I failed at homeschooling my two oldest children. It took me eight years to forgive myself. I publicly criticized myself because I felt safer beating others to the punch. When I was faced with seeing another parent in my same shoes, I wanted to comfort her. This led me to forgive myself and allowed me to objectively reflect on why I chose to homeschool in the first place.
When I decided to homeschool my first daughter, I was excited. She was curious. She loved to take things apart. She was a mover, runner, go everywhere with the guys kind of girl. I wanted to tailer her education to her personality. Create a custom fit.
I wanted my children to have a more engaging learning experience than I had. My childhood was spent in a tiny Christian school that operated like a one-room-schoolhouse. It was a great experience – it’s a big part of why I love small schools so much.
Why wouldn’t I have wanted the same for my own children? Well, I did. But I thought I could do it better – more individualized, more hands-on, and for less money.
I wanted my kids to be free to explore and focus on their interests. Kids need to get a well rounded education to lay a foundation for whatever they choose to do in life. So many hours are spent in traditional school laying this foundation that few are left for actually pursuing interests that make learning fun.
I was fearful and didn’t trust easily. When I was a young mom, I didn’t leave my children with people outside my family. Maybe I was a little paranoid. To be honest, fear was a big part of my decision to homeschool.
I wanted to protect my children. By this I mean that I felt I should control what they were exposed to. Teaching my children at home allowed me to choose the topics we studied, the books we read, the videos they watched. I had more control. Nothing slipped through via another adult or child. Although I’m not actually a control freak, I wanted to be the one who chose when and what my kids learned. I felt that I was the most qualified person to protect my children since I knew them and loved them more than anyone else on the planet.
My responsibility for choosing on behalf of my child was not one I took lightly. The sum of my reasoning: I chose to homeschool because I felt it was in my children’s best interest. Later I chose to put them in traditional school for the same reason.
I love discussion. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on making educational choices for your children.