A year or two ago, an online friend asked me to write up a short answer to “Why I homeschool”. Well, that is not a short answer question, so I wrote the following essay.
All those who homeschool and read my blog, I challenage you to do the same. Write up your reasons.
Why we homeschool
by Elizabeth Lendall
Homeschooling, in our family, is many things. It’s not a subject easily defined in a few words. Learning, loving, working and serving are all wrapped up in one.
We homeschool to learn, obviously. We do not just learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, but also we learn how to learn. As a parent, this is the most important aspect of teaching my children. Once a child has learned how to learn, how find information, the entire world opens up for them.
As we learn to learn, we also learn to love one another and others around us. This is true socilazation, in my opinion. The ability to show courtesy, respect and concern for your fellow man cannot be taught by a group of age-peers, but can only be taught by watching those older than you demonstrate it, following that example, and then setting an example for those who are younger than you. A home environment is the ideal place to learn this.
Working is different from learning. One involves physical power, one involves brain power. For a child to be well-rounded, he should learn how to do both. Working in our home involves keeping the home clean, caring for Grandma, who is disabled, and any other chores that present themselves. A child who learns early in life that work is a part of that life and he learns how to do it quickly and happliy is a child who will go far in life.
Service to your fellow man is the last part of our homeschooling. I require my children to serve in some compacity every week. You may think that service and loving are the same. They are not the same, but they are tied together. You cannot love someone without showing it. What I’m attempting to teach my children is that love is not a noun, it’s a verb. By serving their fellow man, they are getting out of themselves and seeing the needs of others. Children, as a whole, tend to be self-centered and as a parent, it is my job to help them emerge from that and become responsible citizens. You cannot be a responsible citizen and not serve.
As you can see, our homeschool experience has many sides. On one hand, they are 4 different things, yet at the same time, they are all interconnected. Balancing all four will help my children grow up to be healthy, happy, responsible adults. That is my goal and the goal of our homeschool.