Schedule flexibility, ability to travel, individualized education, ability to study more than one language at once, more time to pursue interests (music and ornithology)...

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This isn't exactly the same, but we have the funds to buy a private school education for our kids and we choose to homeschool.  The ability to customize education and give private tutoring to our kids drives us to do this.  Not being on someone else's schedule and rules is a bonus, also.

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My kids are in a good public school now. My only complaint is that they don't have a gifted program and my son is wasting a lot of his time at school. We've been unofficially "after schooling" but don't have very much time with activities (piano lessons, scouts, clubs, etc.), (meaningless) homework and then they go up to read in bed by 6:30-7. I have family and local friends who are homeschooling so I have the support. Our public school is supportive of homeschooling and will let my kids come in for specials, so they can have the best of both worlds. I'm looking forward to starting in the fall!

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We started homeschooling because we saw things in our son that indicated that he would not do well in a conventional classroom.  We have been proven right over all these years.   When we moved to a new state a few years ago, the realtor kept trying to push the great schools as a selling point.  They are good schools. But we continued homeschooling.  Right decision for us.

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Our local public schools are reasonably good.

They still did not provide the academic environment my gifted kids needed. I pulled them out of ps to homeschool because I could do better without the school.

Edited by regentrude
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I can teach my kids what they're ready to learn, when they're ready to learn it.

 

I can teach my kids about my deeply held beliefs, even in the context of their schoolwork.

 

I can make everything flamingo-themed or fairy-themed. Math is so much more fun when there are fairies needing you to solve problems in order to save them, you know!

 

I can take my kids to lunch with their 93-year-old great-grandma every week.

 

I can go to the Junior Museum when it's less crowded.

 

I can arrange individual field trips for my kids by calling up a place and saying, "Hey, my kid's been studying this, would you mind talking to her about it if we stop by?"

 

I can let my kids sleep in after late evenings, like last night's church fellowship. 

 

I can see my kids being each other's best friends.

 

Those are just a few reasons. The first two are the biggest, most obvious ones for me, but the others are also good reasons for us to homeschool.

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It is good in terms of decent, safe environment. It is somewhere I feel okay putting my kids in if we have to. However it is not a good fit for either of my kids and I am a SAHM since oldest was born so hubby rather I take over their education.

 

I had a fun education in public school and I could replicate that better than my local public schools. Hubby wants that joy of learning for our kids.

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Many of the above reasons also resonate with me.

 

Also, I want to spend more time with my kids than I would be able to if they were in traditional school.  & I think much of traditional school is developmentally inappropriate.  I feel like traditional school is too much of a ratrace and I don't want that for my kids.

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We spent 3 months in Santa Barbara last year during winter (we live in the midwest) while hubby worked there.

 

I want my kids to know each other. I felt like our (excellent) schools growing up were all-consuming and that I never really knew my siblings because our lives were so school focused.

Also, I want my kids to have a rigorous education and a childhood. A lot of schools make that impossible.

 

Theoretically, there could be a rigorous school that respected the family's job in raising children and didn't assign lots of homework in the elementary years. But I haven't seen many around! If I could find a school whose philosophy was helping the family raise upstanding, inquiring, diligent, hardworking adults, maybe my kids would be in school.

 

Emily

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Based on the vision we have for our children when they are eighteen, we can do it better.

 

1. Pious (proper respect for God and man)

2. Wise (thorough mastery of the liberal arts)

3. Virtuous (practiced in knowing what to do)

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asynchronous learning kids 
natural extension of attachment parenting

ability to travel in shoulder season 

family lifestyle 

peers v. family 

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Our primary reasons are to able to spend more time with our kids developing deeper relationships with them, and to continue to be their primary influence (especially in terms of character and faith) in their younger years.  Secondarily -- siblings bonding together, ability to provide individualized education to each child, more time for kids to pursue interests, more flexibility to our schedule.

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Asynchronous development. When reading level is high school level, math is mid-elementary, and fine motor is kindergarten, what grade are you even supposed to advocate for?

