Why We Homeschool, Revisited

by Idaho Dad on March 13, 2013

I was reading through my old blog posts, and came across this one from 2006. Our reasons for homeschooling have remained the same over the past seven years.

As my son finishes the 9th grade, we can measure his success by how well he stacks up academically with other kids his age. Would he be #1 in his class if he was at the local high school? Probably not. But, based on test scores, writing quality, and general knowledge, he would be in the top 5%, for sure. I don’t believe he would be as well-prepared if he had remained in the public schools. So, our goal of a better education through homeschooling has been reached.

Anyway, here’s my original post, from 2006:

We are entering our seventh week of homeschooling our 8-year-old son. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s all going very well. Better than expected, in fact.

Through IDVA outings and activities, we’ve met many other homeschooling families and have heard just about every reason as to why people choose this option for their kids. Most of them are homeschooling for religious reasons. Others live in remote areas. Some had bad experiences with the public schools.

Our reason for homeschooling falls into none of those categories. Our religious beliefs didn’t enter into the decision. We don’t live on some isolated mountain top. And, in the three years our son was in the local public schools, we never had a single bad experience.

Quite simply, it came down to a realization that the education my son was receiving in the traditional classroom was merely good, bordering on average. Three years of watching him, being involved, and volunteering in the schools opened my eyes to the fact that our schools can only do so much. Some kids thrive in that system. Other kids get lost. Most kids do well but never excel.

My son always did well in school, but there were too many days when he was bored or ignored. Too much time wasted and opportunities squandered. Over the past year we explored the various forms of homeschooling and it didn’t take long for us to decide that this was the way for us to go.

We’re lucky enough to be in a situation, with one at-home parent, that makes it easy to homeschool. If we couldn’t do it I wouldn’t feel too bad about leaving my son in the traditional public school setting. With limited resources and crowded classrooms, they do a good job educating children. But I can do better than just “good” for my kids.

And that is why we homeschool.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jay Van Zeeland March 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm

After reading your blog entry, you have nearly described my situation and the decision that I am trying to work through with my wife.

I have been an at home dad for the kids for 9 years. I am the Cub Scout Leader, the Girl Scout Leader, the 4H leader. I have been the Karate instructor, the sports coach and the taxi. I have volunteered at the children’s public school for all of these nine years. I attend classes, pull children from class for tutoring, guest lecture for Anatomy science classes and arrange parties.

We enrolled our children in school because we were told by many that our district is one of the better in the state, but as you said it is just good. It is good, not because of ambivalence, but because of the pure numbers and economics of running a school district. There have been some excellent teachers, but not always good motivators. I have seen teachers present information to the students and for those that do not catch on, accept the failure of the child, yet still advance them in grade. We have become a society that educates our children based on their date of manufacture, rather than their desire and ability to learn.

My wife and I are now having the discussion after my 8th grade daughter and 4th grade son have approached me to home school them. I have taught at the college level and still teach medical continuing education to physicians and nurses. But my wife is unsure that I have the ability to teach.

I am hoping that you can provide some insight that will help with our discussions. She is concerned that she will be left out of all education, but when asked how she’d like to be involved, she responds “I won’t have any time.”

Being a Homeschooling Dad breaks even more molds than At-Home-Dad and I could really use your insight to help us with this decision and help me explain to my wife the desire to truly educate our children, not just have them repeat memorized Core Curriculum. I want to teach them how to learn, and to value knowledge; not just prepare them for college, but to prepare them for life!

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2 Amy Hunt March 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

My husband and I are close to pulling our 8-year old boy out of public school and having my husband homeschool. What does your schedule look like? We are wondering how the afternoon will be used after a morning full of learning when our son’s mind is fresh, and how long the afternoon could be since I work until 5:30 or so. We have just one child and though our son agrees homeschooling might help him to better focus, he is nervous about leaving the community and environment of school (though he is often teased and doesn’t have close friends).

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