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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Why I Like Homeschooling: 100+ Kids Weigh In


I remember like it was yesterday. It was my very first introduction to homeschooling. It was April 1987. I was eight; sitting in Mrs. Hurst's fourth grade classroom awaiting the dreaded state achievement tests. The door opened and in walked a rather shy boy with sandy brown hair; his mother in tow. 

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He was homeschooled and per state requirements, he was coming in to the local elementary school to take his annual tests. He sat in the front row and had twenty-four pairs of eyes boring imaginary holes into his back.

I watched as his mother quietly took her place in the rear corner of the classroom, somehow scrunching her full grown self into one of our district issued reading circle chairs. I looked down at my test and then back at him wondering to myself,

"Why would anyone want to be homeschooled?"
Certainly his mother gave him no choice, right? There's no way he could like that...sitting at home. Alone. Doing who knows what all day.

I felt bad for him.

Fast forward twenty years and I found myself married to a former homeschooler. We had two kids and we were homeschooling them. If that's not irony, I'm not sure what is. 


My daughter was our guinea pig. When all the other kindergarteners stood on the street corner waiting for the big yellow bus, she stayed home. She's now twelve and in the eighth grade. She's never asked to do school any other way. Not once. On the contrary, she loves learning at home. I've often wondered how she would have felt had she been the fourth grader who showed up in my classroom that day in 1987. What would she have said to that misguided girl who "felt bad" for anyone who had to homeschool? 

Recently, I asked her. And here's what she said.

"I like homeschooling. Who wouldn't? I can work at my own pace and have my own schedule. I can learn from different resources and don't always have to use a boring textbook." 
And she's not the only one. Here's a look at the thoughts of over 100 homeschoolers across the globe. Some, like us, are second-generation homeschoolers. Some chose this rather unorthodox path much to the chagrin of their family and friends. Some launched into homeschooling right from the start. Others took an indirect route by trying out the school down the road only to find it lacking. Their reasons for homeschooling might be different. But, the outcomes seem to be the same...kids who like homeschooling.

Here's what the kids have to say. 



"I like my homeschool [enrichment co-op] classes because the activities are fun. I like not having to be inside at school all day, and being able to see my mom and dad." ~Lauryn from Iowa, age 8

"[I like homeschool] because it's shorter." ~Levi from Indiana, age 8

"There are less distractions. [And I like] being able to finish my classes in whatever order I want." ~Evan, age 13

"I get to be around my family. Homeschool is not so strict. It's not all day long, so I get to play." ~Finn from Minnesota, age 8

"I like to sleep later, I eat better, and I get to do more of what I want at home compared to at public school." ~Matthew from Kansas, age 14

"[In homeschooling,] you can get done sooner. Everything goes a whole lot quicker." ~Laura from Indiana, age 8

"I can be with my family. I don't have homework. I can play with my dog. I don't have to bring a lunch or ride the bus. I can do crafts and coloring a lot. I can wear whatever clothes I want. We can go on vacations whenever we want. I can spend good time with my family and friends. Saturday and Sunday aren't my only free days. I can play sports with Dad and Charlie. I can go on long walks in the morning." ~Tabitha from Ohio, age 8

"Being at home is less stressful than public school and it is easier to learn. Also I get to stay up later and sleep in. [There's] better food at home and I get to explore more of what I want to do each day." ~Jenny from Kansas, age 15

"[I like] that we get more breaks and time with Mom." ~Audrey from Indiana, age 6

"We can play and cuddle with [mom] whenever we want." ~Lulamae, age 4, and Clodagh-Boo, age 6, from Hertfordshire, England

"I get to do art whenever I want because I like art." ~Jack from Minnesota, age 7

"[Homeschooling is] tailored to each individual's needs." ~Rhianna from North Carolina, homeschool graduate age 18

"I can learn without feeling threatened." ~Elijah from Iowa, age 15

"I get to be home with my family." ~Hannah from Indiana, age 5

"I like watching the bus go by while I'm eating breakfast in my pajamas! I also like doing school outside." ~Natalie from Indiana, age 10

"What I love about homeschooling is that I get to be with my family. I like going to lots of places [on] field trips." ~Abbey from Virginia, age 5

"[I appreciate] doing work on my own time." ~Tabitha from North Carolina, age 15

"[While homeschooling], you don't have to get up early. You have breaks and go outside. You get to see your friends (at co-op, field trips, and playdates). You get to play with your family and pets. You get to go to the library a lot more and can check out more than one book. You get more time to read. We can see grandma and grandpa (in other states) whenever we want, not just over the summer. No homework!!" ~Bella in Virginia, age 9

