Why I Homeschool

**First off, I know there are people out there who don't agree with homeschooling. If you are one of those people, I would prefer that you didn't leave a negative comment. While I agree that homeschooling is not for everyone, I have decided that homeschooling is a great fit for my family. All I ask is that you respect that. Thanks!!

The initial reason for my interest in homeschooling came when my daughters teacher came to me and said that with all of the extra help and attention she and other teachers had given to her, she still wasn't progressing. She was starting to feel embarrassed because all of the kids in her class were understanding what was being taught and she felt "stuck." It broke my heart that she was trying so hard and not progressing. In the back of my mind I knew that if I took her out of school and taught her myself (which would mean I could really focus on her and stay on one particular thing until she "got it") that she would get back on track and be ready to learn harder things. I have to be honest though, I fought the idea for a couple of months. I told myself I would "homeschool" her over the summer and then send her back to school in the fall . . . all the while knowing deep down inside I needed to buck up and take on the teaching! After praying about it and feeling SO good about my decision I really started to research it; finding the curriculum and following homeschooling blogs. I have grown to LOVE the idea of homeschooling and I can't wait for school to start! And not only will I homeschool her, I am going to homeschool my oldest daughter too. Crazy, right?

So, what I have grown to love about homeschooling . . . 

- Biggest reason . . . I can incorporate spiritual things into their every day studies. Scripture study will be one of their subjects. I love that we'll be more focused on really studying the scriptures together.  

- I can teach the girls the same things that they would be taught sitting in a classroom full of students in less time, which means I can take them out and explore the same concepts using more of a hands on approach.

- If they struggle with something being taught I don't have to move forward. We can stay on the same thing until they get it. In school, if 28 kids get it and 1 or 2 don't, of course they have move on.

- My family has been through a lot recently. They have dealt with things that no child should have to go through . . . some drama I won't discuss, as well as losing my sister and mom within the last couple of years who they were extremely close to. There has just come a point where it will be good for the whole family to pull in close and heal together.

- I have them signed up through a charter school where they will technically be considered in public school but they will be home schooled almost all of the time, and they'll get funding for electives, field trips (this school has a lot of field trips throughout the school year) and for purchasing supplies etc. They're SO excited to take music classes, art classes, and other things that they would normally not get to do.

Of course there are things they will miss . . . like the "social" scene. I hear this all the time when I tell people I'm homeschooling my kids. I get a turned up nose and a "Aren't you worried they won't learn social skills?!" These kids have several opportunities to interact with other kids their age through a homeschool group in the area, church, the classes they'll take outside of the home, and other play dates, etc. I will in no way alienate these kids just because they're being taught in the home.

What I WONT miss is the damage control from sending them to school. I am SO over the questions like, "What does *!@$ mean?" or "So and so said that it's okay to do this or that." I'm also over all of the tears from "drama" at school. I know that through the drama they learn to cope with life skills but seriously! I am honestly over hearing about my girls or kids that I love being made fun of. I know I can't shelter them forever and I absolutely don't intend to try, but when I can pull them in for a while and help them get back on their feet from the rough couple of years we've had, while taking out a lot of the drama in their lives, I'm going to. No question. 

I recently came across a conference talk by L. Tom Perry in the April 2010 General Conference that I love. You can find the entire talk {HERE} but some of the things that stood out to me were:

Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this responsibility rests with parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the care and development of our Heavenly Father’s children. Our families are an integral part of His work and glory—“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). On God’s eternal stage, it is usually intended that parents act as the central cast members in their children’s lives. Fortunately, there are understudies involved in the production who may step in when parents can’t. It, however, is parents who have been commanded by the Lord to bring up their children in light and truth (see D&C 93:40).
Parents must bring light and truth into their homes by one family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening, one book read aloud, one song, and one family meal at a time. They know that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily parenting is among the most powerful and sustaining forces for good in the world. The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.
So . . . here goes nothin! eek! ;)

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