 

We also enjoy the ability to travel and to choose school subjects that interest us.

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If you have access to a good public school, but choose to homeschool anyway, what is(are) your reason(s)?

 

For the purposes of this question, 'good' can mean decent academics or extracurriculars, low crime/safe environment, etc...really, anything that you value and the school delivers well enough.

 

I suppose what I'm asking is, if you have a reasonable public school choice, but choose to home educate in spite of that, why?

 

Our situation is ironic in that we moved to the district we are in now specifically because of the schools. Our old district was losing enrollment and therefore doing some wing nut things to try and stay viable including massive staff turnovers, so we decided to pack up and find a new school. Homeschooling wasn't anywhere near my radar at that point. Now we are in one of the top rated districts in the state. But from the moment my daughter stepped foot in the door of her intermediate school the year we moved, I started to feel like something was *off*. The school administrators, particularly beginning in junior high, began to take a very "we know what is best for your children, you are just a stupid parent,  and even if there are some growing pains and you and your child are uncomfortable with them, we need you to bear with us as we know what is best". In fact, that's basically the statement they gave during junior high orientation. We need you parents to step back and let the kids become more responsible, to the point of cutting the parents out of a lot of what was going on. It blew my mind that no one else seemed to have a problem with it. Teachers texting kids directly, everything going to online systems where teachers lagged at entering things rather than returning graded papers home....things like that. But they also were very "don't forget to sign up for the fundraisers! We don't need your input but we still want your cash!" 

 

Another issue we had is that we live in a fairly affluent area. (Ironic that that is an issue, but it can be.)  It seems that some parents in these parts feel that material possessions take precedence over actual parenting, or can replace it, and the effects of such really start to stand out around jr high when the parents can be more standoffish. Or completely checked out altogether. ( I know the same problem exists no matter what the socioeconomic level, but providing your kids with endless cash can produce trouble all its own.) Who cares if you're around in the evenings as long as your kid has a Vera Bradley for each day of the month, their own four wheeler, and a trust fund- I mean parenting is for poor people...... that seemed to be a popular motto, and we saw the effects of being around these "perfect" kids on our formerly confident daughter. She didn't even know what Vera Bradley was...but that's all that was talked about at lunch. She went from a really diverse school where I don't even think the kids had a notion of popularity to one where that was all that was discussed. Who was popular that week, what they wore, which subdivision they lived in.....it was a culture shock to us, and we only moved 20 minutes away. She started having a hard time because she saw to continue fitting in she was going to have to embrace that persona and she didn't want to. We didn't want her to either. 

 

Another added joy of being in an affluent district was that all of the kids were expected to bring their own devices years ago, before all of the pitfalls had been figured out, and you can guess what was ON said devices possessed by 12 year old unsupervised boys- despite the school cutting off wireless for certain websites etc. The kids are smarter than that and know how to screen shot porn. You can imagine what the halls were like between classes. And this was 11 and 12 year olds.....oh and then we had the 6th grade class on cutting and bulimia, OH and the wonderful "Enditnow" debacle where our sixth graders were told to put a red X on their hands to end sex slavery.....we kind of had our fill of having zero control of what our daughter was exposed to all day. Between the complete lack of age appropriateness demonstrated by the staff and the sheer materialism being demonstrated by her peers....we felt our daughter was going to be left to drown in a world she didn't fit into. Testing was also a factor, which also weighed in but it couldn't compete with some of the other stuff as far as other reasons.

 

Several of our friends who have kids in the school took our decision very, very personally. They felt we were judging them by leaving, which wasn't true, and they insisted that we were simply overprotective and she would have to learn about those things anyway, so why not now?  My response was that yes, she would learn about them someday but I didn't see any need for it to be when she was 11 or 12, nor that such knowledge needed to be disseminated to her by  some idealogical 22 year old twit of a teacher with no children of her own and was just trying to be the coolest teacher in the English hall. People acted as if this school was giving her the world in her hand and we were ripping it out. It was an emotionally exhausting point because we were under attack by every single person we knew. It has since improved immensely and everyone has since gotten their panties out of a twist. But is sucked for a while.  

