5 Reasons Why We Choose Homeschooling

I can’t decide if I’ve been really eager to write this post, or if I’ve been dreading it, but it certainly has been on my mind for months.  I’m so unbelievably enthusiastic about this decision, so why the dread, you ask?  Why do I fight a cringe when my Chatty Cathy, no doubt excited, bubbles over the news to the clerk at the store, or, heaven forbid, the school district speech therapist who works with our babbling little boys every week.  Sometimes the words “we’re homeschooling” elicits bewildered looks from even the most well-meaning friends, let alone outspoken strangers, wielding their swords of online anonymity, and thinking they know what’s best for my family.  Statements like “they’re ruining those children” can cut deep, and after growing up in a culture where ignorant statements like this were flung at our family by whispering onlookers all the time, I have felt the sting of those words.  So yes, I’ve been hesitant to share about this.  My heart was and is in a good place about our choice, but I doubted the benefits of revealing it to the world.

But the other side of me considers the mother or father, struggling to decide, overcome with fear and pressure, who might stumble upon this post and find a kindred spirit.  I think of where I was just 3 months ago, nearly resolute to tuck away that lifelong whisper in my ear, in favor of what most of my SAHM friends are doing…dropping off their kids at the bus stop, with a healthy lunch and a kiss no doubt, then returning home to 7 hours of kid-free time to spend as they so choose.  And I don’t blame them.  I really don’t.  I love these friends so dearly, and they are amazing mothers.  But I was headed the wrong way when I started to compare myself to them.  Did I dream of a morning stroll through IKEA, where my children weren’t wondering off and knocking over displays?  You bet I was.  I was so enticed by the thought of having some dedicated time to design more patterns and build my business, to get my house organized, to start tackling projects that I never seem to have time to do.  It was challenging to remember that everyone is different.  Everyone wants the best for their children, and does what they think is right and best for their family, and that I can’t compare my situation, or the call that God has placed in my heart for as long as I can remember, to anyone else’s.  Easier said than done, so I’ll admit that I struggled with this for months, even years, and found myself hovering in a place where I was content to deny what deep down I knew I wanted to do, by tricking myself into believing that if I should just “go with the flow” and do what everyone around me was doing.

I was moving forward with that plan, until God decided to sit me next to just the right person on a 4 hour flight a couple of months ago, with just the right word for me at just the right time (I think God knows the only time He can get me to sit still long enough to listen is on a plane!).  Those 4 hours lifted my spirit up to where it needed to be, for me to be able to look that voice inside, square in the eyes for the very first time.  I was moved from denial to determination, from confusion to clarity, all because someone was willing to share their story and their time.  If I can be that person for someone else, then that is worth enduring all the ignorant judgement that anyone could possibly heave at me.  

So here I am, announcing it to the world.  WE’RE HOMESCHOOLING!  Yup, we are.  We live walking distance from a darling little public school, in a very highly ranked school district, no doubt filled with wonderfully passionate teachers, and who are, for the most part, eager and ready to welcome our sweet kiddos into their classrooms.  It’s all sunshine and daffodils, and yet, after 1 year in the charming local public school,we are now choosing to school our children at home.  WHY in the world would someone do that???

Here are 5 of the 862  reasons why, in no particular order:

1) World View.  For me, this is huge, and I hate it when folks brand this “religious reasons,” because I think it’s really much more of a broad concept that touches every family and every student, whether their religion is based in a church, or in professional football.  No matter where a child is schooled, whether it be in a home school, a private religious or non-religious school, or a public school, they are being presented with, and for the most part, are absorbing, some type of world view.  A parent may be aware of this world view, or they may not.  They may agree with it, or they may not.  Much of the time they might not even know it’s there, but it is, and it’s impossible to escape no matter what you believe or where your child goes to school.  My children’s view of the world, their most foundational perspectives on it, how it works, and what their role is in it, will be formed in these early years, where they spend most of their time- in school.  It’s just a simple fact.  And I’m not just talking about what things are taught and how they are taught, but I’m also referring equally to things that are not taught.  My husband and I have decided that for us, at the place where our hearts are now, we are not willing to leave those decisions up to someone else.  And by someone else, I mean the government (chuckle chuckle).  In all seriousness though, it’s our responsibility, my husband and I, to impart on our children the values that we hold most dear.  Now, of course, can one do this while still sending their child to public school?  Certainly!  Of course they can.  But for us, 50% or more of their day being spent in an environment that not only doesn’t necessarily teach these values and viewpoints, but often even opposes them, isn’t a ratio we’re excited about.

Homeschooling 3

2) Flexibility.  At some point in time, I began to realize there there was a level of flexibility to be seized that I never realized was even possible, and all it took was a shift in my perspective.  All this while I had been focusing on MY flexibility, thinking that surely sending my kids away to school would give ME the most flexibility, but in actuality, WE have more flexibility when we’re together.  When I say flexibility, I mean choices- there are so many of them, and my family can choose what’s right for us in every single instance.  What time should we start school in the morning?  Should we take a field trip?  If so, to where?  Who should we go with?  Why not adjust our school schedule around our travel, rather than scheduling our travel around our school?  What curriculum works best for us, and why not switch if it isn’t working?  Must we work at a desk, or could we absorb our reading and power through our workbooks at the kitchen table?  Or the couch?  Why can’t we learn about French Revolution while enjoying a picnic in our treehouse?  We can, and we will.

