Go HERE for a REALLY great article on the 25 must read articles on homeschooling! What a great list of some wonderful information! These articles would be the first source for anyone considering homeschooling as a possibility.
It just so happens I have been asked this week by 2 different people to tell about why we homeschool. I'd love to be all spiritual like so many homeschoolers and talk about how we do it for God reasons, and that certainly is excellent, but I feel like spiritual training, Bible training, teaching children Biblical values is a priority we would make time for no matter our schooling situation. I have to say my number one reason for homeschooling is academic. I'll never forget being in an English literature class in college where I was put in a small group with an older lady and a former homeschooler. They were tossin' off names of classic works of literature that I had no idea existed. I quickly found in much more than one area my public school education had put me way behind!
The 2nd huge reason we homeschool is time - theirs and ours! We started out with our oldest in public schools. She quickly developed a love of reading, writing, art, and science - she was bored the whole school day, and when she came home she was too tired to do anything much. When you add in an evening of church activities, t-ball, dance or any extras - everyone is exhausted. I felt like we never had time to just read aloud a great chapter book snuggled together under a quilt. I wanted to give my kids time to read the classics, to paint with real paints, to spend the morning studying real insects in a field, and to write about all their adventures without page limits. Now my children are involved in a lot of afterschool activities, church groups, softball, volleyball, flag-football; but these activities are a blessing to our family, not taking away from our time together.
My husband as a youth pastor often had a crazy schedule when we first started homeschooling. Because we were homeschooling, he could customize his day and be home and spend odd hours like 7 - 9am or 12-3pm if he knew he wouldn't see the kids in the normal evening hours. Now, we can take vacations at off-peak times and we can take off and go hiking (one of our family passions). Our kids have time to play together and be friends, there is time for imagination and creativity.
I love the range of experiences our kids can have! We are learning Haitian Creole now in preparation for a mission trip to Haiti. My girls know how to sew and quilt, my son is learning to hunt, and build, all of our kids have learned survival skills. The all know how to cook and garden. The younger two decided last week they wanted to go ahead and learn the states and capitals. My 3rd grader decided our history textbook didn't tell her enough about Clara Barton. We can cater their education to their interests - which is what makes learning really fun. Schooling changes from "schooling" to a life full of learning and adventure. It's funny, my kids don't really think about reading, writing, art, and science as "subjects" they learn. They are just really fun things we do.
Now, we certainly have our difficult days, and I do fuss at them about schoolwork from time to time. I get worn out and I want to send them anywhere but here! But, overall it is a choice that for us brings less chaos and more peace, more time to savor what is important, and allows us to fill our time with the things we feel are most beneficial to us as a family and what we believe.