 

So at the end of the day we chose to home educate in spite of our *spectacular* public school because I felt like the school took away my parental guidance over my own child, and then after I started looking into homeschooling, I figured out that I could teach her better anyway. So here we are- happily homeschooling and not regretting a moment of it. Even if we are in a fancy pants district. Anything they can do I can do better, I can do anything......  :lol:

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Relationships.  I want to spend time with my kids and them to spend time with one another.

Had a huge meltdown from my six-year-old today because the spelling word "semiweekly" makes no sense.  A week has 7 days, 7 is odd and cannot be divided in half.

I would still not trade the time spent reminding him that screaming at me is disrespectful and the rest of a solid school day to have an empty house while my kids spend their time with someone else.

I love our local elementary school.  My foster kids go there and I love the principal, the ladies in the office, and all of the teachers I have gotten to know.  I do not love them enough to give up time with my children.

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I don't homeschool because I have to work but don't earn enough to pay for care.  If I could i would homeschool because.

 

My kids are gifted in a system that doesn't really ackowledge giftedness - there are a few extension classes that are tested into on the base of achievement but they are only weekly or fortnightly one hour things.

 

So much busy work.

 

The modern learning environment where my child has to devise his own homework and manage his own learning at 8 and my 6 year old is supposed to choose his own spelling words.

 

I am sick of teaching writing (their weak subject) while extending maths after school.

 

 

And like a previous poster - trust us, step back as when you support your child you undercut us (in this case helping make sure they have taken things out of or put into their bags as I don't want to replace lost items).   I am their mother and the teacher is a subcontractor.

Edited by kiwik
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1)  I did not feel my children would learn the value of a human being (themselves and others) in a school setting.

 

2)  Education is more than academics.  It is also about values, truth, beauty and goodness which are not things I could delegate to an institution. 

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Relational connection with our kids and parental vs. peer orientation.

 

Individualized education, with the ability to adapt to needs, interests, and gifting.

 

Character training.

 

Time not wasted in commute, busy work, and lots of waiting for a group.

 

Family flexibility for travel, extracurriculars, etc.

 

Avoidance of unhealthy social dynamics and the opportunity to form normal social connections with a broader world than one class of 30 peers.

 

A quality, rounded education in a"whole life" context.

 

We disagree with our education system about certain educational priorities (both which subjects to teach/prioritize and the worldview which shapes the instruction).

 

We would certainly not consider it the end of the world of our kids needed to be in our public system (most of our friends' kids are), but it is not our preference as we feel we can provide better.

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I love being able to tailor our curriculum for each child. I love that I get to be the one to share the wonder of discovery with them. I love that I get to watch them grow and develop into who they are.

 

People always assume that I would be interested in virtual homeschooling/k12 type programs. I smile and nod and thank them for their suggestions, but what they can't see is that this is fun for me -to find out what's out there and bring it to my kids and know that they'll just love it because I know who they are and what their preferences are.

 

It is a joy to have the privilege of educating my children to the best of my ability. Yes, there are hard days, yes, someone else might be able to give them more academically, no, I will not be able to turn out perfect kids, but the joy?, I wouldn't trade it for anything "perfect".

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I believe children need more Masterly Inactivity to properly grow than is allowed in the after school hours, especially if they are involved in any extra-curriculars.  A half-grown child should be able to entertain himself safely and have projects going and plans and lists to make their plans happen.  I think many of the executive function issues harped about today are a result of adults plotting their child's day from begininng to end, not allow the child any chance to flex those mental muscles.  They need time, time to get bored, and time to dig themselves out of that boredom. By themselves.

 

We have some special needs.

 

Even the best public schools are bound by laws, and though well-meaning, they often prevent the teachers from doing their job.  The IEP process is a nightmare.  It's less stress to simply teach at home.

