Last year we made the decision to take our 7 year old daughter out of public school. It was not something we did lightly. We gave it a great deal of thought. We worried about how it would affect her. We worried about how it would change our lives as a family. We worried that people would judge us harshly.
As it turns out, all that worrying was completely pointless (as worrying nearly always is).
It was a lovely year.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. It was good for our daughter who learned and flourished and discovered several new passions. It was good for our family as we were pushed to be conscious about the ways that we use our precious time together. Our friends and family were very supportive, or at the very least, not critical.
We went into homeschooling with the idea that we would give it a one year trial period. After one year, none of us can imagine going back to the way it was.
We agreed, last year, to take a new look at our reasons each year and re-evaluate their validity. Most of our reasons have stayed the same. Some have changed slightly. We’ve added a few new reasons. Some of the reasons are light-hearted and some are quite serious. Some have considerably more weight than others. Some are focused on our child and others on ourselves. No one or ten or twenty would be enough to justify the time, effort and resources we put into homeschool but, all of them together provide a solid foundation for why we are choosing this path. (Click here to view the original list.)
A little note: we do have other children but the oldest 2 live with their mom during the school year and attend school near her and the littlest is still too young for school, so these reasons are focused on Sweet Hippie Daughter.
I think that every family has to make the choices that fit their lives and personalities best. If you’re wondering why this family would choose to homeschool here it is:
Our 100 reasons (plus 10), year 2:
1. We love spending time with her and would miss her if she were gone all day each day.
2. Because she wants to be homeschooled.
3. Because we want her to have the opportunity to explore her passions in great depth.
4. Because we want to teach her to choose healthy foods and eat them SLOWLY and WITH ENJOYMENT (not gobble down processed lunch during a 20 minute break).
5. Because we want her to have several hours each day to explore her imagination and play – not just a 20 minute recess where she’s not allowed to run too fast or swing side to side due to liability concerns.
6. Because we don’t want her to spend so much time comparing her possessions to those of other children her age.
7. Because we think that 7+ hours of school plus and hour on the bus is too much time for a child to sit and listen (as opposed to playing, questioning, exploring, etc).
8. Because homework, after 7+ hours of school seems like torture to an 8 year old.
9. Because we want our family to be free to travel when and where we like.
10. Because, with Handsome Hippie Hubby’s work schedule he would never see her again if she were at school until 3pm each day.
11. Because the one meal we can eat together, as a family, every day is lunch.
12. Because we want to teach her to be responsible to the environment in practice, not just through lessons.
13. Because we want her to learn practical skills like cooking, gardening, sewing, etc and there is little time to teach her when she’s away at public school all day.
14. Because, sometimes, life makes you stay up late and we want her to be able to sleep in or nap when her little growing body needs to.
15. Because they watch a lot of classic movies in music class and we want to be the ones to experience those with her.
16. Because they watch a lot of movies in music class and we want her to actually learn to play/sing/appreciate music.
17. Because the district cut art class.
18. Because we don’t want her to have to deal with the repercussions of being in a large class with a few “naughty” children that monopolize the teachers’ time.
19. Because an elementary age child should NEVER be stressed to the point of tears over homework and test scores but she often has been – starting in Kindergarten.
20. Because we hate sending her away to school when she’s feeling sick, but not “sick enough” to keep her home.
21. Because we hate sending her into a building full of children feeling “a little sick” but not “sick enough” to stay home.
22. Because we think that Physical Fitness is something that should be a part of a person’s life more than 45 minutes a week.
23. Because our child, who is a great reader and writer, should never have to slow down to wait for other children to catch up.
24. Because my child, who struggles with math, sometimes needs more time and attention than her teachers can give her.
25. Because she has learned words and concepts from teenagers on her bus that she doesn’t need to know (or can’t really understand) at the tender age of 8.
26. Because we want our child to have a broader, less politicized, view of history than she will learn in public school.
27. Because we don’t want our child to use anti-bacterial hand soap several times a day.
28. Because we think it’s unhealthy that our daughter sits in a swelteringly hot classroom in the middle of winter.
29. Because we live in an awesome community surrounded by awesome communities with a near infinite amount of resources to use as teaching tools.
