Why I Homeschool

So many reasons of course, but the reason that tipped me over the edge is something I haven’t mentioned for a long time.  A commenter over at Legal Insurrection explains perfectly:

“I did not plan to home school. . . . But among innumerable problems and eye-opening irritants, what put us over were the constant parental ‘involvement’ demands, ‘homework’ etc., intrusively dictating and co-opting many hours of family and parental time each day.”

Yes, yes, yes. 

Last year, it felt like the precious hours of my days were constantly held at the mercy of a young, inexperienced single lady known as The Third Grade Teacher.  Because they were.

The volume of homework was sometimes quite burdensome.  Hours of constructing models and insane crafty things, like the clothes hanger book report (don’t ask).  Then, there was the mandatory 20 minutes of daily reading.  And don’t forget to sign the Reading Journal every day, Mom, or your kid will lose ten minutes of PE!   Oh, your son must be the one to fill out the title and number of pages read.  Just a little reminder, because I can tell it’s your handwriting lately.

I would think to myself: why am I sending this child to school all day? It would be easier if I just kept him and taught him myself.

I battled the entire year long with ever-growing feelings of irritation and hostility.  At some point I realized it wasn’t just because of personality differences.

I was chafing under the yoke.  This woman . . . this school . . . the whole educational institution had the power to control hours upon hours of personal family time, each and every week.  They had absolutely no right to dictate what we did with our own time, in our own home.

And yet, they did.

Tougher still was the fact that most other parents didn’t chafe like I did.  Why don’t they care?  Why don’t they notice?  Maddening.

Oh, and have I ever mentioned?  I really, really hate doing crafts.  I much prefer making a dirt mountain in the back yard and using the hose to simulate the effects of flooding.  Or making Ziploc baggies explode, that was a blast.

I wanted to share that Legal Insurrection comment with you all for another reason.  He (She?) did more than just echo my sentiments.  He gave me a jolt of excitement by opening my eyes to future possibilities:

“So we yanked them out of the public elementary school, still a little nervous, but figuring that down the road we’d place them into a fancy private high school. No need. They started college at age 15.”

Uh, yes please.  I’d like some of that.

27 thoughts on “Why I Homeschool

  1. Teresa Rice 19 February 2012 at 1:04 pm Reply

    With the way schools are nowadays, both public and private, homeschooling is your best bet.

  2. thatmrgguy 19 February 2012 at 1:28 pm Reply

    When our grand daughter lived with us, we weren’t able to home school her, but we did go through her homework with her and correct the mistakes that we saw the teacher had made. Hell, we had to pay 1500 bucks just to get her into kindergarten early. The cut-off date was three days before her birthday.

  3. Ellend 19 February 2012 at 1:29 pm Reply

    If you home school, at least for the time being, your children’s lunches won’t be replaced with school cafeteria chicken nuggets at your expense.

    • Bob 19 February 2012 at 3:50 pm Reply

      Ellen, you took the words right out of my mouth. For the moment, at least, home schoolers don’t have to deal with the lunch police.

  4. innominatus 19 February 2012 at 1:30 pm Reply

    But how are the School Cafeteria Police going to inspect your kid’s lunch and replace it with State McNuggets?

  5. 82sunshinegirl 19 February 2012 at 1:46 pm Reply

    Yes! This is why we also chose to homeschool our children :) Waking up at 5am to get to the bus-stop by 6am for your kids to get home by 4pm to just have to do 1-2 hours of homework, intime to eat, bathe and go to bed was not IMO okay for our family.
    Keri- A mom who is enjoying the homeschool elementary
    stage, of her homeschool journey!

  6. Bob 19 February 2012 at 4:11 pm Reply

    I had my firstborn in school for five years, and it was exhausting! Her school had a policy of “mandatory volunteering” (how’s that for a contradiction in terms?) for all parents whose children were enrolled. “Volunteer” was just a euphemism for “unpaid.” I spent many sleepless nights sewing costumes for school plays, many days working at the school itself, many hours transporting van loads of kids back and forth on field trips and so on (I always got called for this because I didn’t have a job outside the home — mainly because I had preschoolers to take care of)… not to mention all the hours I spent helping my daughter with her homework. Anyway, for a whole bunch of reasons, we decided not to send the younger kids to school. Nowadays, whenever someone remarks that home schooling must be terribly time-consuming, I just tell them that it’s downright relaxing compared with having a child in school. And it is! We don’t even have to get up early if we don’t want to. :-)

  7. Yos / Si Vis Pacem 19 February 2012 at 4:43 pm Reply

    Heh! Then of course there’s the utter kR@.pp taught in “social studies” and “history” and “English” and and.

