We were recently at a birthday party and my son happily shared with the guests sitting across the table that he was in kindergarten. Later in the conversation it came up we were homeschooling. The eyebrows were raised and the questions started. “Here we go,” I thought.
When people question my reasons for homeschooling, I don’t get defensive. I reach inside and grab onto confidence. I do what I do every day because I believe in what I’m doing as a parent and an educator. Other people may want to debate with me or make me feel unqualified, but I respond with confidence and gradually the opposition backs down.
This year kindergarten didn’t exactly start how I had envisioned. As soon as I asked my son to put away his toys so we could begin, he began to cry. His toys were gone forever! Good thing the basis for homeschooling my kids does not rest in their happiness from one moment to the next. There are bigger reasons for homeschooling. When someone asks you about why you homeschool what are the bigger reasons you can share?
A Short List
Choosing a short list of reasons why you homeschool can be a helpful strategy for maintaining confidence in what you are doing for yourself personally when you are struggling along, and also for being confident when others question you. On those days when the kids are crying, you have a headache, and your spouse is working late you can remind yourself why you are homeschooling. Not knowing why you do something can lead to giving up on yourself. Make a list! It will help you in the long run. Here is an interesting list of reasons to homeschool a teen: https://hslda.org/content/highschool/docs/TenReasonsHTHS.asp.
There are multiple positive reasons for homeschooling but sometimes it’s easy to get going on a personal soapbox and dwell on the negative aspects of public schools. If I am positive about my homeschooling that will rub off on my kids when they hear me talking about it with others, and I will in turn feel positive about what I am accomplishing. Here are my positive reasons for homeschooling: time with my kids, the ability to provide a faith- based education, fostering a nurturing environment for learning, and that right now it’s a good fit for our family. My list is short, simple, and positive. I feel good about what I’m doing and when I share the positive with those who ask or when I question my own choices, it makes sense for us to homeschool.
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.