Homeschooling 4

3) Socialization vs. Socializing.  This is another biggie, and I think I’m particularly passionate about it because I have experienced the difference between these two realities, first hand.  I was homeschooled from 1st grade through 7th grade, and it always perplexed me when people would question how I was able to socialize.  What a silly question this seemed to me!  I had tons of friends- many were homeschoolers but some not- and was always busy and interacting.  We were active in church, we played with neighbors, we had a 4-H club, we volunteered for all sorts of organizations, we played sports and took dance lessons, we went to camps, we entered competitions that took us all over the country for things like debate, singing, or engineering.  The fact of the matter is, I would argue that my siblings and I experienced more socialization than our public school counterparts.  And I think that’s the difference- we experienced socialization, not socializing- we interacted not only with immediate peers, as children in most public schools do, but with children and adults of all ages.  We were the furthest thing from socially awkward, and were able to be confident and comfortable in nearly any setting because our entire childhood experience didn’t just revolved around children our exact same age, day in and day out, all struggling to stand out and feel special, and at the same time to fit in and be accepted.  Things like the pressure to keep up with ever changing fashion trends, or battling gossip and bullying, never had the chance to distract us from our learning and growth.  On the contrary, being free from those things, in conjunction with the flexibility to be involved in so many more activities than we would have been able to otherwise, allowed us the chance to connect with, and ultimately appreciate and respect many different kinds of people, in different walks of life, and I can’t imagine a more healthy experience than that.

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4) Family Bonding.  This is a factor that I have taken for granted in recent years, and have just come to appreciate more now that more as my own journey toward homeschooling has kicked into high gear.  Perhaps it’s because I now have children of my own, that I’m able to look back on my homeschool experience with even more endearment.  The closeness that I have with my parents and my brothers and sisters, is priceless, and was directly fueled by the time we spent together in those childhood years.  Reading together, helping one another, experiencing and understanding things together- it shaped our futures.  Nearly all married and with children of our own, we now all live within a 30 minute drive of one another, and are involved in one another’s lives on a regular basis.  This is the closeness that I want for my children, and I think to witness it forming will be one of the most unexpected joys of my life.  To witness my 1st grader reading to my preschooler, her biggest fan, and to see them growing and learning together, at their own paces and in their own ways, but nonetheless together- what a priceless gift.

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5) Fun.  Last, but certainly not least is FUUUUN, of course!  Learning is fun!  I don’t want to nag my kids to fill me in on what they’ve been learning in school so that I can attempt to reinforce it (or battle it) at home, pushing to try to stay involved, all the while getting less and less “cool” by the day.  Nope, not me.   I want to learn with them!  I want to rediscover the world in a new way than I did when I was 6.  And something tells me I’m going to be discovering even more about my children, at a much deeper level, in the process.  Those beautiful, sweet, squeezable little firecrackers- they have more potential than I can even fathom.  From Williamsburg to the Grand Canyon, to science experiments in our backyard, we are going to have the time of our lives, and I know I’m never even going to look back.

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  1. Alison G says:

    Good luck with it all! It sounds like a marvellous plan – I admit I would not have had the patience for homeschooling my two, and besides that I had to work. Our income was just not enough to cover the bills. I was able to work from home though, so I worked when the babies were asleep or in the evening when Hubby was home, until the kids were old enough to go to nursery part-time. The childcare bills were minimal.

    I was very lucky to have that flexibility, and still do. I still work from home, 20 years on. Once of these days I’ll get a proper job…. nah. I’m full time now, and thinking of dropping my hours a little so I can do more crafting. But then where would I get the money to increase my fabric stash? ;-)

  2. Best of luck with the schooling, do not know if you follow the blog Wonderland woods but Starr posted yesterday that she is about to start home schooling. Might be good to have a chat with her, I am sure the kids will benefit from individual instruction.

  3. Good luck and many blessings on your homeschooling journey! We’ve been at it for 26 years and have a few more to go :) The rewards are many, even it it didn’t seem possible on those days where nothing quite went right.

  4. Laura Mattick says:

    As a high school teacher I have seen how students have lost their love of learning because of the rigid structure of traditional schooling. It doesn’t have to be that way, but for more children than not they are bored most of the day.
    My 4 children all went through traditional schools, but have done well. I think there were three key reasons.

