Dear sons, after almost a decade at this homeschooling thing, I thought you’d maybe want to chat about our reasons to homeschool. You know, why we decided to do it in the first place.
It’s sorta weird—I don’t know that we’ve ever actually talked about why your dad and I chose to homeschool you. You’ve always been homeschooled, so maybe it wasn’t something you ever thought to ask.
And maybe after all this time you don’t care what our reasons to homeschool are. But Ima tell you anyway.
Before I share our reasons to homeschool and why we chose to do so, let me tell you 8 reasons that had nothing to do with our decision. Because they are popular reasons to homeschool. They’re out there. They’re talked about a lot. But just for the record, we did not choose to homeschool you because:
- we thought the public school was evil.
- I was afraid of school shootings (shootings can happen anywhere),
- to get you away from bullies (spoiler alert: there are still bullies in homeschooling),
- to shield you from inappropriate language (you and I both know I was probably a sailor in a past life),
- we thought the public school couldn’t teach you anything,
- school lunches or food allergies (but let’s be clear, lunch at our house is awesome. Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly, anyone?)
- a massive aversion to common core (common core wasn’t even a thing when we started),
- I wanted to talk Matthew, Acts, or Proverbs whenever I felt like it. (I mean, I do talk Matthew, Acts, or Proverbs whenever I feel like it, but it wasn’t a deciding factor in not sending you to public school.)
One of our main reasons to homeschool you? Just because we could.
Seriously. That’s pretty much what it was.
It’s kind of like standing in the kitchen, wondering what to have for supper, and trying to decide between steak or pizza or boxed cereal. You choose something that sounds good and you go with it and you hope it works.
It’s that simple.
Okay, maybe I’m over-simplifying a little bit. The truth is that in the beginning, it might have had a bit to do with your dad’s crazy work schedule. And I won’t lie, the fact that we can work our life around his weird hours and sometimes unpredictable days on/days off has been amazing. Homeschooling really has made it so we can spend more time together as a family. And that’s cool, right?
Yeah, it is, because your Dad is pretty awesome. I kinda like him. It’s fun that we all get to hang out together as much as we do. It’s fabulous to have Dad involved in our homeschool life.
But other than that, homeschooling is just, well…life. It’s just what we do. Like breathing and bathing and brushing our teeth. It’s just part of our life.
But, dear sons, even though there weren’t a lot of specifics to why we chose to homeschool, there are a few things that I hope the experience will bring.
Reasons to homeschool: I hope you will explore.
I hope you will understand the massive amount of possibility this time in your life holds. We have the flexibility and you have the freedom to make so many things happen right now. Take advantage of it, if only for the simple reason that a gazillion people your age can’t.
Reasons to homeschool: I hope your world is big and gets bigger.
Homeschooling will not be about making your world smaller. Or sheltered. It will not be about pigeon-holing yourself or missing what’s around you because of tunnel vision. It was never intended to do that.
Yes, focus on what you love. Yes, learn about what interests you. Yes, figure out why you believe what you believe. But keep both your eyes and your entire brain open, because the world is big.
See, the absolute last thing I want to do is to send you out into the world with an inability to deal with people who are different than you or who disagree with you. Because, darling sons, the world is full of them.
And even though we have solid reasons to homeschool, I hope you know that homeschooling is not an absolute.
Because it’s not. It is what works for us now. Might it work for us all the way through high school? Yep. It might. But if at some point it doesn’t, we’ll re-evaluate. So don’t feel bound by the property lines of “homeschooling”. If you’re ready to step on to something else, we’ll figure it out. We’ll tweak. We’ll change. And maybe, if it seems like it’s time, we’ll quit.
But for now, it works. For now, it’s wonderful—even on the days that seem long and I need to reach for the really good dark chocolate.
I think you’re awesome and it’s downright gorgeous that we get this life together.
Now, seriously, dear sons—please go do some math.