Remembering the Reason Why I Homeschool

I am not going to lie, every year around this time I start to get slightly jealous of other moms. They post pictures of their kids off to their first day of a new school year. They write how quiet their house is, how they get X amount of hours on their own with no kids and how they have more time to purse their hobbies.

I sigh and see the mess of craft supplies all over the table, army men all over the living room because some battle is going on, mud tracked in the house from the kids playing outside, and the endless amount of books left on the floor.

On the surface it seem like only a "mess" and I sometimes seek those free moments that other moms are getting this time of year, but then I remember why I decided to homeschool and this "mess" is no longer a burden.

               

I homeschool so I can instill in the kids a love of learning, giving them the tools of learning so they can pursue whatever interest may come their way.

I homeschool because being in a class room for seven hours a day isn't the best way a child learns to love beauty, but rather being free to explore God's creation at will.

              

I homeschool because sometimes learning doesn't follow a curriculum or a syllabus, but rather it unfolds itself in the course of a conversation or story.


I homeschool so I can immerse them in read alouds of classical literature. They will grow up seeing it as natural to listen to mom reading Swiss Family Robinson while eating popsicles or listening to a story about Mozart while playing with playdoh.


I homeschool so all those things that seem "normal" to modern day kids...iphones, laptops, constant screen time, TV...aren't "normal" to my kids. They can easily go a day without looking at one screen and don't think anything of it.

               

I homeschool because at the end of a long day I can walk outside and see this…

                    

Of course it isn't always easy. There are many days when I wish I had a clean quiet house, but you know what? When I am old and gray, a clean and quiet house isn't what I am going to remember.

I will remember Edith's desk full of paper, tape, pipe cleaners, paint and other random things she found around the house to build a rocket for her elephant. I will remember the creativity that just radiates from her and how she can think of something and then go out and make it. How she looks through catalogs not to tell me what she wants, but rather to get ideas of what she can make. This is why I homeschool.

               

I will remember Frank and his elaborate military scenes that take up the entire living room. How he can keep track of all the little battles that make up the war. He can tell you exactly what each guy is doing. He can explain various tanks and army equipment to you. Sure he doesn't know his entire alphabet yet and some would be worried, but I am not. He is five. Five year old should be worried about having to come into dinner before finishing their grand adventure in the woods not about getting homework done. This is why I homeschool.

                

I look at the younger three and see how many kids their age are already sitting in a classroom for 3-4 hours a day in preschool programs. The best preschool program can be found at home and in the backyard. They can learn colors, shapes, and counting by experiencing normal everyday activities. Letting them play and reading piles of books to them will teach them more than any preschool program can teach them. This is why I homeschool.

                

I feel sorry for kids these days. At a young age they are forced to grow up, to act like mini-adults, to give up playing for workbooks and homework. “Kids need a jumpstart on education” people say, “they need to prepare for college.” They don’t need that. They need play and lots of it. Yes, they need guidance in how to develop in virtues, how to help around the house, how to take responsibility for their actions, but all of these things aren’t taught in a classroom. They are taught in the loving walls of the home.


So yes, I have less personal time and a slightly messier house, but I have kids who don’t know when home life ends and education begins because it has been meshed as one. Every day is a day to go out and discover something new. Every day is a day to explore the vast world God has given to us. Every day is a day to see the truth, goodness and beauty in the world and to rejoice in it.

I homeschool because this world is too wonderful to be bound by a classroom for seven hours a day.



*I am not writing this to start some sort of mommy wars. If you have your children in private or public school and that is best for your family then stick to that decision and don't think this is some way of me telling you, you aren't a good parent because you don't homeschool. I am not saying that. These are my personal feelings and what works in OUR family.

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