"[I like the] calm atmosphere." ~Rosaleigh from North Carolina, age 12

"I have the freedom to learn what I want. I can move at my own pace and I have more free time." ~Aiden from Massachusetts, age 13

"You don't have to deal with all the drama of public school. I like the freedom to pursue my own interests." ~Sarah from New Mexico, age 14

"I don't have to get up super early and can sometimes stay home the whole day! I am with my mom all day...I like being with my family all day long. I don't have to take the bus. I don't have to eat lunch in 20 minutes and there's no homework!" ~Charlie from Ohio, age 8

"I like being home with my family and I don't have to get bullied at school." ~Logan from New York, age 9

"[I like homeschooling] because I get stickers and stickers give me points to earn things. You don't get to do that in regular schools. And because I get to stay at home." ~Tarrance from North Carolina, age 4

"[I like] staying with mommy." ~Tessa from North Carolina, age 9

"I like my science. I like that [my mom's] my teacher, and I like that I feel safe." ~Jael from Texas, age 8

"It's easier to learn." ~Benjamin from Missouri, age 16

"School is my favorite thing to do!" ~Anna from New York, age 5

"[I like homeschooling] because we don't have to wake up super-early and because [we] get to do school in our pajamas." ~Abby from Virginia, age 11

"I get to stay home with my brothers and sisters. I also like being able to go on vacation in the middle of the school year when everyone else is in school. All the museums and amusement parks are empty and we can have the exhibits and rides all to ourselves." ~Reese from Minnesota, age 10

"I want to be with mommy and I like my desk." ~Reign from North Carolina, age 5

"It gives me the freedom to learn in my learning style." ~Lydia from Iowa, age 16

"I like [homeschool] because we are at home, we are all together, we get done earlier in the year and have a long summer, we are usually done by lunch time, and we have more time to farm with Daddy." ~Wyatt from North Carolina, age 8

"You get to have fun and learn a bunch of stuff." ~Liam from Missouri, age 10

"[I like homeschooling] because it's shorter and [because] I get to hang out with my Momma and Poppa all day. I like geography. And I get to go to the bathroom without a pass...that's the best part. Oh and lunch...I get good food." ~Amaya from Massachusetts, age 10

"[I like homeschooling] because I get to stay home and not travel." ~Miles from Oregon, age 9

"I don't have to get out of bed before the sun comes up." ~Daniel from New Mexico, age 9

"I like being at home with family." ~Kathryn from North Carolina, age 6

"[I like homeschooling] because it's fun!" ~Eli, age 5

"[I like homeschooling] because it's fun. I like reading. I like doing my math. We just get to read on the back porch and it is so beautiful outside!" ~Colby, age 7

"I get to spend more time with my family. And we get to do lots of field trips and fun school. School doesn't take all day so I have time to do things I like. We get to choose our curriculum so I get to choose stuff I like." ~Isaac from Missouri, age 8

"I can spend as much time on my school work as I need to and no one tells me hurry up." ~Joshua from New Mexico, age 12

"I like homeschooling because you don't have to go for a lot of the day and I like it because you're at the house and your mom or dad teaches you and it's really fun to be at home." ~Carter from Tennessee, age 5

"I don't have to rush in the morning and I can read what I want to." ~Hannah from New Mexico, age 10

"[ I like homeschooling] because you don't have to wake up early. How much time you spend on school is up to you, kinda." ~TJ from Virginia, age 13

"I get to be be home all day and not away." ~Alaina from Missouri, age 7

"I like being at home." ~Lauren from North Carolina, age 4

"I like homeschooling because I don't want to be stuck in a room all day long. After my work is done, I can go outside on an adventure whenever I want." ~Abbi from New Hampshire, age 6

"I like having some control over [my] schedule and choices in what subjects we do. [I like that I get to read] lots of books." ~Travis from Pennsylvania, age 11

"There's no homework, we are done with school when we get done with our work, we get out earlier than public schools, we get a long summer, we are always together, and our school work is Christian-based." ~Graham from North Carolina, age 13

"[I like] playing and riding bikes with my brothers during the day and getting to build and do crafts while mom reads." ~Scotty from Pennsylvania, age 7

"I like it because I get to be outside a lot!" ~Carter from Nebraska, age 6

"I like that [mom] gets to be my teacher and I like our schedule and activities." ~Brigham, age 8

"I get to be done early." ~Cord from North Carolina, age 8

"I get to see my family all day." ~Klayre, age 9

"I like taking breaks in the school day and having my birthday off." ~Kayla from Alabama, age 10

