Homeschooling, for me and my husband, started as just a kernel, just a seed of an idea before our twin children were even born.
From that humble beginning, it has turned into something truly significant in all four of our lives. Explaining that significance to those who ask has never been very easy.
Recently, though, I read this mom’s reasons for homeschooling. She’s an MD and her 18 reasons are my 18 reasons.
My shift to homeschooling didn’t start with such a long list. In fact, when I first heard the concept of homeschooling, I had a fairly narrow, ignorant view of it. Then I heard various Amway Diamonds associated with World Wide DreamBuilders talk about their experience with homeschooling and, more specifically, their reasons for making such a choice.
I would have thought that a private education would be the preferred choice for these folks. But what I came to realize, as with many aspects of their lives, is that when you are not tied to a location and you have the ability to make significant money in less time than most people, you tend to redesign your life. And that includes how you “do school.”
For me, the seed of homeschooling was planted when one WWDB Diamond couple, Greg and Laurie Duncan, decided to homeschool when they butted heads with their kids’ school because they kept pulling them out to travel.
What’s the point in the parents having flexibility if the kids don’t too? So while that was the impetus, over the last four years of our homeschooling journey the reasons and benefits have grown significantly.
In her list, Dr. Berchelmann eloquently and clearly communicates many of my thoughts—so much so that it’s hard to highlight just a few. Practically speaking, though, the major reasons/benefits were time and sleep.
On a warm April day four years ago, when my kids were in half-day kindergarten at the local public school, I stood on the playground and imagined what it would look like for them to attend full-day first grade in the fall.
They would be away for seven hours a day. I imagined all the time I’d have, what I’d do with all those glorious hours. Six years of caring for twins, and I was now going to get some of that time back!
But then I started to think about how early we’d have to wake up, and how early they’d have to go to bed, in order to get the 10 or 11 hours that they needed to be fully rested.
I reflected on how much time we’d actually have together as a family, squeezed in between getting ready in the morning, school, food prep, homework, after-school activities, shuttling around, getting ready to for bed, and sleep.
The more I thought about it, the more I kept going back to the reasons that attracted me to the Amway business. In particular, I value the flexibility of time and space that it affords, and how that flexibility positively affects my relationships, starting with my husband.
Based on all of that, when we had children it seemed that “normal” schooling would be not only awkward, but disruptive.
Still, I hesitated when making the move to homeschooling. The biggest factor, frankly, was my concern that homeschooling would be too much work for me. Would I be overwhelmed and fail at it?
So far, so good, and in the bigger scheme of things, the extra work has been more than offset by the reduced stress attached to this non-traditional way of living.
More work doesn’t have to equate to more stress. They are not one and the same. This is one of many life-changing truths that have come my way through the decision to homeschool.