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Better time management at home. It might seem a little trivial, but we are the first stop the bus makes on the way to school and the last on the way home from school. It's a good twenty minutes into town regularly. In the winter that is literally dark to dark every day. There wouldn't be time to even unwind before dinner, let alone get through homework or enjoy any kind of leisure activity. We can get through a day of work here and still have time for writing, reading, playing out doors, and just walking around while thinking. 

I also like the ability to focus on an area and spend more time working there instead of having to devote the same amount of time to everything. Moving at our own pace is also important to me. Some things come quickly. Others take longer to master. Others need to sit around and collect other information before they are ready to be worked on. It's nice to have the freedom to progress at a pace that makes sense for the child and for the subject material.

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There aren't public schools that I think are good in the way that I want to turn my kids over to them. We have access to better public options. I admire the work that a lot of teachers and schools are trying to do. However, I don't want my kids in an institution if I can help it. I want them learning at home.

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For younger children, it's pretty clear for me. I can be and want to be home with my children, and there is so much more free time and time to read better books and study more interesting things than they would get for most of elementary in public or private school. Sibling relationships, lifestyle, schedule, all of those things are side benefits.

 

I also found middle school an easy decision. It's middle school. So much wrong with even decent public middles.

 

High school was a harder decision. The public high schools offer some things that I can't. In the end, it will be a joint decision between us parents and each child, weighing what each option has to offer. Personal freedom in education, schedule, and family lifestyle weigh heavily on the homeschool side.

Edited by Penelope
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There aren't public schools that I think are good in the way that I want to turn my kids over to them. We have access to better public options. I admire the work that a lot of teachers and schools are trying to do. However, I don't want my kids in an institution if I can help it. I want them learning at home.

 

This exactly sums it up for me. There is a school less than 3 miles from us that most consider VERY good. It's just not for us.

 

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The school in our area is a nice place - the kids and teachers are nice.  However:

 

I don't really like the model of academic full days for lower elementary kids.

 

I think the provincial curriculum is mediocre.

 

I think the classes are larger than is really ideal.

 

I want my kids to have time to play and do things like piano lessons without going to bed at an unreasonable hour.

 

I have no patience for stupid bureaucracy.

 

I would still feel like I needed to make sure my kids were learning the things they were missing out on, but I would not want to take up their after-school time with more academics.

 

I like that they don't feel pressured about trends and fads.

 

That being said, dd11 is going to public school next year, and I'm considering sending dd8 though right now I am leaning toward not.

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This is a very timely thread for me to read, as my dd9 just asked to go to public school next year. This thread is a good reminder of the many, many reasons we chose to homeschool in the first place.  Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts.  I needed to read this today.

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Flexibility

 

Individual attention

 

Freedom to be a kid without long schooldays and hours of homework

 

Time to spend spend together as a family

 

More time for extracurricular interests

 

Control over curriculum and rigor

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Thanks again, for sharing. 

 

It's been encouraging to read all the reasons people would still choose to home educate.

 

There are many things I love about homeschooling, but I needed to be reminded of some of the best reasons to make the sacrifices and make it happen on a daily basis.

 

 

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Freedom to go where we want, when we want--this week we are heading to Charleston SC to see my dad and stepmom, and we could not do that if my kids were in public school (there's no extended spring break in our district!)

The desire not to send my children away from me during the day-I like these people! I like them a lot!!!

A vision of education that is more holistic than having us all learning/doing different things, in different places, every day.  We learn together and that builds our family culture. 

Intuition about the needs of my children and how they can be better met at home in our case (social and educational needs). My son w/ ASD is thriving, big time, and I think homeschooling is a HUGE boon to him.

The desire to foster my children's creativity and intellectual curiosity at their own pace--let them absorb their own interests, in their own time--not squeezing it in after homework but before bedtime....

The vision of a family life that is sane and quiet--we keep lessons etc to daytime, so we eat dinner together each night and aren't running all around! we have a fun family life...just tonight the kids and my husband (I had a meeting) played outside, visited the new cattle in the field behind us, and played "let's do acupuncture on Daddy" (b/c my son had an acupuncture treatment this afternoon)....all very laid back.  no homework, yippee!