30. Because the whole family will get to learn and grow with her if she’s homeschooled.
31. Because we want religion, spirituality, prayer and meditation to be a regular part of our child’s education.
32. Because we want to foster our child’s differences that she may harness them and direct them to the greatest good of her fellow man. Not just learn to be exactly like everyone else.
33. Because, when REAL disaster/crisis/tragedy strikes (ie – the tornadoes that struck a nearby town 3 years ago) we want her to know that it is not only OK but RIGHT and GOOD to drop EVERYTHING and rush to the aid of her neighbor.
34. Because it will make me feel like the years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars I spent on my own education weren’t a total waste.
35. Because I learned advanced math. I NEVER used it (I told you so!). And forgot every bit of it. But no one ever taught me how to balance a checkbook or calculate the interest on a mortgage and I don’t want my child to have that same experience.
36. Because homeschooling isn’t marriage. It’s not a life-long commitment. We can opt out if it isn’t working for us.
37. Because we want to know IMMEDIATELY if our child is struggling with a problem or social situation – not after it has reached a crisis state.
38. Because we think people learn more by experiencing something (ie. a visit to a farm is more memorable than a lesson about “where veggies come from.”) and it’s not reasonable to expect a teacher to schlep 35 kids all over the countryside several times a week.
39. Because we think intuition is a valid and valuable tool in the human mind that is suppressed by “institutionalized” learning.
40. Homeschooling forces me to be a more organized person.
41. Seeing my organizational skills, my child will learn to be organized.
42. Because, some days, watching the morning news together, and then having the time to discuss it, can be a more valuable education than an entire day in a classroom learning to figure the degree of angles in a triangle.
43. Because we believe strongly in the implied power in the sciences of noetics and quantum physics and this isn’t taught in public school.
44. Because we believe a child should have the opportunity to ask every question they can and public school teachers don’t have time to deal with that, so curiosity gets suppressed.
45. Because one of the smartest, most accomplished scientists of all time said, “imagination is more important than knowledge,” but public schools focus almost exclusively on the development of knowledge at the expense of imagination.
46. Because we want our daughter, who has a very entrepreneurial spirit, to have time and energy to experience the creation of business and the power of free enterprise.
47. Because we believe an 8-year-old should be able to dress like a cowgirl or a princess or a ladybug or an alien and not have to conform to a dress code. She’ll learn to conform soon enough.
48. Because, with internet and virtual learning, she can learn from a much more culturally, philosophically, educationally diverse group of teachers than she will encounter in a local public school.
49. Because we don’t like putting our child on a bus, driven by a stranger, every day. But especially on days that are foggy, snowy, icy, etc.
50. Because many of the people we respect most in the public school system have told us that, if they had young children, they would not put them in public school.
51. Because public school teachers, no matter how good, smart, loving, patient, etc must conform to the state standards no matter if they agree or not.
52. Because sometimes our child is “naughty” and teachers have neither the time nor authority to properly discipline her.
53. Because public school is all about working to get good grades to get into college to get a “real job” but the modern world doesn’t work that way. Ask any college graduate working as a Wal-Mart cashier. Or any high school drop out running a multi-billion dollar international corporation.
54. Because EVERY study done shows homeschool children achieve higher academically.
55. Because EVERY study done shows that homeschool children are better socialized (fit into society more successfully).
56. Because EVERY study done shows that homeschool children have a greater sense of civic responsibility.
57. Because we want our child to learn how to use a computer to do more than play games.
58. Because we want our child to know how to do things without a computer.
60. Because it’s more important, we believe, for our child to know how and where to find information than to memorize facts for a standardized test.
61. Because we never want our child to go through the experience of “feeling stupid” for not understanding something without a little help.
62. Because our child wants to be multi-lingual and she doesn’t have the opportunity to learn another language at her grade level in public school.
63. Because we don’t want our child exposed to sex, drugs, violence, etc any earlier than necessary.
64. Because time is valuable and public school wastes time (bus rides, moving between classes, waiting in line, etc).
65. Because we think it’s a bad idea to “stop learning” for 3 months out of the year, but a good idea to have lots of fun experiences all year long.
66. Because some of the most mature, intelligent, respectful, strong-minded teens I know have been homeschooled since early childhood.
67. Because we want her to know that being a dancer (painter, musician, house-wife) is just as valid as being a doctor (teacher, accountant, etc).
