I said I would never ever do it! I'm not cut out for it. I'm not strong enough for it. I don't have the drive to do it well. But, regardless of all my doubts, I have been called to begin homeschooling my children this fall.
It was quite a long process that brought us to this point. Unlike you may suspect, our kids were learning quite a bit in the public schools, we liked most of the teachers, we enjoyed getting to know other families, and I certainly liked the idea of someday having all four kids busy during the day! So, why homeschool? Well, the answer isn't simple. In fact, there are many things that led to our final decision.
First, we took into consideration our children's education. David is extremely smart and is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of his class. He longs for more work (and currently loves learning), but his teachers can only give him so much extra work and can only allow him to get so far ahead of his classmates. Zack is in the opposite boat. He is not as interested in learning and really wasn't being pushed to learn much. Teachers seemed satisfied for him to stay at "grade level" instead of pushing him to realize his potential. In both cases, we think we can do better. In homeschool, David will be allowed to move at his own pace. To really push to learn more and to go in depth on all subjects. For Zack, we can spend the time necessary for him to go beyond grade level and to realize that learning is fun! Abby will be starting kindergarten this fall and we've decided to homeschool her as well.
Many people bring up the issue of socialization - which I think is rather funny, especially if you know our family. Our children will continue to play community sports, will participate in music, will be part of a homeschool group in a nearby town, will attend church activities, will have more time for having friends over and will even have more opportunities to socialize with senior adults at the nursing home. Another argument often raised against homeschooling is the ability of the parents to teach their children well. First, let me say that this was my biggest argument against homeschooling. Can I do it well? I think I can. First of all, my children are young and the material really isn't all that advanced. Secondly, I have been trained as a teacher and have my bachelor's in education. Thirdly, and most importantly, I firmly believe that if God calls us to this, he will give us the tools needed to do it well. Josh is already a whiz at math and science and loves history. All of my weak points. But, we also have many friends with expertise in various areas who we are willing to call on to help us with various units.
Honestly, I'm quite excited about this new venture. We have purchased our curriculum, I have been planning and organizing for months and the kids are actually looking forward to it. I think it will take so much stress out of education for our kids. They'll have more time to play, more time to pursue interests, more time to learn the things that we feel were being jipped because of time issues. What more could I ask for?! So although I said I never would: I will, I am, I can!