There are so many reasons that people choose this alternative to a public education. And I find that most everyone makes the choice for reasons that are tied to their personal and/or religious beliefs. These are the reasons that WE made the decision to pull our 4th grader out of public school and begin home school mid-year:
More Family Time: School hours were 8:30am – 3:30pm. By the time she arrived home, just before 4pm, she needed to get her homework started to be done by dinner. Then we would set the table, eat, clear the table, and go over any school “business” (field trip forms, help with unanswered homework, signing folders, etc.) Then it was time for shower and preparations for the following day. After that, reading time and bed. And, even though we limit activities to Girl Scouts (which only meets 2x a month) and horseback riding (about every week and a half), we were finding that we still had so little time. There grew a sort of disconnect that we don’t notice during the summers when we are all together. Disconnect leads to not getting along well. Not getting along well leads to disobedience. Disobedience leads to trouble. We decided to cut it off at the pass. More time together produces very positive benefits.
Opportunity to Lead: Have you ever really taken notice of the children that your child is getting their example from? Most likely, they are forming opinions and perceptions based on who they are around the most. In our case, this was school. I was shocked when we had a group of girls over at not only the blatant disobedience of me (in my home), but in the way these girls spoke to their parents! It was appalling … and not a way that I would wish for my children to behave. While neither my husband nor I am perfect (yes, we’re admitting it), we do hold in high regard the opportunity that we have to set examples for our kids. If we make errors in judgment or mistakes, we own up to them, apologize or ask forgiveness, and talk about how to prevent from doing it again. As Christians, we are blessed with the ability to be forgiven and to grow. By spending more time together, we are better able to be the leaders that our children need to make conscientious decisions in life – with regard to choices, friendships, and more.
A Christian Education: Because we withdrew mid-school year, we didn’t have the option to offer a private Christian education. (Have you ever tried to apply to a private school mid-year? Don’t.) But we did have the opportunity to provide one ourselves. It has been a joy seeing our oldest ask, “What are we doing in Bible class today?” It has genuinely become her favorite subject – and I have thoroughly enjoyed being her teacher. We have been able to not only have some great lessons about the Bible, but some wonderful discussions as well. And, we have been able to relate our other areas of study to stories in the Bible.
Tailor-made Educating: Because we know our daughter best, we are able to tailor how we educate her based on her strengths and weaknesses. We have the flexibility to take more time in certain areas of study that require more information or when we would like to tie it to another area of study. We are able to get through the curriculum at our own pace and apply challenges as needed by her gifted mind. Additionally, we have the ability to explain how the things that she is learning relates to “real life” (math –> handling a checkbook or making purchases, biology –> outdoor life, chemistry –> baking, physics –> ball games, history –> recent world events, and so on). We teach everything from menu planning, time management, and taking responsibility to home care, childcare, and sewing; all in conjunction with our regular areas of study.
These are just some of the main reasons that we made the decision to pull our 4th grader out of public school and begin our journey in home schooling. And while I am certain that there are many more reasons that I could add to this list, these are most certainly the biggest priorities.