This was an original guest post on She Found Grace blog- click here to read it there.
I get asked often why we choose to homeschool and if I had all day, I would sit down and chat over a cup of tea and share with you. But if I can boil it down to one main thing, it would be freedom. There is so much freedom in homeschooling that encompasses WHY we choose this lifestyle to educate our children at home.
In a way, yes we school our children AT HOME. And we worldschool, lifeschool and unschool. We let our life experiences show and share with us and allow actual living to teach us and grow us. We let the kids passions lead and give them space to explore their gifts and talents.
We do use a curriculum. We have books and structure and a schedule. And we have SO MUCH flexibility and spontaneity mixed into that. I want my children to love to learn. I want them to be eager to dive into new topics and find more things in life that they enjoy and are naturally good at. I want them to be curious and explore the world around them. We have a great curriculum that walks them through all they need to learn. And we appreciate the freedom that we have in homeschooling so that we can set the books down when I have a baby or when we move or when we take a roadtrip. We don’t have to feel the pressure of logging in absent school days or having to keep up with a scheduled curriculum because, there is more freedom here.
We have freedom in what we teach. Because our entire lives are focused around our faith and our relationship with Jesus, we get to foster a sweet environment of that for our children in our home. We get to infuse our faith into every subject they learn. We get to integrate discipleship and character building into our everyday learning and conversations. We get to create space to read the Bible together, have discussions, teach our children to pray and give them ample opportunity to practice that. The freedom in our faith is one of the biggest pieces of why we do what we do.
Another one is…. time. I knew that I didn’t just want to spend time with my children on nights and weekends. I didn’t want to send my kids away for someone else to take care of and teach during their childhood, because I want to be that person. I want to spend my mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights with them. I only have them for such a short time. I want to cherish each moment I can. Time has been a determining factor in how we approach our decisions in life. And this isn’t a knock on anyone else’s kids who do go to traditional school or are away from home often. This is just MY story. And the freedom of time with my children in integral in my value system. Quality AND quantity time.
I’ve always been a stay-at-home mom but in the past 5 years, I have built multiple businesses from home. I am so blessed to be able to bring income in from home while still being with my babies. Some weeks I work a lot and some weeks I barely work at all. But the neat thing is that with the freedom in our homeschooling, I am able to do the work I love, from home and still educate my children. Our day allows for me to get ample work time in IF I am wise with the time we are given. And my kids get to be a part of that and see what that looks that.
Freedom in homeschooling means we get to explore passion-led learning. Instead of running every kid through a one-size-fits-all system, we can cater to their personal gifts, talents and passions. We still learn all the basics but instead of pushing them into complex concepts of a certain subject they have zero interest in (or may never need for a career one day) we get to dive deeper into subjects, skills and concepts that they truly get excited about and have natural giftings in. It also means that we get to do things at our own pace. My son is turning 7 this summer and just starting to grasp reading. It has not come as easy to him as it was for my older daughters. And instead of pushing him into frustration with learning at the same pace everyone else does, we’ve been able to gently challenge him to grow at it in his timing. That is a huge blessing for us.
Because of the open-ness and flexibility of homeschooling, we have more availability to travel and even just do day-trips or adventures during the week and during the day with our children. It opens up a whole new door of possibility when you are no longer limited to do things on nights and weekends or depending on if we can take work off or feel it is okay to take the kids out of school. We have 100% control over how we spend our time.
I am a very social person and love going to local events and checking out all that Minnesota has to offer and because of homeschooling, I get to do a lot of fun things with the kids and do meetups and park days and attend a lot of events that I love. I also love exploring arts and crafts and doing projects around the house. My kids get to see and be a part of all of that. They join in with me and make their own art and we have this limitless potential to find new activities and crafts that we enjoy doing together.
We will get to use our time to teach our children life skills as they get older. There are so many hours spent per day at traditional school learning complex math skills (most of which I personally, have never used in my adult life.) I think it would have been wonderful to learn actual useful things like how to do certain home improvement projects, changing the oil in a car, how to cook and bake like a champ, or how to be financially stable. I was blessed to have learned most of that from my parents but a lot of kids don’t get that opportunity and the schools only teach it as an extracurricular (and it’s all based on tests and grades) not necessarily learning, enjoying and comprehending the concepts.
One of the things I really appreciate about our freedom is that we have very slow mornings. We wake up when we wake up (normally I am up around 6 with the babies) and we enjoy a peaceful morning of play and slowness. There is no rushing to get dressed, eat and get out the door. It’s relaxed, worship music on, and a calm about the house as the kids quietly play and the sun slowly rises. It’s a sweet time for us and sets us up for a great day. Those slow mornings are cherished and precious.
Why do i love the freedom in homeschooling? Because WE get to CHOOSE it. Our lives aren’t dictated by anyone else’s schedule. We have complete freedom in how we live and where we choose to spend our time. I think time is the most remarkable gift we’ve been given on this earth and I don’t want to ever take it for granted. Because of that, homeschool plays a very integral part in how we live.