When my daughter was accepted into my first choice charter school in kindergarten, I felt as though I had won the lottery. Now she and her brothers would have an educational nest to call their own. Our family would set up shop, remain at the school, and graduate from the school.
Fast forward to my daughter in 3rd grade. In spring of that year, we had to explain to her how to add 243 to 519. We also had to explain how to subtract those numbers. I asked the teachers how she was doing. “She’s doing just great!” I would hear. I had a feeling something wasn’t right.
I had a good friend who 2 years prior had pulled her 2 daughters out of the same school to homeschool. I began to consider homeschooling as an option for our family. I was not planning to work full time. She told me about the different resources she used, the groups she attended, and the curriculum she loved. I asked her if homeschooling life was “less busy.” A resounding “Yes!” was her answer. I decided to take the plunge!
In my first year of homeschooling, I realized how good of a choice it was for me. We went through Story of the World, Volume I; we learned about various science subjects (Linnean Organization of Living Things, nutrition, etc). I was struck by how much I was learning. Like many homeschooling parents say: ”I had taken the classes and gotten A’s, but now in homeschool I have learned more deeply.”
Some critics of homeschool would say I was denying my children valuable social interaction. I know though that we were able to use that time in classroom life that is devoted to classroom management and put it towards learning about new curiosities. We did not have to be as stressed out about subjects we tackled; or the homework. Nor did we have the intensity that comes with juggling a full school calendar and extracurricular activities. We had choices about how we were going to do school. That is the most significant benefit to homeschool – choices!