    1. We always ate evening meals together. No technology was allowed at the dinner table. This was a time to share ideas and talk about our days. Our children heard us talk about our jobs and the challenges each day. I always tried to give honest, age-appropriate answers to any question. We wanted them to see that not everything was black and white. The world and relationships are complicated. But you need to have a set of core values and a sense of self that guides you through all the choices you make each day.
    2. We continued learning all year long. In the summers we visited places, did worksheets, had arts and crafts projects, and limited time on the computer and tv. In the middle years we even had to have a weekly posted “rotation” schedule to reduce the arguments. The children had tasks to complete as part of living and contributing to the house. Some things received an “allowance” but many were expectations of what you need to contribute because it takes all of us to keep the place running.
    3. My children attended the same high school where I teach. This means they road back and forth with me everyday until they were seniors in high school and had the privilege of driving the car. This time allowed me to talk to them everyday. Sometimes it was about pop culture or how stupid some event was in school. But it helped maintain the lines of communication and my connection with them.

    Did this mean my children were all perfect angels? Certainly not. There were the battles for independence and the brainless risk taking that most teenagers go through. But eventually, they came out on the other side as independent adults. Even now that my youngest is 22, I don’t always like all of their life choices, but at least they actively make choices and are willing to live with the consequences.

    I wish you the best of luck with your journey.

  5. Bravo for you. I so wish that I would have be able to do this. I was very fortunate that we lived in a small community with an elementary school that most families participated in the activities. Although I was at one point the president of the PTA, I worked outside the home, I missed spending a lot of time with my children. The very best of luck to you and your family, Amy.

  6. It’s none of anyone else’s business but urs & Russell’s!! I’m sure Charlotte & Nora (sp?) will do well!! God Bless you all!!

  7. Fiona Harris says:

    You have to do what you feel is right for ALL of you! And what better teaching aid is there but travel and having an interest in what goes on around you, in your neighbourhood, your state, your country, the world. Good luck is yours for the making and just enjoy the process and your little ones as they grow and take on the world around them. I’ve learned more since I left school than I ever did when I was there!!!! :) x

  8. Well stated Amy. You have been blessed with many gifts but above all are your children. You are their guide to becoming the best they can be. You are an excellent teacher. These are the most important times of your life nothing else has more priority than teaching the value of faith, love,morales,the joy of learning,…the list is endless. Isn’t it amazing when you shift from self to others centered?

  9. Maybelline Romero says:

    Dear Amy,
    Another great reason is because you CAN. This great country allows us to choose and you are blessed with the opportunity. May your learning journey with your children be filled with wonder and joy.

  10. Janet from WI says:

    Good for you! You are right….what’s going on in the schools is not always good. I worry about what is being “taught” to my kids. I sometimes feel like they are being indoctrinated into a way of thinking that we don’t support. School is not a place to do that. It a place to teach math, english, social studies, science. Don’t try to mold my child into a liberal being with social values I don’t support. Schools are so worried about being politically correct that they over correct and don’t end up addressing anything for fear of retaliation from parents, groups, etc. There is just way too much government control and it’s really gotten out of hand. They say they address bullying but it’s actually the bullies who always come out on top. Unfortunately the colleges are almost worse. I struggle with the thought of college as my oldest will be a senior in the fall. Good luck to you. It takes a special person to be able to take on homeschooling. Your kids are lucky you are able and willing to do it. Best wishes on your journey!

  11. Congratulations! I think you are making a very wise decision. You are offering your children 1-2-1 tuition and support, tailored to their needs, flexible enough to follow their interests and cultivate their passions. I wanted to learn physics when I was 8, it was not part of the curriculum unit the age of 14! This is what many people pay privately for, after school hours. I wish I was homeschooled when I was a child and I would definitely take that option if I had kids.
    What kids need most of all is time with their parents, and this is a great way to achieve more family time and really efficient and effective learning..
    Wish you the best of luck and would love to see more posts about how you are progressing.

  12. Hi Amy! Margaret pointed me to your blog = we have just made the decision to homeschool as well, and basically for all the same reasons you listed. And, strangely enough, just like you I think I knew this was my destiny all along. Been resisting it for years out of fear, but now that we’ve taken the plunge, we’re so excited about it. Looking forward to reading more about your homeschool adventures!

    • Stitchery says:

      Hi Starr! How exciting!!! Just think- we were both on the fence not so long ago, and now our hearts have found peace as we embrace this monumental decision. This is the kind of thing I was really hoping for- meeting folks who are going or have gone through the same thing. We can be an encouragement to one another as we journey on. Great to meet you, and I can’t wait to hopefully chat with you more at some point!

  13. Mombasinger says:

    I have been following you since your block of the month class with Crafsty and have learned a lot about quilting from you. I am so happy to hear your news! I am a homeschooling mom of 9 years and plan to continue to homeschool through the highschool years. You are right on all of your points, and yes, there are so many more! You’re right that some people want to try to make you feel bad for making this desicion. Both sides of our family wanted to try to talk us out of homeschooling, but deep down inside we knew it was right. There are two types of flexability, time and subject matter. My children are interested in their school because they choose what they learn. We found out that my oldest is terrific at learning languages. At age 13, she was fluent in French and is now, at age 14, close to being fluent in Spanish! Also, she loves movie making. So we are giving her the tools to learn and pracitce this art as much as possible. We feel that helping her persue her passion now will give her a heads-up when it is time to go to college or get a job. My 9-year old told me that she wants to learn about Christopher Colombus because she loves history! So that’s what we do. Fitting in time to sew is not easy, though. Sometimes I’m jealous seeing what other woman are getting to accomplish, but never enought to quit homeschooling! I am passionate about homeschooling. So congratulations on your new endeavor! I always think of it as getting to be with my most favorite people everday! What a blessing!