Learning life skills together.

 

I could go on, really, but these are the top things that come to mind. 

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To get away from the reading logs? But more seriously, the reasons I pulled the kids out of school are such a tiny subset of the advantages I see to homeschooling after doing it for several years. Our local schools are great, but watching my 12yo take a break from his math to cuddle his little brother? That's so much better.

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Our assigned PS is adequate; the private school where I used to teach is excellent.

 

However,

  • I sent him to a nice little part-time preschool and he hated it (too structured).
  • It's a waste of an hour a day for each of us to commute.
  • It's terribly inefficient to send him to another teacher while I teach other people's children--like a mechanic sending her own car to be worked on in another shop.
  • Elementary schools rely on a lot of busywork, correlating with class size, IME. I hated grades 4-6 myself for this reason. And 7-8 for other reasons.
  • My child needs more physical activity, music, math, science and history, and less written work, than I would expect a school to offer.
  • My child picks up rude language and inappropriate behavior easily, so it's helpful to have more supervision than a child with better judgment needs. He's immature and would probably get into trouble, especially with a less experienced teacher. I don't want him to be "that kid."
  • My child does not tolerate food coloring well (cf. the night terrors thread), and I prefer to minimize his exposure to commercial stuff in general.

Being able to ignore the PS calendar for travel, etc., is a nice perk, but not a reason we homeschool.

 

I think a good public school is a good fit for probably 40 to 70% of children, but not DH or myself as kids, and not DS either.

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I started homeschooling without planning to. Our ds has a late birthday and made the cut-off by less than 2 weeks. He was a busy little guy and didn't like sitting still. We had enrolled him in a private school bc my background is elementary Ed and I did not want my kids attending ps. We made the decision to hold him back and withdrew his name. We immediately lost his spot. By Sept, he wanted to learn to read.

 

Long story short, we started homeschooling and what we could do at home compared to in a classroom was phenomenal. I never looked back. That was in 1994. Since then, homeschooling has never let us down. My kids have complete freedom to study what they want and at their pace. They have graduated from high school with accomplishments not possible through any ps system we have lived near. (We move a lot, so that is a lot of different systems.)

 

One of our kids is severely dyslexic. He didn't read on grade level until late 4th/early 5th grade. In the ps system, he would have carried that stigma with him forever. Instead, he graduated with straight As, credit for 300 level math and physics courses from our local universities, is attending college on full scholarship, still has a 4.0, and is excelling.

 

Our current 11th grader loves languages. She has studied French from elementary school took Latin from 6th-10th, and Russian since 9th. This yr we have also started a linguistics course.

 

I am opposed to the methodologies used in ps which I think focus on the lowest levels of learning objectives. Homeschooling allows me to teach my kids with the methods I believe lead to stronger critical thinking skills and academic outcomes.

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One of our kids is severely dyslexic. He didn't read on grade level until late 4th/early 5th grade. In the ps system, he would have carried that stigma with him forever. Instead, he graduated with straight As, credit for 300 level math and physics courses from our local universities, is attending college on full scholarship, still has a 4.0, and is excelling.

 

 

 

This is phenomenal!   I can't imagine a severely dyslexic child reading on grade level at 4th/5th grade.  Not to mention the other accomplishments.  Great job!

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This is phenomenal! I can't imagine a severely dyslexic child reading on grade level at 4th/5th grade. Not to mention the other accomplishments. Great job!

Well, I didn't mention his spelling. :P ;)

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Faith integration, special academic/learning needs, special medical needs.

And, frankly, we enjoy it (most of the time). I like seeing my children. I've had my oldest in both private and public schools over the years and between the school day and homework, she was stressed out and we rarely saw her - she was often doing homework for hours after school, some projects for school on weekends, or studying for tests, etc. Being a student, as a child, shouldn't require she put in more hours than my adult husband does in a normal work week.

