Why I Homeschool [it’s not why you think]

December 28, 2015

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Let me say right off the bat that this isn’t one of those posts you find on basically every blog with a homeschooler behind it. This isn’t a post about all the reasons I homeschool my kids and all the reasons they don’t go to big bad public school. My daughter has gone to public school, actually, and it was pretty great for the season our family was in at the time. Her teacher was absolutely incredible and so gracious with me.

This post was written to stand out and give a new perspective. It’s the answer to the question I am asked over and over and over again. Sometimes in the straightforward way of “so, why do you homeschool?” Other times in the assumptive way of, “so do you homeschool because of all the scary stuff going on in public schools?”

This post is my answer. I’m sharing to enlighten you and to maybe resonate with a mom who feels the same way.

Some days, I don’t know why I homeschool my kids. My why is elusive, and fickle, and moody. It runs away from me when I need it most, on the days when the baby is teething and the toddler forgets how to use a toilet and the first grader suddenly forgot addition, even though we’ve been over it with no problem at least fifty-six times. My why is unreliable.

I don’t know why my why seems to be so important to everyone, and even to me. If a reason was the only thing I had driving me to do something hard, I don’t think I’d ever get anything done because most days I really don’t care, and would much rather binge watch Parks and Rec on Netflix than workout, or choose veggies over cheeseburgers, or sit with my Bible instead of sleeping for another half hour, or teach my kid how the freakin’ English language works when I could send her to a pro who doesn’t use words like “freakin'” for free.

For me there’s gotta be something bigger than a reason behind doing hard things.

I know a lot of people have lists of Bible verses that point to home educating and scary headlines that point to pulling our kids out of school, and while that can all be very convincing, I just don’t think it’s enough to ever keep me going. Because homeschooling is the hardest thing I’ve ever taken on. Harder than losing baby weight or fixing a broken marriage or moving away from everyone I know and love. Homeschooling goes against every last pound of my flesh, and there are parts of it that really suck. There are days of it that have had me on the floor with wet cheeks and the word FAILURE echoing in my head, and there’s no headline that can keep me going willingly without fail. I’m sorry if that makes you think I’m a bad mom, but I’m just being honest.

I homeschool my kids because that’s where I feel the peace. Because it just feels right. Homeschooling feels like where I should be. And even on the days when I don’t know how I’m going to keep from screaming my lungs onto the table, I know I’m where I should be, and I can step back and call it what it is- just a really really crap day. We’ll try again tomorrow, because we can, because we homeschool.

I think I was led to homeschooling more by a why not than a why. I stay home with my kids, I’m not a total idiot (even with regular use of the word ‘freakin’), and I have this strong feeling that my son, Leland, would be changed in a negative way if he were made to sit down for long periods of time five days a week. And so the idea crept in and sat for a bit, and then came the peace.

There are a lot of reasons to homeschool, and they’re solid.

There are a lot of reasons not to homeschool, also solid.

I think we’re made fickle and moody and panicked, and I think that’s why we need peace as much as we need grace- to cover us and lead us to the right places. And I think it’s okay if those places don’t always make sense to those around us. Because without peace, who cares if everyone agrees?

And so here I am, with Amazon books on my coffee table and pencils crammed in the couch cushions- a homeschool mom covered in stereotypes and labels, doing the best I can one day at a time, following the peace.

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