  14. Kathy Fair says:

    Amy, I applaud your decision to home school your children and your reasons are indisputable in my book. Congratulations and I am sure you will do a great job. good luck and God bless you and your family.

  15. If your children grow up to be anything like you, you would have succeeded.

    • Stitchery says:

      You’re too kind :) Perhaps if I can teach them to try and avoid the mistakes I have made, then we’re on the right track. xoxoxo

  16. Sharon L Russo says:

    WOW Karen…Amy NEVER disagreed with anyone choosing to send their child to a public school nor did she say we were ignorant. She is just voicing why she decided to home school. I believe we make our decisions based on our capabilities or inabilities. Most of us are trying to accomplish the same outcome and just take different avenues to get there. It’s all good!

  17. Amy, so glad you posted. I have been homeschooling my daughter for 5 yrs. (I would have done it the whole time if I could have but that is another story) she just finished her Sophomore yr in High School. You are not alone. I am tired of everyone looking at me like I am abusing my child by not sending her to a “regular” school. She is took the exit exams (for graduating high school) this year and missed 2 or fewer questions on each one. She is confidant and brilliant and doesn’t have any of those teenage rebellion problems. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone but for those of us that it fits it is a God send.

    Two others that homeschool and are vocal about it in the blogosphere are Rachel at Stitched in Color and Sally at Sally’s Angelworks. We are here for you if you need encouragement or resources.

  18. Great decision, Amy. Regarding the socialization aspect of your comments today, I couldn’t agree more. We learned the hard way before we homeschooled that the last people you want socializing your children are your children’s peers. What do they know about anything at that age? They are not in a position to help, guide or mentor anyone.

    Also, do your utmost to let criticism roll off your back. It will come, but it doesn’t matter because your decision comes from your heart and a deep commitment to do what’s best for your children. Failure is not possible in that equation.

    • Stitchery says:

      Terri- thanks for your kindness, as always. I’m so blessed to know you! PS- look for an email from me today about that curriculum! xo

  19. ylmommyx4 says:

    I applaud you for making this decision. This is just one more reason I am in awe of you. I say this from the bottom of my heart, I wish I could have a do over and be more like you when I was in my thirties. You are a beautiful role model for women everywhere and your children are blessed to have you so passionately on their side. I’m going to enjoy watching you journey through these next few years.

  20. Rita Pannenberg Thomas says:

    Amy, I know there will be many posts for you to read on this issue. However, as a pioneer homeschooling mom (1992-2005), your reasoning is sound and spot on. Our children are now 34, 39 and 27 and wonderful people, working hard and doing very well for themselves.
    If you keep in mind that we are training up our children for Eternity, then all else will fall in place. Love them and nurture them as you already are and enjoy the journey.

  21. Rita Pannenberg Thomas says:

    Errr..34, 30 & 27 years old.

  22. cynthianelson97 says:

    Good for you! Every family needs to do what is right for them, which is not always the same thing. I applaud you on making the decision which works for your family!!

  23. Thanks for sharing! You and your husband are awesome parents!

  24. Hey Amy, YAHOO! I see both sides of homeschooling vs. brick and mortar school – each parent just needs to find the right fit for their family. I have schooled both kids since K and when Addison got cancer it was a blessing since he was so sick so we could school on days he was well. I use COLORADO Virtual Academy and love that I have teachers who teach online classes and guide me. Did you know that your kids can still participate in your local school’s social activities? Sports, theater, etc. Have a blast! Mine are going into grades 5 and 7 and they are very social with lots of extracurricular fun.

  25. Karen H says:

    I am a mother of an 18 year old daughter who just graduated Summa Cum Laude from high school, having taking a very rigorous curriculum of AP and honors courses, all through our wonderful public schools! Granted, I was fearful of her going to such a large high school, terrified of her being mixed with those that might not share our same set of values, beliefs, etc. Attending a school that is so filled with gangs, that police officers are on campus. We couldn’t afford private school and home schooling was not an option for us for several factors. First, my health would not have provided the strength to home school, but more importantly, I felt that I could not provide her the broad exposure that she would receive in attending school with those coming from all walks of life. I think we can learn not only from those around us that portray the “good”, but also those that show us “how not to act”. Looking back, I wouldn’t change it for a moment. I had the faith that no matter where she went, our family beliefs would carry her through those decisions that she would face. After receiving acceptance letters from several prestigious universities, she is now preparing to leave home to carry out her dreams of becoming a doctor. As my only child, this will not be easy to let her “leave the nest”, but I know that as her parent, this is what she must do and I must let her, without guilt and fear of losing her.

    Yes, I am fearful that she will meet a boy, marry and live away from her childhood home. This may happen. If it does however, I know she will be okay, for we’ve given her the foundation, provided her with exposure & opportunity, and know that she is capable of making good choices that will take her far in life.