"I get more time to eat and there's no homework." ~Lily, age 7

"I like the books Mom picks." ~Alice, age 5

"I like being at home with mom and doing school at home." ~Joey, age 6

"I like freedom for customization." ~Lea, age 14

"I like to be with family more." ~Spencer from Ohio, age 8

"[I like homeschooling for] a number of reasons, but having a say in my curriculum is near the top." ~Amberly, age 16

"[I like homeschooling] because I get to stay at my house and I don't have to do eight hours of work. I only have to do three." ~Bailey from North Carolina, age 7

"I can not fathom being at school all day and having hours of homework afterward." ~Logan from North Carolina, age 9

"[I like homeschooling] because after school I get to play with friends." ~Liam from Oregon, age 7

"I like that I can meet people. I have awesome teachers." ~Brandon, age 9

"Public school has bullies. At home, no one bullies you." ~Avin from Missouri, age 7

"When I don't understand something, we don't have to rush ahead. We can stay with it as long as it takes until I get it." ~Grace from Texas, age 10

"I feel loved. I get to do music." ~Natalie, age 6

"[I'm glad I'm homeschooled because] I am done faster than if I went to school." ~Jonathan, age 9

"[We like homeschooling] because we don't have to do school all day." ~Rebekah and Ryan from California, age 7

"I like that I get to spend time with my family." ~Huck from Missouri

"I'd go nuts sitting all day." ~Owen from Minnesota, age 7

"I like being able to take breaks whenever I need to." ~Sage from Michigan, age 9

"[I like being homeschooled] because it's fun and I like writing in my journal and doing art and having free play time with [my] baby brother." ~Hannah from Oklahoma, age 6

"I like having shorter days than regular school and taking lots of breaks." ~Dean from Alabama, age 7

"I like the games we play and being with mommy during the day." ~Livvy, age 6

"I like being homeschooled because I like being here with [my mom] and learning things with [her]." ~Ally, age 7

"I have more time with mommy!" ~Levi from Ohio, age 5

"You get more of a one-on-one experience with your teacher. You might not have as many friends [while homeschooling], but [the ones you do have] are a lot closer." ~Jessica, age 13

"[I like homeschooling] because I don't have to be with other people all day and because I have more free time!" ~Christine, age 16

"I got to move at my own pace. I could take the time to get the help when I needed it and I could rocket ahead when I didn't." ~Katherine, homeschool graduate age 22

"I can do Math as fast as I want!" ~Alison from Tennessee, age 12

"I like to wake up on my own time, not super early." ~Lydia from Michigan, age 11

"[I like homeschooling] because I get to be with [my family] and play outside more. Plus, I don't have to be at school for seven or more hours." ~Hope from Tennessee, age 9

"I get playtime...whenever!" ~Bella from Ohio, age 3

"I like being home with Mommy and writing in my journal." ~Rilyn from Minnesota, age 4

"I like that [mom] lets me play." ~Micah, age 5

"[I'm glad I'm homeschooled] because I don't get picked on and yelled at for talking." ~CJ, age 10

"I don't have to get up before the sun does." ~Brayden, age 6

"[I like homeschooling] because it's way easier for me and I don't have to sit at a desktop for eight hours a day." ~Benson from Oklahoma, age 7

"[I like] that I get to learn new words and that sometimes I get to do it outside. And I like spending time with my mommy." ~Madelyn from Missouri, age 6

"I love getting to be outside for hours and hours and hours every day!" ~Spencer from Nebraska, age 8

"[I get] to be with my youngest sister all day." ~Claire from North Carolina, age 11

"[I love homeschooling] because it has Mom!" ~Caeyn from South Dakota, age 8

"I like having the ability to sleep in. There is little to no negative peer pressure. I also like having the ability to choose areas of study and [the opportunity] to spend extra time on hard things." ~Tim from Maryland, age 15

"I like home schooling because I'm not being bullied like I was in public school." ~Heidi from Georgia, age 9

"I like homeschooling because it includes lots of art, and I like math! Also, I love to read, and there's lots of reading in homeschool." ~Zoe from Illinois, age 6

"[I like] that my teacher is my mom and the government isn't teaching me." ~Sam from Missouri, age 10

"I don't have to wake up early." ~Emily from North Carolina, age 10

"I have no bed time [because I don't have to get up] early in morning, and I can learn more in less time." ~Blake from Iowa, age 12