    Good on you, Lin!

  8. edge of the sandbox 19 February 2012 at 5:22 pm Reply

    DD will be starting K in August, and I’m mortified of crafts projects for moms. The irony of it is that that article talks about all the working moms whose children are deprived of company of the well-to-do parents who take their children out of public schools. But one has to be a SAHM to keep up with public school demands.
    I’m unsure about early college though. My father-in-law skipped grades in school, which was common practice for bright kids in his days. He was a short boy who grew quite a bit in his late teens. High school was tough for him because he was so short. After high school he decided to take a year off and work. He says he’d never let his grandchild start college early.

    • nooneofanyimport 20 February 2012 at 1:19 pm Reply

      Kindergarten shouldn’t be too time intensive for you. Of course, your geographical area is on the cutting edge of progressive silliness, so do correct me if my prediction ends up wrong.

      It’s a good point to recognize that some kids aren’t ready to hang with older kids, for reasons other than academic. I wasn’t envisioning a dorm life at age 15, though. Here’s my thought: if they are academically ready, they can take various classes at the community college, instead of getting sent to a private high school. Then by college age, they’ll have anywhere up to 2 years of an undergrad already under their belts.

      It sure will be interesting to see how it all plays out for us. Cheers!

  9. Laurie 19 February 2012 at 6:10 pm Reply

    I love hearing the reasons why people homeschool!! I’m so glad you are enjoying it with your boys–and I know they are loving it too!!

  10. Freedom, by the way 20 February 2012 at 7:49 pm Reply

    I don’t homeschool, but used to consider it when my son was younger. I have always taken issue with the ” mandatory volunteer” hours for parents and students. And diaramas, book mobiles–ugh! I never had my son participate in those stupid fundraisers (see candy, etc.) He either wouldn’t do it at all or I would write a check and call it a day. My nieces and nephews learned quick that their Auntie doesn’t buy for their school fundraisers, either.Thank goodness before my son started HS, we moved from a progressive area to a rural area where they don’t have the time or the $ for a lot of nonsense–and too many progressive ideas would not be tolerated from the small town and country folks.

  11. Citizen Tom 20 February 2012 at 9:29 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    Here is a post that anyone with school age children should consider.

  12. SDH 21 February 2012 at 9:19 pm Reply

    I see advantages to both homeschooling and public school.

    I don’t think my kids would believe how grossly ignorant and stupid most teachers are without living it. There’s no substitute for that experience.

    With homeschooling though, you can actually make sure they learn useful stuff….tough choice…..I’m really torn……

    • nooneofanyimport 22 February 2012 at 1:43 pm Reply

      I think being torn is a good thing. It shows you are open to all the possibilities, and aware that most everything has pros and cons. I sometimes wonder if the homeschool parent who would never even consider some brick-and-mortar schooling is just as close-minded as the parent who thinks homeschooling is awful for kids.

      • Laurie 22 February 2012 at 2:42 pm Reply

        I think that’s true…once I homeschooled my son…and now have sent him back to public school I know that either way will work for our family depending on the school, child, teacher, year, etc….It’s liberating to know that I can do either. I think it is also giving my kids the best education they can get because I know I”m going to make the best choice for each one at any given time.

      • SDH 22 February 2012 at 6:05 pm Reply

        I’m not really torn, homeschooling for the most part is better, even though my kids went to public school. I just really like to call teachers idiots.*

        Other than the initial trepidation of “Can I really do this?”, I wouldn’t think most Moms (or Dads), would be all that torn either.

        *I’ve had some very fine teachers, and I personally like a good deal of them, but to call most of them mediocre would be a gross overstatement.

  13. AHLondon (@AHLondon_Tex) 22 February 2012 at 3:35 pm Reply

    Again, we are topic merging. I hear tones you don’t even think you are emitting. The schooling problem is a death spiral. When mothers went on their intensive mothering competitions (American mothers, by the way, have lost their collective minds) schools stopped doing school things and pushed it back on the mothers. This is exactly the topic of my next Reverse Culture Shock motherhood post. (Part 1 is up already.) Coming from 5 years and early education in London it is astounding how much parents are expected to participate in formal education. My husband and I are having long discussions about possible homeschooling or private school–though one must be careful for early hothousing in the private system. Truly, the situation is shockingly bad.