    I don’t think my daughter would ever view our decision to send her to public school as being anything else other than the perfect opportunity for what was right for her and our family. As for those that are home schooled, I believe they would also feel the same; that homeschooling was the best for them. You see, it is what we “know” and “experience” in life and are most familiar with, that we stand up to defend. The act of defending our position however, doesn’t mean we believe the alternate is “wrong”. It doesn’t mean people are “ignorant” because they don’t share our same choices.

    Perhaps someday, my daughter will come home and tell me that she has made the decision to home school her children? If so, I shall embrace, support and trust that she is doing what she feels is best for her family. I would not sit in judgement, nor would I want anyone else to. Instead, I would hope that we could all support each other for the decisions we make, even if they may be different from our own. Isn’t this the beauty of the world? We are all so different and together, we make it whole. :)

    • Stitchery says:

      Another great story! So glad your family found something that worked best for you guys.

      • Karen H says:

        From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and your family the best and congratulate you on a tough decision. I know it is a sacrifice that you are making and I applaud you for it. :)

  26. Keep us posted on how it’s going. Would love to hear about your new endeavor. I’m sure you know Rachel at http://www.stitchedincolor.com/. She has some great homeschooling posts.

  27. DeAnn Webb says:

    Kudos to you, it is a challenging and excellent decision you and your family have made.

  28. Hi Amy,
    Glad you were able to go forward with a decision you think is right.
    I’m from Germany and we don’ t offer homeschooling as an option so I’m just really curious about the practicalities. How do you find out about an appropriate curriculum. How do you teach foreign languages if you don’t know any yourself? How do children obtain a diploma that allows them access to university?
    I hope to find some of the answers to these and many more questions along the way of your homeschooling journey and am looking forward to reading about it.
    Good luck!

  29. Hi friend :) Would you mind sending me some info on the curriculum you are going to follow or how to teach children of different ages at the same time? Proud of you!

  30. I think any parent who considers or is open to different options for their child’s education deserves credit. Out of the 4 kids in my family, one was home-schooled, two went to Waldorf school and one to public school. My parents were lucky enough to be able to choose based on what they thought best for each individual in the family. And we’re each eternally grateful!
    There are no rules in life!! Have fun :)

  31. kaystephenson says:

    Run your own race Amy, and don’t worry about what others think. As long as you and Mr. Dock are in agreement that’s what counts. I missed the opportunity to have children, but if I had I think I might have home schooled. Not sure how that would have gone over with my dad, who was the principal at my public high school, but we would have managed. LOL.

  32. Sounds like God led you to the right decision for your family. That’s wonderful. Your children are blessed with wise and loving parents. They will greatly benefit from your decision.

  33. I applaud your decision. I home-schooled my children 20+ years ago and heard all the typical arguments. They are now very successful adults no worse for wear (in spite of all the warnings I received). I would say they were the best years of our lives as a family and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In regards to having time for you. That will come all too quickly. In a blink they will be adults and your role will change. Be prepared for an unforgettable journey and untold blessings as well as challenges.

  34. You are a brave woman, and always remember – to thine own self be true. Do what your heart leads you to do. So many years ago (my daughter is 40 this yr) it was unheard of, nor do I think I would have been as dedicated to try it, nor were there as many resources. Your children will be leaps and bounds above the rest, and be taught with love and guidance. I am appalled at some of the horrors I see in the schools today. God bless you on this journey. xo

  35. From a fellow homeschool mom I found this very encouraging. There are times I too think of all the sewing and work I could be doing around the house while they would be at school, but then remember what a short time we have our children and hope we can make the most of it. Best wishes as you begin!!

  36. We just finished our first year homeschooling. 9th grade and K and it was wonderful. So glad we followed where God was leading us. We have met amazing homeschool families and couldnt be happier. Yay. So happy for you and this next chapter in your families lives.

  37. I loved your post on your decision to homeschool your beautiful kids. My husband and I pulled out daughters (3rd and 1st grade) out of public school this past December and homeschooled January-June. It was the best decision for us. On Long Island, NY, homeschooling is still very much a novelty and I never know what kind of reaction I’m going to get from people when we tell them that we’re homeschooling our daughters. Many are positive, but boy, those negative or super questioning people sometimes throw me for a loop. By God’s grace, He has shown us time and time again that this is the best decision for our family. I’m glad that He has brought you to a place of clear understanding that this is also the best for your family. We use the Classical Conversations curriculum and I have learned so much in these short 6 months. I’m looking forward to learning more and more with my kids. And, yes, we’re having so much fun making up games and staying active while learning. Working on spelling words on a walk or a bike ride, anyone?

  38. Funny how we feel we need to justify our actions to the world you are doing the right thing for you and your family and that is all that matters. We toyed with the idea (kids now 22/20) because I knew the public school was not for us but we were blessed to be able to send them to a top in the state private prep school and they still comment on how much they learned. Have a wondrous journey!

