After eight years in the public school system, we have decided to go the homeschool route. There are a few different reasons for our decision, which I will share. But first, I would like to say that we had an outstanding experience at our local school. From the administration, to each individual teacher, we had a great experience.
We have been entertaining the idea of homeschooling for a few years now and chose to look into it more closely last year. Thankfully, we were able talk to several families that homeschool. We so appreciate and respect their input and perspective! It was immensely helpful!
So here are some reasons why we elected to homeschool three of our boys this year (2015).
It’s our schedule, no one else’s! No one demands when or what days we start school, finish school, or skip school. Time is our most valuable commodity, and homeschooling has allowed us that time. Even when we’re not officially in school, we’re still looking for things to learn about.
This is the one thing we were worried about when thinking about homeschooling initially. There are so many different curriculums that we could choose from. This is a good thing, and a bad thing. Good because we can choose it. Bad because it’s all so good! One thing we love is that we can choose to provide a Christian education, and so much deeper. Instead of writing out mundane sentences such as “Jack walked the dog around the block”, we can have the boys write a piece of Scripture, such as “A soft answer turns away wrath.” If there is an interest in recycling, or a musical instrument, we can take a trip to the library and learn specifically about those things. And if one of the kids is having an issue with a subject, we can take our time in that area and spend the necessary time on it without feeling rushed to move on to the next lesson.
There is no peer pressure to conform to the world, so when those delicate roots are forming in the foundation of a child, there is no harsh elements to destroy them. And when those precious plants are growing tall and sturdy, there are no storms to tear them down. My son, Seth, loves the independence of following his interests. “Dad, what’s the biggest star?” means that we can look up YouTube videos and spend time talking about Canis Majoris (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAzCP8SEKwc). “Mom, how does a plane fly?” means that the next trip to the library involved books on planes or even a field trip to an airport. It will encourage them and even reward them to learn, which will feed a desire to learn more, and the cycle becomes a way of life, not just something to do during “school” hours. Learning is never shut off! We can discover our child’s talents and interests and how to utilize them most efficiently in the learning process.
For the most part, homeschoolers are self-motivating; they don’t think twice about trying to figure something out, and they don’t wait around for someone to tell them what to think. They really get excited about learning! This independent desire to learn is a way of life. Now colleges have caught on to that benefit as well and are seeking homeschoolers with enthusiasm and self discipline. And as a small business owner, that’s what I would look for in an employee, vigor and self-motivation.
The bond that grows and strengthens just from sheer time spent together is amazing! We learn as a family, we study as a family, and we share what we’ve gleaned with the family. Siblings become best friends. A prayer is that Tyson (and each of the boys for that matter) will played a vital role doing family devotions and leading worship, as well as assigning and correcting schoolwork. The older boys will be an example in areas that we all aspire to be strong in, such as honesty, respect, obedience, serving, edification—things that our children can and will use their entire life. The family unit forms a solid foundation that can withstand the fiercest storms.
For years and years… okay, three years, Kate has thought that she wasn’t made for homeschooling. That she would ruin the boys and their future. That she would have to be more organized than a school principal to run this kind of operation at home. After hearing from, and watching, so many families around us do it, and after trying it herself for a few months last year, Kate has come to the conclusion that she can do it! She spent almost the entire summer researching local homeschool groups and curriculum, and preparing notebooks and a schedule, that would allow her to do this! I was so very excited and ready to fully support her through this process! I also look forward to seeing her relationship with each of the boys change dramatically.
I love teaching. I taught P.E. at Grace Brethren Elementary School for 7 years, and then at the High School for 3 more. I teach guitar. And I have four boys so I’m teaching even when I’m not teaching. The reason I’m not teaching at a school is because I don’t have my Teacher’s Certification. So here I am, developing website and teaching guitar, which gives me the ability to take off Fridays and teach my boys for a day, while my wife works on her own business, selling doTERRA Essential Oils. So on Fridays, the boys come to work with me, and we work on fitness (P.E.), computer graphics, video editing, and they are also learning to type. Spending a full day with my boys is a dream come true. A day to teach them the truths about being a man, and spending time doing things that they will keep with them forever, whether they use them in their career or now. The internet is FULL of resources for doing things with your kids that will last. Creating memories and teaching moments await! Go get ’em!
I would like to recommend a book called Raising a Modern Day Knight. You can purchase it here.
Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood
Here is the book for Raising a Moder-Day Princess: Raising a Modern-Day Princess
The church will benefit because we have time to do things that have eternal value. We have time to make a meal when there’s a need. … We have time to serve and do special projects. As a family we can served meals to seniors, sing at nursing homes, clean and make meals for new mothers, raked, mowed, and shoveled. We are looking forward to serving at Children’s Hunger Fund sometime soon! And while I certainly don’t say this to boast, we are ever so thankful for that extra time that homeschooling allows.
This is the Open Door that we saw through God and the people that He has placed in our lives. Through various Facebook curriculum exchange groups, friends and family, we saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars on curriculum, and look forward to giving the curriculum to someone who needs it when we are finished using it!
The Dress Code
Pajamas. Swim trunks. Baseball jersey. Roller blades. As big a variety as you can imagine, since the school of learning is in session all the time.
It is usually the kitchen table, but it can also include a comfy chair, the couch, a desk, a bed, or the floor. Sometimes it’s the truck, the swing set, a lawn chair, picnic table, or under a tree.
“How on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’” (Deuteronomy 4:10)
I love being a public school teacher, and I work very hard to be an engaging and effective one. However, there are many days when I look at my students and feel the frustration of not being able to meet their individual needs, foster their individual interests, or just connect with them more deeply. I have increasingly come to believe that public school is a less than ideal learning environment for many kids, if not most kids. I cannot argue with a single one of your excellent reasons for choosing to homeschool. If finances were no concern, I think it is the choice I would make for my own daughters as well. Your boys are blessed to have this unique opportunity, and I know that you and Kate will be blessed by your decision.
Thanks Michelle! We completely understand that homeschooling is not for everyone. Not only financially, but also with different schedules and personalities.
We are so very thankful for the eight years in the public school system, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. No doubt homeschooling opens doors for opportunities not available at a public school, but God is King, and will use what He needs to use to get things done in someone’s life. 🙂
Thank you for your encouraging comment, which means even more coming from a public school teacher and mother. God bless you and Mike and your daughters in whatever road God gives to you!
Wow, Michelle…what great perspective! Thanks for your honesty about some of the limitations you have experienced as a teacher! Many teachers seem to get a bit defensive about traditional school. Thanks for being supportive and honest!
Welcome to the club!!! Fun times ahead