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.

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