***Today's topic is "What led to your decision to homeschool?". Simply scroll to the bottom of this post to find links to the blogs of other participants or to post your own blog post URL.
When we first set out on our homeschooling journey, our reasons for doing so were largely faith-based. We wanted to teach our kids to follow God's ways. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 has always been an important verse for our homeschooling vision and for our family, homeschooling has been the best way to implement it's principles.
Over they years our main reason has stayed the same, but others have taken their place beside it. In this journey that we started long ago, we have found that the reasons to continue toward the goal keep getting stronger.
Academic reasons: When kids enter the high school years they "blossom". Our experience has been that they find their niche subject (or subjects) that interest them the most and that will take them into their futures successfully. As teacher, the parent is able to tailor their studies to the student's interests and future goals. A science-minded student can engage in research and experiments without being tied to a particular grade-level's scope of study. The library and the internet provide useful information for this type of in-depth learning.
College classes are available online as well as on campus with most community colleges accepting students over 15 years of age. These classes provides not only high school credit, but also college credit which makes it possible for the child earn a degree at a younger age than his peers.
Time-use reasons: Each person has a limited amount of hours to work with everyday. Homeschoolers tend to have an open schedule and are able to choose how to fill their day. School work that is typically done in the morning hours can easily be done in the afternoon or evening if other priorities crowd out the AM hours.
For teenagers this presents opprtunities for work, volunteering, and learning. Employers looking to fill positions are often happy to learn that a teen is available during tradional school hours. Veteranarians and doctors generally allow students to shadow them during the summer months when school is out, but homeschoolers can seek these opportunities all year long with so much competition. For four years my oldest daughter has volunterreed for a local vet's office during the school year and this will be a benefit on her vet school application.
Relational reasons: For most kids the high school years are busy ones. This is a time period when opportunities arise that will be beneficial for the child's future, as well as the people around her. For many this time becomes characterized by over-scheduling and stress, and this can lead to tense family relations. Even though the student may feel competent in steering through her own life, a teenager's relationship with her parents is crucial for guidance and encouragement.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is the ability to tailor the teacher and student's day to make room for not only the things that must be done each day, but also for the time needed to relate with each other. Filling in our schedules first with our priorities is easier when the bulk of the full day's hours are available, as opposed to only the late afternoon and evening hours left after school attendance.
As the high school years become busy, parent and child are able to arrange their schedules to reflect the important things in life.
Over the years our vision has not changed, but rather it has broadened. The foundational principles that led us to homeschooling in the first place support the principles and proofs that have lined up alongside them. Looking to the future of our homeschool, we see good things ahead for the lives of our children, as well as ourselves.