68. In the event of a crisis (tornado, fire, etc) our child would be with us and we could make sure she’s as safe as possible.
69. Because we want our child to be able to think for herself and know how to question authority without being disrespectful.
70. Because our child is a unique individual and deserves a uniquely designed education.
71. Because we, as parents, want a greater say in what she does and does not learn.
72. Because some teachers are burnt out and just putting in their time and we don’t want our child to be “just put up with.”
73. Because we have to buy all of her school supplies, pay for her field trips, etc. We might as well put that money toward something we feel we can get the most use from.
74. Because I really hate packing lunches and snacks every day.
75. Because we can teach her how to appropriately deal with bullying, harassment, etc.
76. Because it will give the whole family the opportunity and motivation to explore nearby (and maybe far away) museums, gardens, parks, historic buildings, etc.
77. By homeschooling we are not doing things the “normal” way but we are teaching our child that there can be more than one good way to achieve a good end.
78. Because there are sometimes abusive adults in positions of power and we want to protect her from that as much as possible for as long as possible.
79. Because we want her to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and all the innocent, beautiful parts of childhood for as long as she can.
80. Because we want to avoid exposure to the annual outbreak of lice in the public school system.
81. Because the world, society, and technology are very different than they were 50 years ago but the style of teaching in public school is much the same.
82. Because she has excelled in homeschool band and is looking forward to learning a 2nd instrument this year.
83. Because the government has screwed up most everything they have ever touched, so why would I trust them not to screw up the education of my child?
84. Because Hitler said, “The State will take youth and give youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child already belongs to us. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this community.” “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the State.”
85. Because US Federal Judge Melinda Harmon said, in 1996, “Parents give up their rights when they drop the children off at public school.”
86. Because shopping for classroom supplies is fun.
87. Because our child has a passion to be in community theater and their rehearsals run very late at night.
88. Because we both hated school and did the bare minimum to get through and we don’t want our child to feel the same way.
89. Because public schools require “lock-down drills” due to the very real threat of gunmen and/or terrorists in the building.
90. Because the cheapest time of year to go to Disney (and many other places) is October.
91. Because homeschooling is “green.” There is less transportation, less utility use, less paper…. way way way way way less paper.
92. Because we want our child to understand that learning can be done anywhere, any time, at any age and be self led or assisted. It doesn’t only take place in a classroom with a teacher.
93. Because we have the feeling that our child has important things to teach us. “Unless ye be like a little child…..”
94. Because we believe that people absorb the energy of a place and public school, very often, does not have a positive energy.
95. Because we want our child to have “Bible” as a school subject.
96. Because one of our child’s favorite restaurants has great Tuesday lunch specials and she rarely gets to enjoy them.
97. Because our child’s baby brother is growing up fast and we don’t want her to miss it.
98. Because our family is always happiest when we are together.
99. Because, if we know what our child is learning about, we can integrate that into life in so many ways for a more well-rounded and memorable learning experience.
100. Because we are pretty sure we’ll be good at it.
101. Through the homeschool association she can learn gymnastics at a price we can afford.
102. Through the homeschool association she has multiple opportunities to visit with and be of service to the senior citizens in our community.
103. Through the homeschool association she gets to participate in spelling bees each month.
104. Because our toddler is learning things ahead of “schedule” by watching his sister do her school work.
105. Because planting season is before school lets out for summer and harvest doesn’t finish until well after the new year begins. She would miss both if she was in public school.
106. Because we are striving for a 100% GMO free diet and that would be virtually impossible with school lunches, snacks, birthday treats, etc.
107. We’ve learned that our daughter puts up fierce resistance to certain parts of schoolwork. No one was telling us that before, but now we can work on breaking down some of those barriers and help her learn a healthier approach to dealing with the less pleasant chores in life.
108. Her base of friends, after a year of homeschooling, includes a much wider age range of people. She is learning to interact appropriately with those much younger and much older than herself in a healthy and positive way.
109. Homeschooling has helped our whole family learn to be better stewards of our time.
110. Homeschooling has given us extra opportunities to share some of our favorite books, movies, and music from our childhoods with our daughter.
Do you have other reasons for homeschooling? I would love to hear why other families choose to leave “the beaten path!”
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!