Because I was asked about this in a message recently, here are the main reasons why I homeschool:
- To encourage more family togetherness
I want my kids to be best friends, not be pulled apart by grade-level differences. I also like spending time with them, and don’t want to miss out on the best part of the day by sending them off.
- To provide the best education possible by tailoring it specifically to them and their needs and interests.
I can spend more time on some subjects, less on others, and teach to whatever level my children are on at the time, instead of whatever grade they are chronologically, across all subjects. They can move ahead quickly in one subject, while taking time with another one. I can find curriculum that matches their learning styles, and develop their particular talents. I want things to be challenging, but not overwhelming.
- To have time for other things, because school isn’t everything.
Homeschooling is so efficient, time-wise, that it allows lots of free time to spend on other things. I want them to learn plenty of life skills. If they show particular talents in some areas (music, art, athletics) they’ll have time to pursue that. I also want them to have down time, to play and explore and just be children.
- To have additional flexibility and freedom.
We’re not tied to a school calendar or schedule. We can travel when we want, and pursue side areas of interest. We can do things off season, and we can sleep in. If there is an especially beautiful day, we can take advantage of it and spend extra time outside. We can take breaks whenever family visits without worrying about what everyone else is doing.
- To develop their independence and self-assurance, and so they see a connection between how hard they work, and the benefits they receive.
My son has a weekly checklist, and a daily one. When he finishes his work for the day, that’s all he has to do. But if he wants to work ahead, he can – and that can mean more free time at the end of the week to do his own thing (right now it’s Legos.) By working hard and being efficient, he can have more free time.
It’s already working with Awana – I don’t really do anything with him as far as his memory verses. I may remind him to work on his verses (and read any words he can’t manage the first time), but he does it all himself after that. It’s kind of stunning to me how independent he is with it. This year he finished his book with about 6 weeks still left in the Awana year – he was so motivated to get it done!