When we first starting homeschooling, we would often be asked, “Why?” There really are many reasons, but the quickest answer I came up with as a reply was, “There is no good reason not to.”
But if you’re interested in the long answer, then here it is:
As Christians, it was vital for us that our kids be fully immersed in our faith and learn biblical history along with language arts, math, science, art, music, etc. This is obviously not going to happen in a government school, so that wasn’t an option for us.
With the remaining options being a private Christian school or homeschooling, the latter was the clear choice for us.
“When a child is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40
Homeschooling provides the incredible opportunity to spend time together as a family. There is truly nothing more important after cultivating a relationship with The Lord. I spend nearly all of my time with my kids, which can definitely be hard at times, but then I truly treasure my alone time and make it more intentional.
We have the freedom to teach our children what we want, without the government stepping in. Arizona is an amazing state for homeschooling! There are no standardized tests, no “school time” requirements, and no mandatory check-ins. We are truly FREE!
Yes, we still pay our city and state taxes to fund government schools, and no, we don’t receive any tax breaks or incentives for homeschooling.
Homeschooling also lets me teach my kids according to their own learning styles: Visual, Auditory, or Kinesthetic. When I know how they learn best, I can incorporate different things into our daily school routine. For example, Kinesthetic learners love to have something to do with their hands while they listen to a story. Do you ever see women at church knitting while listening to the sermon? They’re likely Kinesthetic learners!
If I had a Kinesthetic learner, I’d let him color or build with LEGO bricks while I read him a Bible story. In a typical classroom environment, this would likely not be allowed. This student would have to sit quietly at his desk and listen to the teacher, but his mind may start to wander and he wouldn’t retain any of the story.
All children learn differently, and homeschooling allows the freedom to explore what’s best for each individual child.
We’re on our own timeline. I can let my kids sleep late if they need to. There’s no rushing out the door to get to school on time. We can take vacations when everyone else is in school. We have more time for activities during the day so we can have dinner together every night. We can take a day off–without a single penalty–if someone isn’t feeling well, if we have a really busy day, or if we’re just not in the mood.
We usually begin our new school year in June or July, when it’s blazing hot outside and we spend a majority of our time at home anyway. We also follow somewhat of a year-round schedule and take one week off after five weeks of school. As a mom who also works from home, if I have a crazy, busy week of portrait sessions + editing, then usually just take the week off and pick up the following week. Our scheduled breaks are very flexible and we have lots of wiggle room as to when they actually happen.
We also love to take an extended break in the Fall, when it’s my busiest season. It’s a bonus that the weather is amazing here so we’re able to spend a lot more time outside after being cooped up inside for 3-4 months.
Homeschooling really is so much fun! Yes, we have our hard days. But we have way more easy and fun days. We do field trips (usually on our own, but there are tons of homeschool field trip groups here), visit the zoo, go to train park, play at the gym, see a play/symphony/ballet, and so much more.
Homeschooling, especially in the younger years, doesn’t take nearly as much time as you’d think. We were able to finish kindergarten in about 45 minutes a day, and 1st grade usually takes no more than two hours a day. That leaves us so much time to play, explore, and go on adventures together.
I truly love chatting with others about homeschooling, so if you have any questions, please be sure to leave them in the comments below. I love hearing from you!