  39. Chelsea says:

    Amy, good for you! I am always in awe with my friends that homeschool. I agree with the reasons you’ve listed and would have loved to be a fly on the wall for the airplane conversation! It’s something that I’ve thought about but it seems so overwhelming to learn how to do. We had a couple of things happen this last year that I only wish I could erase from my child’s lives that could have easily been avoided. Good luck! I am sure that the blessings that will come to your family will be more fulfilling than the free time lost. And on those hard days make sure you come back and read this post!

  40. I respect you tremendously for finding the courage to do what you and your husband feel is best for your children. On the way to school one day when my daughter was in 10th grade she said, “I’d rather be dead than go to school” – needless to say, we homeschooled the last 2 1/2 years of high school – I have 2 sisters that are teachers and my father is a college professor. This was not a choice they were 100% for, but it ultimately was best for MY child. I remember sitting on the front porch step thinking – if I could just look into the future and make sure this is the right decision- forward ahead, she is 25 years old and married. It was the right decision. You have to have tunnel vision and forget everyone and everything around you as you focus on your children alone.

  41. Diane Isabella says:

    Good for you and Mr. Dock. You thought it through and considered options and you’re listening to your hearts and your minds. I have no doubt with your enthusiastic outlook on life and your love for your children, this will be a great and fulfilling success for all of you. This will be an opportunity for unlimited creativity and you will never regret taking this leap of faith! Looking forward to hearing about your progress!

  42. love this post. :-)

  43. Congrats on making this decision and doing it because it is what is best for you and your family. Many don’t get to follow their inner voice, and that is such a shame. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. I’ve toyed with the idea for years, but my daughter CRAVES the larger group… she’s been talking about going to school since she was 2. Watching the school buses go by and screaming that it was going to be her one day! I couldn’t in my right mind take it away from her… But I applaud you for your choices. You did not choose the easy path that is for sure, but like all things that require effort, they are well worth it.

    Stick to your guns! Only YOU know hat is best for you and your children!
    Good luck!

  44. Welcome to home schooling! We home school our boys (8, 6 and 1) and we love it. There is so much flexibility and I have to say, I absolutely love watching them learn. There are so many cherished memories that would be lost if they were in a public (or even private) school setting. It’s such a rewarding journey to take as a family.

  45. Amy, you may just be the woman on the plane for me (which is funny considering we met in an airport!). I have been thinking of homeschooling for several years. I don’t have one particular strong reason but many small ones. It’s hard to decide when there are enough small ones to tip the barrel. My kids are rising 2nd, 5th and 6th graders. They are smart and successful in public school and I am selfish with my time. Those factors increase my delaying! This spring I finally, kind of, made the decision to start homeschooling my middle child not this year but the next. As he enters middle school. (Unlike the other two, his need to be more challenged is coupled with his desire to be homeschooled.)

    It is funny that you mention liberal worldview at the public schools because one of my complaints is conservative worldview! It just goes to show how impossible it is for public schools, with greater enrollment and smaller budgets, to be a one-size-fits-all solution.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your thoughts for those of us who wanted to hear them and for being respectful to all of us, regardless of what we chose.

  46. Janet Green says:

    Wow I am so blown away, my first thought was how brave???? Then my second thought was good for you. I have thought for years about doing this and admit I can’t. my child is now at an age where he is fighting everything (teenager). I believe you will be so successful that your children will have A very productive life with well rounded opinions and a education to be proud of. Amy and Russell do not feel bad about your decisions or falter in your belief embrace it and it will become more than you could imagine. No one has the right to pigeonhole your children, and sadly that’s what our government and their control in our schools is doing. Peace be with you and strength for the time ahead, Patience and kindness will follow

  47. Good for you! I know you will be a great teacher for your kids. I wish I could have home schooled. All 4 of mine are way smarter than I am and I don’t have the structure in me to be a good teacher so public school was the way we went. We taught them values and morals at home and to question everything to make their own decisions not just follow the crowd or us. They are in their 30’s now and are good people. What more can a parent wish for in their children than to be kind and giving to everyone. I was blessed and know it. Things could have been very different.

  48. WOOHOOO! Congrats on your decision. That is so awesome, I LOVE your first 5 reasons, especially number 1. I’ve homeschooled since day one, my oldest is 19. I’m so thankful for our decision, it’s been the best for us. I know you will love it, especially since you were raised that way too. Have fuN!!

  49. Robin Maguire says:

    I totally understand your concerns and your decision! Good for you! Instead of homeschooling our sons, my family chose to move to a small rural town, where I knew all the teachers, and there were only about 60 kids in the HS graduating classes. I always refer to their teachers as partners with my husband and I in the education of our children. It worked for us. One of my sons is an Army officer, and the other is attending graduate school to get his Masters to teach middle school. Everyone should understand that we have options, and no one is intrinsically better.

  50. Martha Sturgill says:

    I am retired and my children are in their 30’s and doing fine but my biggest regret as a parent is that I did not homeschool. I have worked at schools and most days are filled with busywork and boredom. Public school teachers now have to deal with disruptive children in the classroom and teaching to the lowest common denominator. May God bless them for the difficult job they do but I think the average or above average child gets lost in the shuffle. I don’t think you will ever regret homeschooling. More power to you!

