Why We Homeschool



I thought it might be fun to list some of my 572 favorite reasons for homeschooling, in no particular order.

  • I love the friends my son has made homeschooling.  They are amazing kids. Often his friends really inspire him to become completely fascinated with something he'd never heard of before.
  • Learning should be about more than just absorbing some facts long enough to regurgitate them on a test.  
  • The first time I ever got a chance to really explore the things that interested me was in college.  And that would have been a much better time in my life to focus on a vocation, if only I'd had any idea what I wanted to do.  But I'd never had any chance to really explore the things that interested me...
  • I love the homeschooling parents I've met.  I'd never met such a confident, intelligent, inspiring group of people anywhere. 
  • When it's a beautiful day, we're outside.
  • My son has friends of different ages. Kind of like real life.  He doesn't instantly tune out anyone who isn't within a year of his age.
  • Homeschoolers are more likely to start their own businesses.  They know what they're passionate about. Without a lifetime of peer pressure, they aren't concerned with just making more money than their neighbors. 
  • I can't count how many times I've heard a teacher say, "School time is not social time".  Well, our school time often is.
  • A school aged child should be able to figure out for themselves when they need to go to the bathroom without shame or humiliation.  Ever.
  • My son's passion is science.  At my son's would-be elementary school, 62% of the tested students failed the science standards test.  Whatever you think of standardized tests, I think that's lousy enough to reasonably assume science is not their thing.
  • Schools have built-in inefficiencies.  Precious time is  wasted going back and forth to school, taking attendance, waiting for all the kids to finish an assignment. lining up for lunch, lining up for the bathroom, lining up for recess, etc.  We can spend an hour a day on task and genuinely cover more than a whole day in school.
  • I don't want my son to learn to connect-the-dots instead of drawing his own pictures, to fill-in-the-blanks instead of writing his own narratives, or to do those dorky crafts where you make snowmen by stacking three precut construction paper circles.   
  • My husband and I want our son to learn our values.  While I understand the reasons the schools include values like racial tolerance, cultural sensitivity, civic responsibility, sex ed, etc. in their curriculum, and  I don't necessarily disagree with their specific messages, that's OUR job as parents and we are here to do it.  We are here to answer all our son's questions and offer him guidance.  I strongly believe that diverse families passing on their values and culture to their children makes our democracy stronger. We do not want our authority usurped, regardless of  good intentions.  
  • Learning to read English is tough. The rewards should be high.  Why shouldn't my son read things that specifically interest him?
  • For that matter, why shouldn't any and all lessons be tailored specifically to his learning style? Learning is not a one-size-fits-all thing.
  • Budget cuts have not been kind to our schools. "Frivolous" things like the arts have taken it hard.  I think it's obvious that the only skill we absolutely know our kids are going to need to be a success in any field in the future is creativity.  We are not going to solve any of the world's problems without it.  We haven't had to cut the arts from our homeschooling.
  • Once you've mastered a skill, you shouldn't necessarily have to keep doing it over and over and over for "practice".  Sometimes that just results in mind-numbing boredom.
  • It's common knowledge that parental involvement and a low student/teacher ratio create a better learning environment. We've got that down. 
  • Portland has thousands of learning opportunities, including classes, for homeschoolers.  More of them involve learning directly from someone who is passionate about what they do.
  • Homeschoolers don't learn to cheat.
  • I was told by a teacher that if I didn't force my child to go to school when he didn't enjoy it, he would never learn the important life lesson that we all must go to work every day whether we want to or not.  And he would never be a success in Corporate America.  Sounds good to me.  I'm glad he's not her student.
  • We genuinely enjoy our son's company.  Why should he spend his whole day with people who don't love him (or even necessarily like him), and come home drained and tired with homework to do?  We'd almost never get to see him at his best.  Or share those amazing moments when his eyes light up because he's just learned something new.  Which is my favorite thing of all in life.
  • When there's a way to learn about something by going to see it, or by meeting someone who knows all about it, or by doing it ourselves, we do.  
  • Jasper got a pen pal exchange letter from Hannah that said, "You and me are free."