Should you Homeschool Your Kids?

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Should You Homeschool Your Kids-

I can’t believe we are entering our fourth year of homeschooling. We stumbled into this life on accident. I wasn’t homeschooled myself. I am not even sure I had even met a homeschooler before I made the decision to jump into this life head first.

But here I am, madly in love with this crazy life we lead.

I know most people won’t start homeschooling the same way I did, with a shrug of the shoulder, and no looking back. Most people probably put more thought into things like this, but for us, homeschooling was all about having the freedom to visit family when we could, and freedom to explore the world while the door was open to do so. It became so much more than that, but in the beginning, it was simple.

It’s not as simple now. I always said that I would make the decision to homeschool on a year-by-year, child-by-child basis. I only want to do this as long as it works. Works for me, works for the kids, works for my family. Every summer, I have to sit down, and reevaluate and decide if this is really truly the right thing to be doing right now.

This year, the decision has been a hard one. I went back to work.

I never wanted to go back to work. I never thought I would go back to work. Not while the kids were little. Not full time in an office. Not me.

But here I am anyways. Life changes. And one day, you find yourself back at work for a million different reasons.

I am loving my job. I’m where I am going to be for the time being. Which means I need to decide what to do about school.

*spoiler alert* We’re still homeschooling.

Portrait of happy schoolboy in eyeglasses looking at camera

Deciding if Homeschooling is the Right Choice for Your Family

For me, the decision to homeschool comes down to a few factors.

1. Do I have a desire to homeschool?

If you don’t want to do it, you will not do a good job. Desire comes first. If you don’t want to homeschool, save your sanity, and don’t. Don’t even feel guilty about it. Homeschooling is NOT for everyone. It can be hard, and tiring and thankless and isolating- it can be a million things. It can also be wonderful, if it’s something you want to do.

2. Do I have time to homeschool?

This is huge, and this is probably the number one question weighing on my mind right now. Homeschooling does NOT take as much time as public school does (you will not be teaching 8 hours a day for one first grader). But it does take a significant amount of time, especially with kids younger than fourth grade. The older the kids get, the easier it gets, but in the little years, they need you.

3. Do I have the support I need to homeschool?

There will be days where you want to drive the kids to the neighborhood school and push them through the door. There will be subjects you struggle with. Having someone on your side is HUGE. I personally could not do this without my husband’s support. I don’t care if everyone else thinks I am totally insane, as long as he has my back, I am good to go.

4. Do I have other options that are more desireable?

Is your local public school stellar? Is there a private school you can afford? It’s very important to me that my kids have the very best education possible. In my area, the elementary school is not safe, nor does it provide a solid education to it’s students. There isn’t a private school nearby to be a reasonable substitute. For me, homeschooling is the only way I can know without a doubt that my kids are getting the foundation they need.

5. Is homeschooling the right choice for my child this year?

This is another question that weighs heavily on my personal decision to homeschool. My oldest two boys both have their own situations that would make public school a little challenging for them. One is advanced (and the local school doesn’t have a gifted program) and one has learning challenges (and I am not confident it’s worth fighting with an IEP and the school when I have things under control here at home).

6. Do I have the resources I need to homeschool?

This is the last, and least important point on my list (because Homeschooling for Free is totally possible).

Maybe another year, and another school would be more tempting to me, but as of right now, I am convinced homeschooling is both possible, and the best choice for my family. You may have more reasons on your own personal list of reasons to homeschool, like feeling a call to homeschool, or wanting to provide your child stability during times of transition. Whatever your reasons are, homeschooling is a personal choice, and isn’t right for everyone.

Will you be homeschooling this year? Was it an easy decision for you to make for your family?

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  1. This was very timely for me. This is the first year in a while I’m NOT homeschooling any of my 3 kids. They’re all I public school so I can work. I thought I would feel really guilty but I don’t. They’re doing great and I love my job. It’s working for us for now. The homeschool door is always open though.

  2. We’re going to be homeschooling for our 3rd year. I thought it was an easy decision to keep going back when I was buying curriculum. We began the homeschooling journey when we lived in Japan and through a move back to stateside. However, with the move came a long break…When we left Japan my oldest was ahead but then, with the move, a family visit, a road trip, temp lodging, buying a house, and our 4th being born, we ended up taking off more time than I had originally thought we would. My oldest seems behind in math now and hates working on it and I began to feel discouraged all around as I thought of schooling two kids this year and whether I should continue. Two things happened though to bring me back around and make me realize this is best. First, my husband suddenly became supportive and began talking about homeschooling through high school and he conveyed confidence in me and my abilities which helped me with my doubts about myself. Second, I discovered an online math class for my daughter that she enjoys, gets excited about, and feels right for her. Finally! A math curriculum that is the right fit! A huge weight lifted once I found it! I remembered how much I love being able to help my kids learn in the way that is best for them. 🙂 I’m excited, now, to start the rest of our school!

  3. This will be our first year homeschooling as my daughter starts kindergarten. For me the decision was difficult, but my husband has always wanted it. Neither my husband or I were homeschooled, but my husband struggle with being too advanced in school without being challenged and with bullying. I loved schooled, so much that I became a teacher and taught until having children. I really struggled with the decision, and honestly can’t say that I’m 100% sure it’s the right thing for our daughter, but we are going to make the best of it and see where it takes us.

  4. This is great and I enjoyed reading how you make the decision to homeschool. I will be homeschooling for the second year and I am so glad that I am. I have a lot of the same reasons to homeschool as you and I feel it is a great decision at this point in our lives. My family and friends were less than thrilled when I made the decision last year to homeschool. I had a lot of criticism but with my husband’s support, I made it through and actually enjoyed it. I will continue until my children or I no longer enjoy it. Thanks for the post. Will keep reading your words of wisdom!

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