The decision to stay home and home educate is not always an easy one for every household, but it was for my husband and myself. I am fortunate to have a husband who is actually as traditional as I am, (seeing as that was not our original goal), and as passionate about what I do, almost as much as I am. Though neither of them is mandatory, I want to tell how and why the choices were made for our family.
Here is a little background about myself. I, gratefully, grew up in a two parent household with two younger sisters. My mother worked a part-time job and my siblings and myself attended public school. My childhood was not really normal, but it wasn’t glamorous either. I wasn’t the kid allowed to have everyone over to hangout or even allowed to go out with anyone. The rule was that my parents had to meet the parents of the other child before being able to have those privileges. Well, for one reason or other, not many parents met my mom and dad. So, I spent most of my days at school, home, and church.
Fast forward into two years of being married, I had already stopped working to attend college when I was thinking about staying home with my oldest when we were pregnant with him. I wanted to consider every aspect of how it could affect him and his upbringing. I began to think about my childhood, what makes it memorable and comforting. Simple as it may sound, but moments of being at the dinner table long after the food has been eaten stick out. Laughing with my family until my stomach ached about random silly stuff. Even the important serious discussions about life are pronounced in my head. Times of being together, laying around the living room with the windows open waiting for a summer storm to pass, had a great affect on me. My mother being the one to pick us up from school and being there for me each day was very comforting. All of these thoughts include my mother being there caring and tending to my dad, sisters, and myself. In our own discussion, my husband and I both agreed that no one could care for our children, or uphold our standards better than ourselves. From there, I became a stay-at-home mom!
Now, with having gone through kindergarten to high school in the public system, you may wonder, “Well how did you think to homeschool your own kids?” Again, my childhood. My mom is a big advocate of education, and every summer she would have us start learning subjects for the following grade level to help us stay ahead. We didn’t know anything of homeschooling then, but mom would have us rotating from the piano, to the computer, to workbooks, and even educational outings. I feel I learned more then in a relaxing environment than in a formal classroom. I didn’t have any unnecessary pressures to be better than the kid next to me. No judgment from my teacher. (That’s a story in itself.) No popularity contest. Just my family, in our home, learning! I don’t even know if my mom knows the impact it had on me, because at the end of summer I would be fussing to go back to school. But the workbooks were done and the activities had ended, so I was bored and wanted something to do. LOL! Along with my experience, (and my husband’s, of course), my son helped in our decision to homeschool. He has learned far above his age group since he was a toddler. Having had the frustrating experience of waiting for other students to catch up with me, I didn’t want that for him. My husband wants the opportunity for our children to foster a love for learning, and he knows how mine was almost killed in public school. Along with some of his own experiences, we were lead to agree that homeschool, even for a set time frame to ground them and help build confidence, would be best for our home.
Even though we grew up contrary to what we do for our home, my husband and I found the value in keeping our children near. These aren’t choices for every home, but this is for us and we are glad we made them.