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We are in a great district. My kids attended the school k-2nd (oldest) and k-1st (younger dd). I pulled them out for a few reasons one of the biggest reasons was my younger dd was having a lot of issues in class. I also hated that they had so many "spirit" days. It was every Friday at their school. Crazy hair day, dress like a cowboy, bring your stuffed animal. I ended up at the store at 11pm half the time since I would forget and need to get stuff. I hated the AR program. Hated kid projects that are really parent project. Seriously, a kindergartener is not going to come up with an idea for or make a leprechaun trap and how does that add to their education. I also hated all the red tape associated with schools. Homeschooling has been such a benefit for our family. I can't imagine sending them back.

Edited by Momto4inSoCal
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Our schools are well ranked here. But being wealthy and having high test scores does not make a school better than I am.

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We started considering it because we assumed an ADHD diagnosis would be made with our oldest son's limited attention span at 5 years old and we didn't want him labeled for what we considered normal young boy behavior. 

 

Homeschooling has since become so much more for us and we do so for a variety of reasons:  allowing our children to discover who they are without undue peer pressure, individualized education, building a family culture, imparting our faith, to name a few. 

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We have good public schools and a very good private school that we could just afford near us. Many of our friends attend the private school. 

 

We started homeschooling sort of by accident, we did it for preschool and then for kindergarten and then just kept going. I think at the time I was more focused on academic excellence as a reason to homeschool. 

 

Academic excellence is still important to me. I wouldn't homeschool if I thought they weren't getting at least as good of an education at home as they would at school. However the fact is that we do have other options and over the years the academics have become less of the main reason why we keep doing it. Or maybe it's more that I've redefined what academic excellence means to me. 

 

Now the main reasons are

-freedom for each child to pursue their interests and learn the way that best fits them 

-freedom for the kids to be themselves 

-flexibility in our schedules 
-time together 

 

I realized a few years ago when a friend sort of half-jokingly asked me "why do we do this again?" that for us homeschooling has just become part of who we are as a family. For the most part we all enjoy it and think it's fun. It's what we're used to. When I start to wonder if such and such school could provide things that I can't I have to answer honestly that yes, of course, they can provide things I can't. I can't do band or chorus. I can't give my kids lunchtime with their friends. I can't provide many of the opportunities that the very wealthy public schools around her provide. BUT they also can't provide things that I can. They can't provide the freedom to take a day off in the middle of spring to go to a wetlands and explore just because. They can't provide the free space for my six year old to "have a little more time to dream" in the morning before she starts school. They can't provide the kind of individual attention or focus that I can. They can't provide extra time with grandparents visiting in the middle of the day or what my youngest calls "snuggle school".

 

Any choice you make will mean that you are choosing not to do something. So I'm ok that the public schools provide good things we don't. It's ok. I also realized that we don't really choose not to go to public school or private school. Those options would be fine, and might even be the best eventually for one of my kids. But right now, we choose TO homeschool because of all the reasons mentioned. 

 

One other thought, we live in an area that is very high pressure. The kids I see in high schools are almost all stressed. They are thriving in many ways but they are stressed in the pressure cooker environment of high school in this area. The adults in this area are also almost all stressed. Dh and I have chosen to live a different sort of life. We both work part-time and see our careers as being just a part of our life instead of the main focus. Homeschooling fits into that lifestyle and I think enables us to model a different mindset for our kids where they are able to learn in a much less performance based  and low stress environment. 

 

 

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The reasons we chose to homeschool were purely academic. As we go, I am seeing the academic benefits, but also so many other ones...

 

My friends' children are in school or transit from 7 am to 4 pm. If the kid does any sports or activities, there goes the evening...and homework and projects....eat and bathe and you are already late for bed. I don't think I could do it.  

 

I consider us to be giving her a fairly rigorous education, appropriate to her grade and capability. In addition, she does girl scouts, the gymnastics preteam, aerial silks, ninja warrior classes, and a co op. We have time for museums and field trips, she generally has about half the day to play outside, and there is no schoolwork interfering with evening family time. One on one education is magic.

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