Why Do We Homeschool?

Stone Age Techie posted a call for HSers to answer her short survey a while back and somehow I missed it.  She was aiming for 100 answers and I wrote to see if she’d reached her goal.  She said she was at about 90 so I’m adding my answers to the tally.

She assured me that my answers would be confidential, but y’all know I’m kind of an open book, so I’m posting them here.  🙂

1) a)What are the ages and genders of your children? If they attended school outside the home before you homeschooled, at what ages and grades did they leave school?

Girls: 9 and 11, Boys: 2 and 6

None of them have ever been in SOTH (School Outside The Home)

b)What level of education does the primary homeschooling parent have, and in what discipline(s)?

I went to far too many years of college and still managed to leave without a degree.  I think I’m 4 classes short and my degree would be English (creative writing) with a minor in Women’s Studies.  My major was first psychology and then elementary education, so I had a lot of classes in those subjects too.  Daryl has an Associates degree in Business (though he studied many subjects too).

c) In which state (or country) do you live?

Minnesota

2) Why did your family decide to homeschool?

  • Because I met a mother online whose family life embodied what I wanted for my kids and I realized we could do that too.
  • Because we’d been teaching them since birth and we were enjoying it too much to stop.
  • Because we loved spending time with them and would miss them all day.
  • Because I loved learning but hated school.
  • Because I wanted my kids to hold onto their individuality and follow their own interests.
  • Because I didn’t want my kids to be part of a caste system of popular kids, picked on kids and pigeonholes.
  • Because my oldest was reading well at four and I knew she’d be bored stiff in kindergarten.
  • Because a local kindergarten teacher told a child to redo his art because “trees are not purple” and threatened to hold a child back because “have you seen his coloring?”.  (Oh, and I knew that kid and knew his house.  In the fall, the leaves on the tree in front of his house turn dark purple. Not that it should matter.)
  • Because it gave us so much freedom to travel, go places, do things, sleep in, have fun and take part in real life together…

3) How would you categorize your family’s style of homeschooling?

Relaxed eclectic (a little bit of everything, very child-led, very hands-on)

Did you remove a child or children from public school to homeschool? If so, please respond to the A) section of questions 4 and 5. If you have homeschooled your children right from the beginning of their education, please respond to the B) section of these questions.

4) A. In terms of academic development, have you noticed changes since homeschooling began? Please list, noting whether the change is for better or worse.

B. How has your children’s academic education progressed? Do you feel that, had they gone to school outside your home, this development would have been different, for better or worse?

Well, I happen to think they’re brilliant.  😉  On their standardized tests, they’ve always scored at grade level or above, generally far above in several subjects each.

I think they would have progressed in school, but I doubt they would love to learn the way they do.  They love to read, they love to write, they love to create and invent and learn.  That’s far more important to me than where they will amass the biggest collection of facts or learn to test better.

5) A. In terms of your children’s social/emotional development, have you noticed changes since homeschooling began? Please list any changes, and note whether the change is for the better or worse.

B. How has your children’s social/emotional development progressed? Do you feel that, had they gone to school outside your home, this development would have been different, for better or worse?

They are each their own kids with their own personalities.  They all tend to be social and extroverted, though they can be shy in new situations.

My oldest tends to be very different in different groups and luckily she’s involved in lots of different social outlets.  She can be goofy with this group, older and serious with this one, creative with this one and so on.  I think in SOTH she would have had to pick a type and stick with it.  Also, the only time she has ever been bullied in her life with on the soccer team through the public school.  She handled it well but she was definitely affected by it.  It made me very glad that was not a regular world for her.

I suspect at least some of my kids would have difficulties sitting still and being quiet in school for that long, too.  At least one would probably be labeled ADHD.  I’m glad that at home they can learn in ways that come naturally so it’s not an issue.  I don’t think kids are designed to just sit still and be quiet for 7 hours a day, and I’m pretty sure some of mine wouldn’t excel in that system.

6) Is there any part of homeschooling with which you’ve struggled? If so, have you found a solution?

It’s been a struggle to find friends that they click with sometimes.  There are lots of HSers in our rural area but we’re sort of oddballs in many ways (and I suspect the kids would have the same issue in the local school).  We travel to other towns a lot, network online and have unlimited long distance.  🙂

Getting physical exercise can be a challenge in winter, too.  Our little town doesn’t have a YMCA or even a mall we could walk.  We take part in HS ice skating and swimming, and also just exercise, dance and even run the stairs at home to keep physical when we’re snowed in.

7) Is there anything that you’d care to add, either about your experiences or homeschooling in general?

Just that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It’s a loud, messy, chaotic, wacko life but it suits us well.  🙂

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4 thoughts on “Why Do We Homeschool?

  1. I think the question should be ‘why don’t you homeschool?’ There would be far fewer answers!

    I hate getting the same old Q’s from people (What about socialization? How can you stand to be around your kids all day? Are you insane? Wow, you must be busy!)

    I guess they hate getting the same old answers from me! (Do you mean socializing? I love them, don’t you love yours? Yes, yes I am. Busy with life, love and learning….yes!)
    .-= Liese4´s last blog ..School today =-.

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  2. Alicia, you are awesome! Thanks for responding, and doing so in your ‘open book’ style is even better. Your reasons are wonderful, and I’m very glad your kids weren’t subjected to the Anti-Purple Tree Guy.

    @Liese4, one of the reasons I did the survey was because we came from the ‘school’ environment where the belief is that people homeschool only because they’re very, very religious (and of course, the perception is that all homeschoolers are religious in a negative way) and/or harbor an intense desire to withdraw from society. The homeschoolers that I was meeting when we first took our son out of school were not the eccentrics that I’d been led to believe they would be, and so I started wondering about why they’re characterized as being that way? This survey was one way of finding out, and I’ve really enjoyed doing it because it’s an affirmation of how wonderfully creative and diverse – and friendly and downright FUN – the homeschooling community is.

    Thanks again, Alicia – I am compiling the results, and will hopefully have the study out within the next few months!
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..‘Plowing’ Into the Field Trip Wars =-.

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