  14. Home Schooling 23 February 2012 at 12:33 am Reply

    Thanks for a marvelous posting on home schooling! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back later in life. I want to encourage you to continue your great job on the importance of education, have a nice morning!

  15. Peregry 23 February 2012 at 11:46 pm Reply

    My parents homeschooled my two younger brothers and me from first grade through 12th (though they combined 7th and 8th grades into one).

    The reason they decided to homeschool me was twofold according to them. The first reason was that the Pre-school wanted me to get tested and treated for ADHD. My parents did not believe in such medication at that age and refused to hop me up on ridalin (this was the 80s). Ironically, the school was pretty much spot on about me being ADHD, though I’ve never been officially diagnosed, it’s pretty obvious I a– look something shiny!

    The second reason is my parents did not appreciate some of the “social lessons” they were teaching in pre-school. Apparently they did one discussion of divorce that greatly frightened me (I don’t recall this at all), and my parents had to spend time assuring me that they would never be separating. They… did not appreciate… the issue.

    This decision was further encouraged by the “early reading” training the pre-school wanted for me. They constantly used very young reading books that I had no interest in, I would rather look through history books and such, but we were not allowed to look at those books. My parents had to get special permission for me to look at higher grade (still child) history books rather than “See Spot Run”. I’m gonna go out and blame this one on my father, as he completely spoiled me on children’s “literature” by taking the time to read me the Hobbit (and thus started my life-long love of Science Fiction and Fantasy), a tradition I plan to one day enact with my own children.

  16. nooneofanyimport 25 February 2012 at 1:24 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your stories, everyone. Peregry, welcome and ya’ll do come back now, ya hear? I had a similar experience with my older son not being allowed to read at his age level, being instead bored to death with applying “reading strategies” to lame little stories. His extreme early reading was no thanks to me; it was just a natural born gift.

    When I was in 1st grade (and also an advanced reader), the public school was nothing great, but they still let me go upstairs to an older grade for reading class, which had reading books up several more grades and they let me plow thru them at my own pace.

    Things have changed a lot in the last 30 years, I think.

    AHLondon, you must have had a great school there in London. I had some of these same problems in our little local CofE primary. In particular, they would not accomodate my son’s advanced reading ability, and they wanted him diagnosed and labelled with something with which I did not agree.

    Thanks for the compliments, Yos and Home Schooling commenter. I’ll check out your site.

    Freedom, LOL I’m glad to hear stories from other folks who hate the crafty silly junk in school. I am glad the highschool ended up being good. If the public schools happen to be a good fit for my boys in the future (one day post-military we may go rural), I’d definitely use them.

    Bob, 82 Sunshine, yep. It can be more relaxing than sending them to school. I’m finally starting to see this, LOL because at first I was making things way too hard on myself. It’s a learning curve. Me and the older son are totally spoiled with not having to force ourselves up early in the morning.

  17. […] Why I Homeschool […]

  18. […] NoOneOfAnyImport: Why I Homeschool […]

  19. Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds 27 February 2012 at 5:11 pm Reply

    My oldes is just now Kinder age and we homeschool so sadly I will never know the joys of hours of evening hours spent in a battle over homework. Most people choose homeschool for more than 1 reason but this reason alone seems pretty good to me.

  20. Yos / Si Vis Pacem 28 February 2012 at 4:39 pm Reply

    Hey Lin, you’ll understand this… My daughter came home from school to report that her AP History text described Margaret Sanger as a “fiery feminist” and that her teacher commented that Sanger was “a cool lady.” It gets worse.

    There’s a “parent – teacher” meeting coming-up soon and one that involves the principal. I may decide to, you know, home-school my daughter next year.

    Cheers and envy,


    • nooneofanyimport 29 February 2012 at 4:35 pm Reply

      eek! A cool lady who hoped to eliminate undesirables thru eugenics, yeah. She’s totally awesome. I do NOT envy you having this upcoming meeting. Please let me know how it goes. BTW, does your kid think it’s outrageously funny when you disagree with something the teacher says? Mine think it’s the height of humor, but then, I can get quite animated . . . .

  21. […] system that can no longer treat children as individuals.  Like me, they have experienced the time-consuming impositions of a traditional school system, whether public or private.  Like me, they have noticed […]

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