Why do we homeschool?

Now that our first year of homeschooling has come to a close, I have had time to reflect on the things we have learned this year, both from books and from our experiences. The year has, no doubt, been a tremendous success, both for Mary Anneliese and for me. One of the lessons I have learned this year is that there are many, many misconceptions about homeschooling.

Quite often, when I am in public with my children during school hours, we are questioned either directly or by a passing comment about why Mary Anneliese is not in school. When we respond that we homeschool, the reactions we get are varied. Those who have had some experience with homeschooling are usually quick to point out the positive results they have experienced. Even if they are no longer in a homeschooling situation, they reflect fondly on their time doing it. We often hear things like, “I homeschooled my children for a while and I am so glad I did. I wouldn’t trade that time with them for anything.” Or maybe, “My mom homeschooled me when I was little. I loved it!”

But you always know right away when homeschooling is a foreign concept to someone, if not downright offensive. They get “the look” on their face and say things like, “Well, I think homeschooling is okay, as long as you make sure the kids are socialized.” Or the most common, “Don’t you live in a good school zone?” I wish to shatter the misconception that we homeschool because we don’t have good schooling option for our children. We have fabulous schools in Birmingham, both public and private, and we might choose to use those options in the future. However, for our family, at this point in time, the best of those options is homeschooling.

Homeschooling has been a blessing to us in many, many ways. It has allowed me to spend time developing Mary Anneliese’s character, time that was limited when she was in “regular” school because we were so busy. It has allowed me to tailor her education to her learning style. It has allowed her to go at her own pace, a pace that is too advanced for some and too slow for others. I love that it is so individualized. It is not “watered down” to suit the lowest-level learner in a classroom so that all students are learning the same thing at the same time. We can move ahead in concepts that she picks up quickly, and we can spend more time in areas where she might not understand right away.

Besides the educational aspects, we have learned the value of family and loyalty to one another. We have bonded together as we have spent so much time together. I have come to understand her dreams and goals, and to help her mold those… all because we have the time to talk about things. I have picked up on strengths and talents that I didn’t have time to notice before, and been able to spend time developing those.

Our time together is not stress-free, because being home with two children all day has its own set of stresses. However, we have both learned to manage our day in a way that brings more joy and less tension. And I can’t say enough about not having to be in the carpool line by 8:00, with everyone dressed, fed, bathed and with all permission slips signed. We do all of that (minus the carpool line), we just do it at our own pace. If we stay out late one night, we can sleep a little later the next morning to catch up.

So there you go. That’s why we made this decision last year, and will continue to do it again next year. Please know that I am not advocating homeschooling for everyone. I know that some people are not able to do it, nor does everyone desire to do it. It is, however, a terrific option for those of us who are called by God to do it… even when we have great schools.


  1. chickadee@afamiliarpath says

    yes, we are too in a good school district and still appreciate homeschooling. i’m so thankful for the opportunity even on the hard days.

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