I have a confession to make….
Before we had kids, I used to try to talk people out of homeschooling. I used to think it was weird and those poor kids would never be able to make friends and have experiences that “normal” kids do. I used to think that no matter how smart the kids might seem, they had to have some serious social issues after being around their parents that much.
I even got my teaching degree so that I could make a difference to the kids I would someday teach. So I could change the world! I figured if I taught I would be able to at least spend the summers with my own kids someday. I assumed that sending our kids to school was the natural thing to do. I figured that even though I didn’t love school, and I absolutely hated riding the bus, our kids would just have to figure it out the same way I did.
Many years later, with my eyes wide open, I ate my words.
Now I seem to meet more and more people nearly every time I turn around that ask my advice on homeschooling or express that they too are considering taking the leap.
My first response is always, “Pray about it.” But my second is usually, “Do some research.”
Doing both, in that order, is what led us to this lifestyle, and I don’t regret it for a second. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
My only regret is that it took me so long to open my mind and heart to it, and that I potentially may have discouraged other families from trying it, because of my own ignorance.
I am constantly impressed with the increasing number of studies being done and articles being written proving the success of homeschooling, which seems to be sweeping the nation. It is so refreshing to see major news sources writing about homeschooling and confirming what I already know to be true, because I have seen it with my own eyes.
If you are discerning whether it’s right for your family, here is some more food for thought:
Washington Times: HOME-SCHOOLING: Ouststanding results on national tests
US News: Homeschooled Teens Ripe for College
USA Today: Home-schooling demographics change, expand
New York Times: Homeschooling index
Stanford University News: In a class by themselves
And on socialization:
Washington Times: HOME-SCHOOLING: Socialization not a problem
This is far from an exhaustive list, just a handful of my favorites.
When I finally opened my mind and heart to the possibility of spending nearly every hour of every day with our children, my extremely patient husband simply replied, “It’s about time.” He continues to reaffirm for me often that I am in fact not only making a difference to the students that I teach but that I am making a difference to the children that God entrusted to us to raise for Him and that the difference it has made for our family is more than worth it.