Spoiler Alert: After researching some of the reasons to homeschool that motivate other families, I became aware of the benefits of homeschooling – as well as some of its disadvantages. But, I’ve decided that this year I’m jumping in to homeschool my fifth grade son. As a rookie, I wanted nothing more than to be a relaxed and confident homeschool mom with a perfect answer to the question, “Why homeschool?”
In researching, I discovered my perfect reason for homeschooling my son. I’ll share it with you as well as a printable that I created so you can start off on your best foot! You can start homeschooling- you can do this!
I Was Scared – How Could I Possibly Be a Good Homeschool Mom?
Doubting my ability to be patient and empathetic with my son if we were together all day in homeschool was the one thing that held me back from homeschooling sooner than we did. If I couldn’t handle it, how could I finally decide to homeschool?
I started this journey scared that I could not be what my son needed – even as the reasons for homeschool kept popping into my mind, crossing my fb feed, and seeming more and more appealing.
I was deathly afraid that I would not have the patience to handle this. People who know me will tell you that patience is not always my strength. And while I will agree, I would also tell you that the patience I can (frequently) show my children would test the patience and goodwill of Mother Theresa herself.
My son and I are sooooooo much alike that we have finely honed our expertise at pushing each other’s buttons. And sometimes, he pushes the specific button that seems to have the power to obliterate any empathy I have.
And I was scared. I was scared that I would be worse than his current school situation. (More about this in another post, I promise.)
But then I found the secret sauce. I found what would support me during the hardest days and moments; something to rely upon so that I could draw on an (almost) unlimited well of patience and empathy.
My motivation and the thing that keeps me going every single day is my answer to the question, “Why homeschool?” I focused and researched and collected every molecule of clarity possible on my reasons to homeschool.
It was then I knew that I could overcome my fear. Keep reading.
Wondering How to Homeschool?
Discovering Your Reasons for Homeschooling Is The First Step
There are many wonderful reasons to homeschool kids these days:
- different learning styles,
- faster / slower learners,
- parental values,
- 2e kids,
- asynchronous kids,
- religious or spiritual convictions,
- mental health,
- a local or public school system that is inefficient and/or ineffective,
- family dynamics,
- world schooling or road schooling,
- safety concerns,
- to avoid bullying,
- the expense of private schools,
- teaching for all the standardized testing,
- spending extra time on your child’s personal challenges, and the list goes on and on.
I highly recommend that you start this journey by narrowing down your reason(s) or your why for wanting to homeschool. Your why will likely be as personal and unique as you and your family.
If you want my FREE Printable Worksheet: WHY Homeschool?
Click HERE to receive a copy in your inbox immediately to figure out your unique reasons to homeschool your unique child.
I also suggest that you go through this exercise for each of your children separately. Your answers will likely be different for each child and you might discover that homeschooling may not be the right choice for each of your children.
Once you choose to homeschool and go through these questions, you might also discover you have multiple reasons for wanting to homeschool. That’s fine, too!
There are likely just as many “whys” for homeschooling as there are homeschool families. But determining your personal why and how it aligns with your family’s values is imperative.
On the worst days, knowing why you started homeschooling might just be all that keeps you going when you want to quit and you feel like you made a huge mistake.
What Can Homeschool Offer Your Family?
I’d been wondering my own reasons to homeschool my son for a couple of years. Wondering what the benefits of homeschooling him would be.
And would they outweigh any disadvantages? Like, you know. Me.
I needed to determine my reasons for homeschooling. All my other decisions about curricula, scheduling, home school programs, etc. would easily flow from there.
I don’t speak much about it on this site, but my son is exceptionally gifted and also dyslexic. And, despite the common perceptions of gifted children, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the ones easily sailing through school. They have their own struggles. His needs are different in school.
Through several schools, I discovered that he could easily be placed in a gifted program – but then his dyslexia made him appear lazy. And that made him feel like a failure. Or there was door number two: he could be placed with kids with learning disabilities and, therefore, leave his giftedness unaddressed. That made him bored and so he “checked out” which also made him feel like a failure.
As I did more and more research, I learned that it is not unusual for gifted children to thrive when they homeschool.
So, for me, one or the other of my child’s educational needs were not being met in the traditional school setting.
While I was starting to read more about homeschooling gifted and dyslexic kids, I came across an article that so eloquently described precisely why I want to homeschool my gifted son. After reading it, voila! I knew exactly why I wanted to homeschool my son.
And equally important, I knew that re-reading this article and having it available would always get me back on track when I needed it.
Benefits for Homeschooled Children
I want my boys to do precisely what they were designed to do. Whatever that may be, I don’t get to judge it. I just want to be a good facilitator / guide for them to discover what they were designed to do.
And, for better or worse, what they are designed to do isn’t always what is expected, appreciated, or measured in schools.
Children learn from the real world with or without a detailed school schedule and I wanted them to have that opportunity.
I want them to learn and be valued for learning within the unique context of what he was designed to do. This to me is the major benefit of homeschooling for my son. He gets to be evaluated within the context of who he is.
So I suggest that you examine what success is for you, your unique child, and your family with regard to education. Whatever success is for you is okay – you’ll find no judgments here. But…
“Whatever your answer is, don’t choose anything that will jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character.” – Mathew McConaughey
Following the path to your personal vision of success leads to a lifetime of something much more satisfying than momentary happiness – it’s genuine joy.
“Joy is not a choice. It’s not a response to some result. It’s a constant. Joy is the feeling that we have from from doing what we are fashioned to do.
No matter the outcome…Joy is always in process…it’s under construction…it is in constant approach. alive and well in the doing of what we are fashioned to do.” – Mathew McConaughey
The Down Days
When we hit a down day – and there are plenty of down days – I resist the urge to crawl into bed with the tv remote poised on Netflix and a bowl of homemade banana pudding waiting to jump in my mouth…
Make no mistake – there are aspects of homeschool that are downright tough.
When I find myself having a tough day – I know that I can take one baby step. I believe that I can, literally, do anything for one moment. After that moment, I’ll tackle the next moment. And the next.
While I now know that there come times when I actually can’t do anything for even one moment – more often than not, I can be patient with my boys.
I can definitely exhibit one moment of patience. And another. Then another. Another after that. Maybe one more another. Ok – then I’m usually done. But, you see where I’m coming from?
Remembering the reasons to homeschool this amazing and unique child that graced your life, and it just might bless you with one more moment of patience. And then, hopefully, another. And another.
So knowing your answer to, “Why homeschool?” for each of your children will help you get through the tough days.
Post Script…My Reasons To Homeschool Validated
Within twenty-four hours of betting on the benefits of homeschooling and making our decision, a blogger friend of mine shared this video.
You know those times when you receive exactly what you need in exactly the moment that you need it? This was the confirmation that I needed for the decision that we made.
I saw both myself and my son in this and watched it over and over as the tears spilled from my eyes…
Even during the days where we butt heads and struggle – I have not for one second looked back. I have not ever stopped feeling immense gratitude that we are able to honor or belief that, for now, homeschooling is better.
My only regret is that I pondered our decision for so long. Let me say that if you are wondering; asking your friends; or lurking in a homeschool facebook group – I encourage you to recognize that you may already know the answer in your heart.
Don’t Forget To Pin This So You Can Always Come Back: