Why we homeschool
I used to think homeschooling was something I would never do! How would I have the patience for that? No breaks ever? I was planning on 4 kids so that means 4 kids at home 24/7. I had never known anyone who had done that.
But then, as my oldest daughter got closer and closer to school age I saw her learning so much every day. Just through our daily life. She was full to bursting with questions about the world and finding so much joy in learning. Just as she had for the years leading up to this point. She learnt to roll, sit, crawl, walk, run, jump, talk, sing, dance, and everything else, not from someone teaching her, but through her own curiosity and motivation. She was now beginning to get interested in letters and numbers and so we began to explore that naturally whenever she asked questions. It just felt so normal.
At almost 5 years old, my girl seemed too little to me to be going off to school. I saw articles all the time about the benefits of a later starting age and how important play-based learning was for children and I wished that school started later for us in Australia.
Coincidentally I stumbled across a few blogs about homeschooling at the same time and while I still thought ‘that’s not for me’, I did begin to think about education differently. I began asking myself a lot of questions.
Why was there an age limit when things had to change?
Why at 5 years old, when she was still so young, did I have to send her off somewhere else for others to teach her when what we were doing was working so well already?
Is ‘because everyone else does it’ a good enough reason?
What does ‘education’ really mean to me?
What did I want childhood to look like for my children?
Was I really brave enough to take responsibility for their whole education myself?
And HOW would I tell people I was homeschooling? What would they think?!!
When I really really thought about it, ‘just because most people go to school’, wasn’t a good enough reason for me to send them. This decision deserved as much thought and research as I gave everything else in their lives. I read lots of things over many months and eventually showed them to my husband who, thinking that I was crazy but also seeing that I was serious and that this was important to me actually read them, and jumped straight on board with the idea (I love him!).
My reading showed me that homeschooling was a valid and legal option for education and one that worked very well. That kids who were educated at home did as well as their peers or better on all measures. So with the knowledge that it can work, I started thinking more realistically about if it could work for us.
We decided that if things were working so well for us now, then there was no need for anything to change. We were all happy, we were having fun, and the girls were learning a lot! The more I read the more I loved the thought of a completely different lifestyle than I’d imagined. A life where we got to spend lots of time together as a family, developing close relationships with each other and extended family too. An unrushed childhood filled with hours and hours of play and time outside. A life where learning happens whenever and wherever inspiration strikes. Where my children could learn at their own pace, free from pressure. Where there was room to let them explore interests unique to them and the ability to cater education to their learning style. Where I could let them learn through play! A life of loving learning together and inspiring each other, of questioning and curiosity, of witnessing them grow and discover. A well rounded education in more than just academics.
Of course there is also the positives of keeping them out of the school system, which has its flaws. But I didn’t want to make the decision because of fear of what school might be like for them, but rather the amazing lifestyle and learning opportunities that homeschooling could provide. They could certainly go to school and love it and come out just fine. After all, we did! I just felt that this would be a better choice for our children and family at this time.
Once I had decided that this could be great, I had to do it. I could be brave and go against the grain because I believed in my choice. It was awkward to tell people at first because I wondered if they would understand and if they would criticize me. Lucky for me I have supportive family and friends and it seemed like most people half expected this decision anyway. They could see how well the kids were already learning at home. There was the socialization question of course, but with a little explaining that wasn’t an issue either.
Now I just had to work out how we would do this! That part turned out to be easier than expected. The toughest part so far has been actually making the decision. It’s a huge decision but we are SO glad we made it. We are loving our life together.
You are doing a great job Sara, your family are beautiful and a credit to you both
So lovely reading about your thought processes! Glad you made the decision too 🙂
Great blog!! I also have 4 children and our reasons for homes hooking are very similar 🙂 Have shared!!
Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
What a great answer to the question… so positive and authentic.
I agree, the hardest part is to decide if you are going jump into homeschooling and commit yourself to be a big part of your child’s education. But once you see the advantages and benefits homeschooling brings, it’ll be all worth the time and effort.
Exactly. Once you make the decision you wonder what you were worried about 🙂
Hi just wondered how long you have been homeschooling your kids?
My kids are 5, 3, and 8 months and have never been to school. As we use natural learning there’s never really been a ‘start date’ 🙂 I would say since they were born!
Being a teacher myself, I’m always curious about homeschooling. I wish you all the best.
Thank you 🙂
We just made the leap 5wks into 2nd grade. I don’t know what I was so scared of. My son had been begging to stay home since he started school but I just “did what we were supposed to do” and now we are doing what we need to do. The past 3wks have been quite the learning curve for both of us and at times we can butt heads, but overall I am so blessed to have this time with him.
That’s brilliant! It seems scary doesn’t it, until you start doing it and you realise how easy it really is 🙂
My daughter sounds so much like yours!! She had such a huge curiosity for life and everything in it. I found that came from EXPERIENCES! 🙂 We went to the beach and discovered hermit crabs…. they were amazing and so fun and we were both excited to go home and research them online and learn all about them. We don’t have those hands on experiences in school. She hardly has any field trips in her new elementary school. (She just started kindergarten.) She and I both miss her preschool so much….it was FUN. There was so much creative freedom for her there. She is very artistic and creative and I sadly see some of that slipping away. School is exhausting. She has to wake up so early and go to bed so early. It leaves little time for quality family time which I think matters most and time for me to raise her!
I agree. Family time and time to pursue their interests is so important xx
I love that I came across your page. I have a 2-year-old son and I am currently and seriously thinking about homeschooling my son. I’m home with him now and he is learning so much very quickly and I just feel like I can do so much for him at home. I look forward to reading more of your posts regarding homeschooling!
Awesome Naomi! It is so rewarding 🙂
What a lovely, positive post!
We homeschooled (I guess un-schooled or natural learning would be more appropriate description) our daughters throughout their entire lives at home. They are now 24 and 26, both married and employed. And, our oldest daughter is having our first grandchild in March ’15. They are interesting, well-adjusted, responsible, creative adults that a lot of folks (besides me) respect and admire.
I would like to encourage all those mamas out there that are afraid to “take the plunge”, “don’t think they can do it” or “worried about what others may think”. Learning at home is so natural and easy (once you relax into the knowledge that it is NOT school at home) that you will wonder why you ever worried.
Thanks again for sharing!
SO true! I always say the decision was the hardest part. It’s so much easier than I thought. And fun too.
Will you homeschool your children throughout all their ‘school’ years or will they go to a traditional school at some point?
I am seriously contemplating homeschooling my children. My oldest is 3 1/2 years, I just worry about finding the time for doing things ‘properly’ with 3 young children. Perhaps 4.
I’m not sure Bec! I certainly plan to HS them for as long as they want. I see us doing it into high school. Maybe they will want to go for the later years of high school depending what they want to do after. But I don’t see us stopping any time soon.
And honestly, it’s not as hard as you think it will be 🙂 It’s just ‘life’ and you find your way. If you really want to do it you definitely can! xx
Thanks for your reply. I have enjoyed reading through your blog for inspiration. It seems like the right fit for our family, but it will take quite the leap of faith!
The decision is the hardest part!
I’m so so glad I found this blog.
And I’m super excited to read more posts as I have the time.
Glad to have you here!! 🙂
I just love reading your articles, I find them incredibly inspiring!
I have three kids (two of which are already in school) and, too be honest, had never thought about homeschooling before, but with my youngest turning 4 months old and just loving interacting with the world around her, I can truly see the benefits far outweigh the fears.
Thanks Sam! 🙂
Can you share some of the resources you used for your research? Im interested in homeschooling my children but I have to convince my husband first.
That’s a tough one! I wish I had saved all the things I read when I was making the decision! I just wrote a post of my favourite links that might be helpful though: https://happinessishereblog.com/2015/07/favourite-homeschooling-links/
Just like you, I always thought that homeschooling is something I would never look into. I kind of recently became a mom. My boy is only 8 months old now, but I am already considering schools. I live in a multi-cultural city (Dubai). We are locals here, but the minority. While I love the fact that we get to mingle with different cultures, I would like to build my children’s ID/culture first before they get to learn about others. Also, I am not sure how I fee about the education system. I don’t like the system I was in. I don’t think a lot was changed since then (I am in my 20’s). Homeschooling is starting to pop in my mind. I am still not sure if that is what we will do, but I love the fact of learning through life. I graduated from University and ever since starting my first job, in the real world, I realised that it takes more than the academic knowledge to succeed. One needs life skills. Considering that school hours is very long, homework never ends, when can the student go about doing other activities to teach him about life?
I don’t know. Interesting subject. Nice blog. Thanks for sharing.
This sounds like me!! Now my children are 14, 13, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 1! And we’re still homeschooling!! It’s a joy, most days and I am close to my kids, and they are close to one another. Such wonderful memories are being made, and even when I question the choice to homeschool– you can’t deny the results: super bright children who love to learn!!
Hi I discovered your Blogs in 2021 and to be honest I really like them. I am still in school ( Junior High about to get into Highschool) and to be honest I have to say I love the unschooling( or should I say life-schooling) idea. It’s amazing to know that there is hope for the parents and even students themselves to know that there is an awesome method that does not include tight schedules, hussle and bussle etc. I was always used to school, quick tight days and even school problems.I was born playful, adventurous, bubbly and curious. But now it’s hard to be myself when I’m forced and teased to be what society and adults want. When I entered school I didn’t learn anything. My teachers wanted to put me in Special ED but my mom prevented it. I always traveling and never had time to go to school till I moved and established in a place with my family. I try to mention the idea to my parents but they are never really into it. It’s ok! They are not used to hearing things like this since they were used to childism and tight schedules all there life. My parents try there best to minimalize it all but it’s hard for them. I discovered life-schooling last year. It started with my step-mom deciding to homeschool my step brothers. I would criticize her 24/7 with my mom about her idea when I was actually interested. I then ( even during class) would google questions that I had about homeschooling. Then I got interested in the many homeschooling methods there were so I asked google and it brought me to a website talking about different homeschooling methods. One of them on the list were Unschooling. When I saw the word and the definition I was in awe. I google what it was and next thing you know I stepped into your website. I read and read and read and until now I’m still in awe. I won’t be able to unschool myself but God-willing I might even unschool my kids in the future. Who knows?
Srry for the long paragraph 🙂 I love to talk a lot trust me lol !