Big Decision

by Idaho Dad on January 20, 2012

We’ve been homeschoolers for over five years now. It seems like forever, and I can barely even remember when my kids were in a brick and mortar school.

My kids have thrived at home, learning and growing at a rate beyond my expectations. It’s a real pleasure, and kind of fun as well, to guide them through the education they’ll need to find success as adults.

And yet, despite all of that, I’ve never truly accepted the idea of homeschooling. Not completely, anyway.

I left the door open. The possibility of my kids returning to public school was always there. For years, I’d end homeschooling discussions with statements like, “We’ll do this for a few years, maybe until high school.”

In my own mind, I began to prepare, mulling over the best options for my son as he approached the end of middle school. I wondered how he would adjust to sitting in a classroom with 25 other kids. Or if the honors courses would be challenging enough for him.

So, last summer I started talking with parents whose kids were in the local high schools, including one highly regarded college prep charter school.

I heard a lot of stories and advice, from both parents and teens. It was all good and positive, but it was heavy on the social scene. I learned a lot about clubs, sports, and video games. Not so much about inspiring teachers or challenging coursework.

It was discouraging to me that the schools don’t seem to be so much about learning as they are about hanging out with friends.

One morning, just last week, I was again thinking about our options for returning to public school when I had a sort of epiphany. For the first time, I asked my son what he wanted to do.

His answer was clear and confident. “I want to continue homeschooling.”

The door that I’d left open suddenly started to close. Actually, it was more of a slam.

Just like that, I realized there was an option I hadn’t been considering. And it really is the best option. I mean, look at what we’re doing: one-on-one teaching, creative curriculum, independent learning. Who wants to argue against that?

So, the big decision I’ve made is that I’m finally buying in to homeschooling. Absolute and total acceptance of the system which has been in place in our home for over five years. About time, huh? I am rejecting all other options as inadequate for my children’s educational needs. We’ll take this thing all the way to high school graduation and never doubt if it’s the right choice for us.

My kids are homeschoolers. They don’t just learn different. They learn better.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melany January 20, 2012 at 4:55 am

I think that is awesome. I would love to homeschool my kids. Just won’t work out for my family though.


2 Marcia Bohn January 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

AWESOME! That is all I have to say. : ) It is sad that you weren’t able to get more information about the important aspects of school, though and it seemed as if there was more of a concern about the “social scene”. I am blessed around here is SE Michigan because we have so many options: homeschool, local public schools, charter schools, private schools, and also public schools of choice. I am thinking about changing my son’s education plans for next year. Unfortunately, my hubby isn’t on board with homeschooling. Guess I just have to pray that God shows him the way.


3 Stickman January 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I also think it’s awesome. Go with it.


4 Florined January 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I’m curious. Do home-schooled students have the same options to take classes at NIC or L&C or even online concurrently with their high school classes at home?


5 Idaho Dad January 21, 2012 at 1:20 am

FlorineD, yes that’s something I know a lot of homeschoolers do. In fact, I’m going to write a post here in the next few weeks about some of the opportunities for kids to sample or enroll in college courses. Apple’s recent unveiling of iTunes U is a big deal to me. Education is everywhere, easily accessible. People should be taking advantage of it.


6 Linda January 21, 2012 at 5:58 am

It IS a big decision, and does need to be embraced. When that happens, homeschooling won’t just be an educational choice, it becomes your family-centered lifestyle. I hope all of you enjoy (most!) all of the days!!


7 Florined January 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

And isn’t that true for adult learners, too!


8 homeschoolChris January 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Home school turns out wonderful adults! If you are concerned about keeping up with his education you might want to check out iTunes U. They have many wonderful books for free and a lot of them are from colleges. The highest priced ones are under $15. Just look in the education department and enjoy exploring! We home schooled 3 of our children and they are all very successful adults. Good luck


9 Jennifer January 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

That is a big decision. We homeschooled for 4 years. Some of it was good, some of it wasn’t. My husband is a public school teacher so we never fully bought into homeschooling either. We did what was best for our kids at that time and as those needs changed we put them back in school. I am not opposed to homeschooling again in the future if we need to, I love having that option. I think it is a wonderful thing for many people and many of my best friends still homeschool. It just wasn’t working for us anymore. Good luck!


10 Jeff January 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Great for you all! I’m very jealous and envious of your ability to make this happen for your kids. Very nice to hear your son respond the way he did and that you have moved your chips ‘all in’.


11 Kiki January 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

How wonderful to have that confirmation and feel like you can embrace homeschooling fully!


12 terry January 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

That’s awesome your son chose homeschooling!!


13 Kalyn February 3, 2012 at 10:14 am

I will disagree that your children are learning better – having to deal with different people (i.e. teachers) is something they will need to learn at some time in order to be fully equipped for the real world. What many home schoolers don’t realize is that the social part of traditional schooling is where a lot of communication and cooperation skills come in.
I was never home-schooled and I would never home school my children. The experiences I had with sports and activities in school comprises many of my favorite memories and friends.
Traditional schooling also prepared me for college. Unless you plan on having your children submit to only online classes without face-to-face interaction with professors and other students, how will they feel prepared? What I’ve seen from many home schoolers going away for college (leaving the safety of their families for the first time), they seem socially inept or they seem to go “wild,” drinking and experimenting much more than a traditional high school-to-college student.
While I understand your concerns, I also think public schooling is a great experience that mirrors what real life is like. Especially in my business (communication), your social skills will get you much further in an interview than your recital of historic names and dates. Knowledge is power, but knowing how to communicate your knowledge is the most important skill out there, in my own opinion.
I look forward to hearing a rebuttal – I really just don’t see how the learning is so much more beneficial.


14 seattledad February 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm

That’s terrific. Glad you decided to ask him. Sounds like he knows what he is getting and has bought into it fully too.


15 tracey February 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Sigh… I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. My eldest is 13 and has decided that he wants to give high school a try in 2 years. KILLS ME. I have finally, completely absorbed MYself into this way of life and he wants to change it all? The nerve.

So, I have 18 months to prep myself for homework, early hours, drugs, parties and bullies. AGAIN. It sucked the first time through. Can’t hardly wait to witness it from the outside…


16 flea February 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Happy dance !!!!


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