  51. Grace and Peace Quilting says:

    Yay! Love and agree with your first 5 reasons. We just graduated our youngest from our home school. It is the best way to learn: 1-2-1. And, more importantly, the best way to keep them on your team. Now, DD and I are spending the summer sewing together–it’s a blast!

  52. It’s so cool that you were homeschooled and now you’re passing on the opportunity to your kids! I bet you’re also a little more prepared for the unknown since you’ve already experienced homeschooling from the kid’s point of view. Good luck! If you need any tips on hands-on science curriculum, I might have some ideas. :)

  53. Hi Amy. As always you inspire me to think outside the box.

    I have strong feelings about not homeschooling, but I applaud those who do make the choice to do so. Why is that, its because my feelings and thoughts and insights are mine. I do not have the right to visit them on others.

    The thoughts you have shared of homeschooling have given another perspective. I am not sure I would choose to do it today, but I think there would be much more to think about before making the decision.

    Of course for me, a single mom and supporting us mostly on my paycheck, homeschooling was not an option. I had to make every moment at home meaningful. I was blessed with some family help, but the majority of time my girls were with me.

    You and your husband are amazing people and parents. I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures, and crazyness, and roadblocks, and how you got through all of these adventures.

    All that said, I want to come to your school because I just know there will be a crafting class. Where do I sign up. Lol… Happy schooling all!!!!!!!

  54. Zoë's Mimi says:

    You go, Girl!

  55. So blessed to hear of your decision, Amy! You will never regret it – despite any hard times you may face. I, too, homeschooled my boys starting in 1990, and though we had some serious hard times, and they were not “poster children” for homeschooling (you know – the ones who take all honors classes, excel at speech and debate, do all kinds of awesome service activities, etc.), they are well-adjusted, Christian young men today at ages 28, 31, and 34. I agree with one of the others who commented that those were the best years of our lives, even though they were very difficult at times. We were so cemented together as a family. Today we celebrated a joyful Father’s Day with all three of our boys! So go for it, and hang in there — you will never regret it!

  56. Ann Becker says:


  57. I am excited for you and your family. I know you will be able to teach the children so much and the children will have many memorable experiences.

  58. doubledee11 says:

    I applaud the fact that you are following your heart in the matter of schooling for your children. There is no right or wrong way to do educate our children – the bottom line is that as parents we have to be involved in it, whether we choose to homeschool, send them to public school, or send them to private school. I am a teacher who is currently (okay, for the last 10 years) substituting in the school district where my children attended school (that’s where we felt led to send ours) and things have really changed in the last 10 years in the public school. So, as long as your children are growing and learning . . go for it! I know a lot of homeschooled children who are well adjusted and very successful. May God bless you as you start this new endeavor!

  59. springleafstudios says:

    I read your blog but rarely comment. In this case I want to wish you all the best for finding your voice in the matter of homeschooling and the confidence to go forward with it. I admire your decision and fully understand your reasons. If only we all would follow our hearts and not the crowd.

  60. I am so happy you wrote this! Homeschooling is something I’ve been debating for quite a while. My Oldest just finished first grade. In a good public school that sounds like yours. It is really pretty lackluster when you get down to it, though. I am sending him to second grade there next year while his brother enters kindergarten and then I think we are finished with it for a while. Third grade starts all the EOG test, and worse the teaching for the tests, ugh. I feel
    Ike more people are turning to home schooling, but not actually people I know first hand. I just feel like it is such a good thing for a family and something you are more likely to regret not trying than trying. Thanks for adding some fuel to the fire!

  61. Anonymous says:

    I have just retired from 43 years as a teacher and then guidance counselor in public education, and I applaud your decision. If I were in your shoes, I would be doing exactly the same thing for exactly the same reasons. I would want my children to be in a happy environment, relying on family for security and role modeling, love and closeness. Today’s children are confronted with so much from their peers that is contrary to their emotional well-being and sense of self-worth.
    By the way, you can home school your children all the way through high school, if you wish. If there are some advanced courses later in high school that might worry you, most school districts have combined-instruction programs available: you can home-school and select a few courses at the high school to add to your home program if you wish. On the other hand, there are now opportunities to take those very same advanced courses online, too.
    There are also home-schooling co-ops that can provide opportunities, too.
    Colleges now have procedures for accepting home-schooled students right into academia, too. There is no need for a high school diploma anymore. If your child has the knowledge, your child will be absolutely successful.
    Congratulations, Mom!

  62. Well done you. That is a very brave and wonderful decision to make and I don’t think for one moment that you will ever regret it. You have very lovely children and a wonderfully understanding husband. You’ve even made me wonder if my Asperger son would benefit from home schooling as well.

