When I think back about how we somehow stumbled upon homeschooling, I still scratch my head in amazement about how far we have come over the past nine years in this adventure. I never pegged myself as a "homeschool" mom. I went to the traditional ivy-league type of private school where you were given detention if your knee socks weren't up, and thought my kids would follow the same path. It was not until I started homeschooling my own two kids that I realized the piece that I was missing all those adolescent years. I was taught all the important subjects in school, but I was not taught how to think, or given the time to be creative and dig deeper into the things I was passionate about.
To love learning for the sake of learning.
Homeschooling allows all of us more freedom. It reminds me every day why passion is so important, and also how much I love being around my kids and helping them develop and grow.
Prayer in public schools "discriminates". "Under God" is offensive in our Pledge of Allegiance because it is not inclusive. God has effectively been expelled from school, a place where our kids spend a large amount of their lives. Children are being forced to grow up so fast, with so much exposure to inappropriate ideas and information. We need widespread school reform to restore traditional values and ethics.
Families are faced with some difficult choices regarding schooling as mandates increase in this country. Families that aren't comfortable having their children wear masks for 7+ hours a day, who might be worried about their kids getting sick, or are worried about possible medical mandates are being forced to look at different options for the fall. For some, the idea of homeschooling can be daunting. And intimidating. Parents feel like they aren't qualified, that they won't know what to do, or that having their kids home all day might make them go crazy! If you choose to go this route, take a breath! It's different, but homeschooling is not hard to do. There are SO many resources out there for new homeschoolers along with many homeschool groups and coops in every state. Networking with other families is easy, and there are plenty of local activities in cities. There are also loads of options for curriculums, whether it is an online program, or books that you buy.
Homeschooling gives my kids the time to be passionate. It gives them the time to be creative. It gives them the time to keep studying something they are interested in without a bell ringing. It gives them time to follow their dreams. It gives them time to love learning, just for the sake of learning.
It just plain gives them time. It gives us the ability to spontaneously grab our writing books and head out the door to go write poetry in the woods somewhere. It allowed my daughter to find passion in learning about Gandhi by writing an original play about him, creating the characters, designing the costumes, and acting it out on video.
Over the past nine years of homeschooling, the question I get most often is about socialization. Are my kids properly socialized? I always find that such an interesting question as traditionally kids were raised at home and taught by their parents and community members. They weren't separated at a young age and put in schools for countless hours a day. They weren't given cell phones at age 12 (or younger), and they certainly were not taught about sex and gender identity by teachers, bullied via social media on cell phones, or forced to share bathrooms with the opposite sex. Schools are much different than when I was a child. What are your kids learning at school from teachers and peers, and how do those social values align with your own family values?