DISCLAIMER: These are my opinions, folks. If you disagree, that is your opinion. It’s alright if we don’t agree…I don’t have a problem with that. Please, don’t give me a problem with that!
Among all the families that homeschool, I am sure there are a multitude of reasons why we do what we do. Some would be the same, especially among ‘like’ groups of people…religious reasons, for instance. Then I am sure there are reasons individual to each particular family. I’m not going to list my reasons in any particular order…that would be too much thinking, I’m sure! I guess I’ll start off with my most "individual" reason – My daughter. She is individual. Aren’t they all, the precious little ones? First, she is an only child. There are many reasons for that as well, but that discussion is for some other time… I suppose that I feel I only have one shot at doing the whole thing right…I can’t mess up on the first kid then go "oops, that didn’t work"! Not that I think I am achieving ‘perfect parenting’ by any stretch of the imagination!! Alan and I are sure we should have not only a college fund set up for Kiki, but a ‘Therapist’ fund as well! I guess that covers way more than schooling, but it is one reason. The other reason that relates to the only-child deal is…well…my selfishness! We sent Kiki to pre-K and then Kindergarten at private Christian schools. She loved pre-K, which was just like I remember my Kindergarten being. Then we moved to another state, so she did Kindergarten at a different school. She hated it. She cried on the way to school everyday. I hated it. A few times, she was told she couldn’t cry! I don’t think they had time to deal with it; they had a very advanced program. But hey, nobody tells my kindergartener she can’t cry!! She is also – probably – ADHD. I know I am…well, ADD. I wish I was a little hyperactive!! However, I hate labels. I didn’t want some teacher telling me I had to give my kid meds to be in school. I am sure for some kids they are really necessary. Not for mine…we just need to do things a bit differently. Kiki roams all over the room while we school, and sometimes she lays on the floor with her feet on the desk…or she lays under the desk… there are times I’d swear she wasn’t paying any attention! She got straight "A’s" last year though, mostly 100% and even a 105% (extra credit) She also took 1st place in the Co-op school science fair. So I guess she’s getting something out of it! The next year, (after Kindergarten) as we looked into different schools, I realized something…I really missed my little girl when she was in school! I really wasn’t ready to give her up all day, every day. I wanted her home, with me. So, there are my selfish reasons! The others reasons have more to do with who I want her to become, the beliefs and morals I hope to instill in her. As a Christian, I feel it is incredibly important that she is taught from a Biblical World View. I do not want ideas shoved down her throat that go against everything I believe in. Some public schools aren’t too bad, but some are awful…have you read the curriculum your child studies every day? Or do you just help out with homework and haven’t a clue what they are being taught? Some of it is downright hideous. In my opinion, anyway, and that’s the one that counts for my family! Also, do you remember how it was when you were in school? Teacher knew everything. My mom laughs about all the times I would tell her "Well, Mrs. So-and-so says…" I decided then, that I wanted to be sure that whatever the "teacher" was telling my daughter, I would agree with. We are totally Creationists; we believe Evolution is bunk. There is far more to back up Creation – scientific, archeological, etc. – than they will ever find to back up Evolution. Evolution is a Theory that is now taught in public schools as the truth. They have also been re-writing the History books…to be more "acurate"… when in fact they are re-writing history to be more "P.C.". Lots of other curriculum issues, but I believe you get the point. I know some good, Christian parents who firmly believe that they need to send their children to public school to be "light" in the darkness…so there is some Christianity there. I understand their point, but I think, then, we need Christian adults to be teachers, and aides, and bus drivers, lunchroom workers, etc… they have the tools to stand up for the truth, to help the children there…to send our children to do this job is like sending our soldiers to Iraq with bows and arrows… no matter how strongly they believe in their mission, they are probably gonna get their butts whupped! The other issue is character and morality. I believe we allow – or force – our kids to grow up way too fast. I don’t dress my little girl like a mini-teenager. It is actually hard to find clothes in her size that I feel are "kid clothes". She still loves make-believe, dolls, stuffed animals… last year she was on a soccer team, and all the girls were 1st and 2nd graders. As I listened (okay, eavesdropped) on the other moms talking about their girls, I was so glad my daughter didn’t go to their schools! My feelings were reinforced. These other children made fun of kids who played with dolls, were all about the ‘right’ clothes (bras included!) and who the coolest boys were; who they wanted to date. Sheesh! We are talking 6 -8 year olds. I also have so much time with my daughter. We have the time to sit down and really talk, about anything and everything. I totally know what’s going on in her world. I know, she’s only in 3rd grade (this is our 3rd year of homeschool) and I am sure as she progresses to adolescence it will get harder, but we are building a solid foundation. I did not feel ‘qualified’ to homeschool. I didn’t think I had what it takes. This is one reason we chose the Co-op, because I have help. Also, because since she is an only child, she makes friends there. And gets to do science fair! Mostly I think you just have to want to homeschool, and God will work it out. It’s never to late to start, either! Someone asked me that. I know gals at the Co-op who just started their kids in the jr. hi or high school stages, because they weren’t happy about things at their public schools. No time like the present to get active and involved in your child’s life! Is homeschooling easy? No. Do I love it? Yes! Is it worth it, even tho we have just one income, and sometimes have it a bit tight? Resoundingly, Yes!! I know for some people, especially single moms, it just isn’t at all possible. I know the Lord has grace and mercy to cover all his children, no matter where they are, or have to be. As for myself, I just feel that I am incredibly blessed to be in a situation that I am able to do this with and for the child the Lord has given me.