I have sometimes been asked out of curiosity, sometimes out of frustration, “How long do you intend to homeschool?” My children are 11 and 7, and we have been homeschooling since they were 4 years old and 11 months old.
Homeschooling is not always the most attractive option or the most financially viable; however, it is the only option for our family.
I never forget the evening I picked the children up from nursery, and my son said, “Mom, why did you take so long?” Traffic was especially heavy that day, and I was the last parent to arrive.
I decided to homeschool before I knew who I would marry or if I would be able to have children. Therefore, my son’s question hit a painful place. That night I prayed for a way, and the next day it was provided. I could work freelance in social work education while homeschooling. It has not been easy, but we have never regretted our decision.
To answer the question “how long will you homeschool,” I have many reasons. I will share some of my rationale for homeschooling here.
- I get to spend all day with my children every day — not the usual hour in the morning and hour before bedtime. I value this time. We grow together and learn to understand each other.
- I get to offer one-to-one support to the ones that need focused attention in particular areas.
- I get to foster my children’s interest and provide an environment where they can excel at the things they are naturally good at.
- We get to explore gifts and talents, and negotiate ways to develop them.
- My values that are important get taught. A strong sense of values grounds them in the sense of identity and helps them understand and appreciate who they are.
- Character is important, and we focus on helping the children develop Christ-like characters that will be beneficial here and in the world to come.
- I get to listen unhurriedly to their joys and sorrows, and help teach them problem-solving skills in a safe environment.
- My children learn life skills at an early age. I have seen the importance of this in adults, and have worked with hundreds who lack necessary skills with which to navigate life.
- I love seeing the confidence with which my children approach life. Research shows that healthy attachment is needed as it gives children a secure place from which to explore the world. Homeschooling lends itself well to developing a stable relationship with the children.
- We learn to grow and have fun together.
Perhaps some of these things could be accomplished while working full time, but I prefer the opportunity to give them the chance to learn and grow at their pace while developing their gifts and talents.