  63. Well, three cheers for you! :-) My parents really were in the “pioneer” stages of homeschooling. We started in 1983. Yeah. It was illegal still in the state where we lived and they had to remind us constantly that we were not to talk about it to anyone outside our church, family and friends. Mom had an 8th grader (me), a 5th grader, a 2 yo and a baby to deal with starting that school year – and we had just moved there in June. I frankly don’t know how she did it. I’m amazed at her now. At the time I was mostly relieved. I hated the school social scene and disliked the classroom environment. Being the kind of person I am, I thrived through being able to separate my schooling from my social life. Focusing on one at a time was so much easier for me!

    Like you, we have a very close family bond to this day. We also had interaction with others outside our home both because of my dad’s “job” as a pastor and through the homeschooling community that grew rather quickly in our county during those early years. We also had a lot of multi-cultural experiences because my parents had been raised on the missionfield and have always had an interest in people from other countries and cultures. The flexibility of homeschooling meant that we could have family field trips together on some Mondays (my dad’s day off). And, since I’m 12 years older than my “baby” sister, I was privileged to help Mom teach her first grade as part of my senior year learning experience. So many great memories – along with the crazy and not so great, of course, as we’re all imperfect. :-)

    My parents had similar reason to yours. They also definitely wanted us in a Christian environment, which was understandable after their experiences with a couple of schools.

    As far as goals went my mom’s main objective in homeschooling was that we all would read proficiently so that we would have the ability to learn anything we needed to learn throughout our lives. My dad’s objective was to instill in us a love of learning and a desire and ability to self-inform and research. They were both successful, if I do say so that shouldn’t. They also made the very useful choice of investing in a second hand computer very early on in the history of home computers. My brothers both work in the computer field, my sister is computer literate and I – blog, photo edit, design graphics, write, and am learning HTML. :-)

    God used homeschooling very directly to shape my life and who I am in ways that were so helpful for the person He intended me to be. I know everyone can’t do it, but I’m so thankful that the Lord led my parents to do so. All the best to your family on this new venture!! :-)

    Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

  64. Thank you for posting, you have brought light to a subject that I have been very privately thinking about and now I might have the courage to talk to my husband about it. Thanks again.

  65. Good for you!

  66. The decision can be tough, but the rewards so wonderful! There are so many opportunities for learning, and I appreciate the time I was able to learn along with my kids. The “Social” comments always surprised me, too. Best of luck!

  67. I appreciate your sharing. I had school mates that homeschooled some years and some years not. My neice homeschool for just one semester beacause of a teacher problem. There are lots of reasons and all of them are great. thank you for sharing yours. what’s wonderful is that you and your family have the choice and ability to do so.

  68. Nancy Fuller says:

    Bravo! Your children are very lucky!

  69. Amy – My mom sent me the link to your blog. I’ve been homeschooling for the last two years. Our children are ages 7 and 8 1/2. While there are days when we struggle to get through, I wouldn’t change it for the world. One of the first things people in our lives were concerned about was the S word – socialization. I have to say, my kids are two of THE most socialized kids you’d ever meet! Bless you on your decision, and welcome to the world of homeschooling!

  70. I’m so glad you took the time to write this and I love the 5 reasons you shared. We, too, homeschool our children and I actually have more time to work on my professional quilting business than when they were in school, LOL!

    Best of luck in the coming school year – you guys will all do great!

  71. Beverly Cotton says:

    Amy – “You are the Best, Of all the Rest!” Being a 2012 BOMer, I realize your method of teaching others-Awesome! Teaching your own children will just come so naturally because your instincts and intuition kick into your style – you’re already doing that. You are so smart and they are just “sponges” ready to soak up everything you put in their path. I was an elementary Art teacher and saw many things students grasped from a stranger. Not all mothers have it – but you DO, here’s to more children being homeschooled! :-)

  72. Jackie Marks says:

    Amy, just when I think I can’t love you anymore I find out you are a homeschooler too :) Honestly, I love to have my kids home to SEE me sewing, to see me having my own time even while they’re awake. They learn to do things for themselves and they learn to sew; they learn that it is important to have something creative to do and they learn that life does not revolve around school. They play with each other, they learn together, they fight and make up all day long and that is good for them as sisters. You can do it!!

  73. Applauding your reasons to home school. We did that with our four children (2 of them totally and 2 partially) for pretty much the same reasons as you. To this day, some of my fondest memories are of the times we spent together. Home schooling built into our kids a love for each other and a love for learning that they use every day. Now that they are all in their 20’s and two of them are married with children of their own, it feels like those 16 years were but a fleeting moment. Enjoy every minute of your time with those adorable little munchkins. They grow up way too quickly. (by the way, I recognized several of the books on your bookshelves :) )

  74. I feel like I could have written this post myself. We just started homeschooling my preschooler last week. Although it’s pretty low key right now, I am feeling like we are at the very beginning of an epic journey.
    We live in the Denver area as well and I was wondering if you have been able to connect with any homeschooling communities? I am thinking about putting her in Options next year but for now it seems like we are flying solo. I would love to meet other families in our area who are doing the same thing!
    Happy Homeschooling to you!


  1. […] the best option for our children and the best for our family (you can read more about our choice here). But if I am confident and proud of that choice, which I absolutely am, then I can’t forget […]

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