We home educate our children. Granted, they are only 5 and 3, but we began when Big was four and a half and will continue to the end of high school. I always knew I would home school. I was home schooled from 8th grade onward. That did not play a huge part in our decision, other than knowing home schooling existed. I probably home educate my children in spite of my experience, rather than because of it.
When we decided to home school, it wasn’t because we had debated the merits of public vs. private vs. home school and made lists and graphs of the pros and the cons of each and then reached a decision. It just came from my heart. I could not imagine sending my precious boy off on a big bus to a total stranger. It made me feel a little sick, to tell you the truth. No offense to the total stranger, I’m sure she’s lovely. But she’s not Mama.
The first few times someone asked me why we home school, I was caught off-guard and stumbled around like an idiot. Once, a woman asked me about it right after she spent ten minutes telling me how bratty her 6 year old had become since entering 1st grade. I was at a loss as to what to say – Well, I don’t want my kids turning out like yours? That’s a little rude, even for me.
I have a new friend who is considering pulling her girls out of public school. She has lots of questions, and needs encouragement and support.
And then recently, I reconnected with an old friend from elementary school (I shall refer to her as Hortense to protect her anonymity. She hopes to become big in obscure education journals). I haven’t seen or talked to her since before I was married, but I was cruising around Facebook one day and found her (side note: am I the only one who feels like an idiotic fourteen year old girl when on FB?). It turns out that in the last 15 years or so, she progressed from elementary school music teacher to full blown PhD in Educational Psychology. She had lots of questions about home schooling. And lots of rebuttals.
All these things have piled up and left me with this intense desire to be able to articulate the reasons why I home school. I would, obviously, like to turn my old friend into a fan, if not an advocate. That seems unlikely, but I will be satisfied knowing that I made my points in a coherent manner and that she could see the validity of some of them. Trying to hold my own with someone who was educated in public school, became a public school teacher, and then went on to become an education researcher? Very intimidating.
Home schooling is my passion. It’s…that thing….that thing I was meant to do with my life. I count myself as very lucky to have discovered my purpose. I am also very fortunate to have a husband who believes in it as well, and is willing to shoulder the financial burdens so I can stay home with our babies.