So, you want to know why I'm homeschooling. Hmmmm, that's a big one. There really is no one reason, but rather a combination of reasons, circumstances and timing.
First of all, you should know that I've had quite a few homeschoolers in my life for many years. My aunt, with whom I lived for 5 years, was one of them. She had 8 children and is homeschooling all of them. I used to think that they would turn out "weird" or, because of their very strict household, they would turn wild the minute they turned 18. I was wrong. Not only are they very well-educated kids (one finished her Bachelor's Degree in about 2 1/2 years, and the other college-aged child is a student at UCSD), but they are also well-mannered (okay, most of the time), fun, SOCIAL (gasp...could it REALLY be true?), and overall well-rounded children. My aunt has proven to me that while it is a difficult task, it is possible. And it can be done without turning your children into "weird" kids.
With that example before me, and some of their kids the same ages as mine, I've had my children ask me for several years to homeschool them. They're used to it because they've seen their best buddies do it for years. My eldest has told me on numerous occasions that she just wants to be home with me. (Yeah, yeah, I've checked...she's a very social creature and there's no bullying or anything strange going on...she apparently just loves her mother! Hey, I better take it while I've got it!) And while I had the heart to do it, I was too scared to try. I had a small child at the time, and eventually two more came along when I had to twins. That was NOT the time to start.
In addition, we are a Christian family with God as our center. (For those of you who know me; well, we try! LOL...We certainly need more of HIM in our lives!) If you haven't noticed, there is not much of God left in the public schools today. You can hardly say the Pledge of Allegiance without someone throwing a fit because the word "God" is in it. I understand where they are coming from I guess, but our nation was founded by believers of God, and it's part of our history, and I want God to be a part of my children's history. He is the whole reason we are on the earth (if you don't agree with me, that's okay, but this is MY blog. LOL). So I want them to learn about God and have this as a part of their day. But in public school these days, there is so much pressure to fit in and to watch certain things (most of which are completely age-inappropriate) and all the boy/girl stuff is getting younger and younger. It's scary.
Another reason we have chosen to homeschool is that, if you haven't heard, California is in a complete budget CRISIS! Teaching jobs are being cut left and right, which translates into much larger classes & less learning. No offense to my teacher friends....all I'm saying is that you can only get so much info into so many kids, especially while there are always some distracting the class. The class sizes are almost doubling this year; from 20 to 35 I believe. That is crazy! In addition to spending 6-7 hours in school, they come home with homework (and any unfinished classwork) that you have to try to fit in between sports (nope, I'm not taking them out of sports with PE classes being cut short), church, baths, and oh yeah, dinner!!! With 5 kids, 3 of which are in sports, and at several different schools, who can do this?? Not me. Something had to give...
That's when I started considering homeschooling again, after a few years of ignoring the small voice in my head. It kept coming up in my mind, over and over again, but I didn't want to tell my hubby. I knew he'd be all for it, and I was so afraid to try. But through circumstances, I met my friend Claudia, who has been homeschooling for several years now & she gave me the info I needed to consider the idea once again. She was so great; talking to me for hours, giving me some amazing books to read. I started doing my "homework." After reading, talking with my hubby, and prayer, we felt that this was the way for us. I also figured that if I went that crazy or had a horrible year, public school is always going to be there... =) But my hope is that, even in the midst of the chaos that is sure to come, we can find our way to do this...as a family. And be closer because of it. I love my children, and really just want the best for them.
So you see, it's not that I believe they can't get a good education in public school; but it's that I want them to have a good education and I want to spend that time with them. I want to be part of it all... If you are a believer, please pray for us and our journey.