"I don't get bullied like I did in public school. Plus, my mom loves me more than the teacher liked me." ~Bradley from New York, age 13

"I don't have to listen to all of the screaming kids and I can work at my own pace." ~Patrick from Maryland, age 9

"It's fun. I have reading and I get to do numbers." ~Eric from Virginia, age 7

"It's fun and I get extra time on the computer." ~Tristan from Arkansas, age 9

"I don't have to wake up at 6am. There's a structure to [the day], but it's still flexible." ~Abby from Indiana, age 12

"[I like that homeschooling gives you] more elective choices because you aren't limited to what your school offers. There's no wasted time on long bus rides. You can go at your own pace and take time on what interests you or what is difficult for you. You don't get in trouble when the rest of the class is doing something wrong and you're not. You have the ability to double up on stuff and get ahead so you can take the afternoon off and bike to your friend's house." ~Corey from Indiana, age 14

"I get to eat beanie wienies here!" ~Joshua from Georgia, age 7

"[I like homeschooling] because I get to stay with my family. And because of the days we learn about countries (other cultures)." ~Gabby from North Carolina, age 6

"I like homeschooling because I get to build Legos, and I get to read Star Wars books." ~Marky from Illinois, age 5

"I get to be with my family, and sleep in." ~Cade from Missouri, age 12

"I like reading with mom, playing with [my] brothers during the day, [and having] more time to practice guitar." ~Cecil from Pennsylvania, age 9


In 1987, I felt bad for all the homeschoolers. Today, I know better.

______________________________

Be sure to check out what all the homeschool teens have to say about their homeschooling experience in the newly released Homeschooled Teens: 75 Young People Speak About Their Lives Without School.

7 comments:

  1. By the time I was done this list, I had tears in my eyes. The major theme I kept seeing repeated over and over and over again was "I want to be with my Mommy." "I love being with my Mama." "I love my family. I love spending time with them."

    It made me realize anew the great responsibility we have as mothers in our home. We have a HUGE impact in our childrens' lives! They need us!

    Home education aside for a moment-I am devastated for the women who have bought the lie that the only valuable work is the one that gets you a paycheck and who don't feel like staying home is a worthy pursuit. And I feel even worse for their children.



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    1. That was exactly what I noticed most too, Rebecca. I can't imagine my children being apart from me for so many hours each day. But, it seems that they feel the same way.

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  2. My homeschooled daughters are 5 and in kindergarten. We recently passed a public school, and they informed me that they felt "so sorry" for the kids who had to stay away from their mommy and daddy and be split up from their brothers and sisters every day. They told me they think it's very sad that the families aren't together and asked why God would let some mommies and daddies leave their children all day like that. (I have never painted public/private schooling as a bad thing, by the way. Just as a different school experience that some of their friends have.)

    The idea that they were sad for other kids really hit me hard and made me realize just how much they love our days spent together- mommy and all siblings together all day, free to meet Daddy for picnic lunches, free to explore and discover and learn outside of a limited classroom, free to interact with a wide variety of people and not just those whose birthdays fall between two arbitrary dates. They love our life, and I'm so glad. It encourages me to persevere in doing my best.

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    Replies
    1. I think about the fact that my husband comes home for lunch each day and that we are able to take days off whenever he has them. For the majority of history, that's the way life was. Dads worked from home or close to home and children saw them often throughout the day. When the industrial revolution occurred and dads left home for work, something else happened in our country...children went to school. Children have had disconnected relationships with fathers ever since. I'm so very grateful that homeschooling affords my children connection with my husband.

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  3. I like math blaster and math, animals, science, art, geography... Because I get to be with you (Mom) and I get to be more educated to be with you(Mom). I love learning.
    S from Nevada age 7

    I like educational DVD's, co-op, computer programming, I like massages (He's going through growth spurts). I also like the fact that when I am on break I can just go to my room or use the computer.
    A from Nevada age 11

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  4. very moving, thanks for posting this!!

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  5. My kids loved these responses. They asked me to add their own...

    I like to spend time with my family. I like to read on the porch. I like that I don't have more school. I like that I learn about God. And that i don't wake up too early. And I love field trips. - Jacinda age 5.

    I can wake up early so I can read in bed before everyone is up. Sometimes I can go in and cuddle with mommy before my brothers and sister get up. - Nathan age 7

    I like the fact that at lunch I get to have my mom's good food instead of the glop they're eating at public school. And when I'm done with school I get to play on a video game. - Ian age 10

    Christianity. We get to learn about God, and not all that stuff they learn in public school. - Dominic age 13

    ReplyDelete

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