Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homeschooling - the Why.

Because we haven't started our offical home school schedule, and won't until the week of August 29th, I thought I'd tell you why I'm choosing to do this instead of taking advantage of preschool/school elsewhere.  I'm not setting out to start a debate or anything else, just explaining why we made the decision.

I taught elementary school for 8 years.  While teaching, I couldn't understand why anyone would homeschool.  All you have to do is put your child in school, let them enjoy a wonderful experience, and than come home to you all happy.  Of course, all kids should go to Private school so they get Bible teaching and the love of their teachers that they wouldn't get anywhere else.  After we moved to our current location, there weren't any jobs in private schools (plus I was very burned out on teaching after a not so great year, the year before) so I decided to sub in the public schools.  Talk about an eye opener.  After have a 2nd grader go ballistic on me and call me all kinds of names, I realized that public school is not how I remembered it! 

Choosing where to send your child to school is a very personal decision.  For us, we looked at a few key things 1) Location 2) Price 3) Desire.  

Location:  We don't live in a great school district.  I've heard the stories, seen it first hand, and know where our district "rates" and I don't want my children in it.  There are some fantastic school districts out there where, if I could afford to live in those areas, I would send my children to school (maybe HA!). Both my husband and I agreed that in our current location, public school is not an option.

Price:  We than looked at private/Christian school.  When I taught in one, I couldn't fully understand the sacrifice parents make to send their children to school.  When we started looking, I realized how much it truly costs.  Right now, we don't have the ability to send our kids to a Christian school and, added to that, the nearest one we would send them to is 25 minutes away. 

Desire:  Ultimately it comes down to desire.  Since my oldest was born over 2 1/2 years ago, I had a desire to teach him at home.  When the second one came along a year later, that desire grew.  For me, I stay home with my kids to be with them - I love seeing them grow and learn new things.  Homeschooling them gives me the opportunity to teach them daily new things, new ideas and new truths.  It also allows me to play with my kids and build stronger relationships.  So, we start on this journey with preschool.  Right now, our thinking is that I will homeschool them until they hit 4th or 5th grade, at which time we will put them into a Christian school but that is not set in stone.  I've learned already that there are great resources out there such as Homeschool co-ops that have "school" one day a week and give the kids opportunities that they wouldn't have just being at home 5 days a week.  (Field trips, music class, gym class and more)

Why preschool?  Because it is my testing grounds.  I want to make sure this fits for all of us before we hit K-5.  Honestly, Josh would not go to preschool this fall if I was sending him - he isn't 3 yet so I would wait a year.  He is very interested in things though so I decided to go ahead and start him, keep it simple, and peak with things he is interested in now.

This isn't for the faint of heart (ha!)  - it is actually work.  Since I'm using ideas I found on-line through various blogs, it is a lot of work writing lesson plans, gathering supplies, and printing of worksheets.  But, it will all be worth it to watch my boys learn and grow! Plus, for me, staying home is a huge sacrifice - it means my husband works the equivalent of two jobs and is away from us alot - so the thought of sending one of my kids away breaks my heart.  I'm staying home to be with them, not away from them :-)

So, that's my story :-)  Nothing big, just they why's behind our decision :-)