I remember growing up and meeting the very rare “homeschooler”, and never really thinking that there might be a method to that madness. I just didn’t know people that did it.
Kinda sounds like a bad word, like “repeat-offender” or something. How did they come to this insane decision to school their own children?
Well, since joining the mom club, I have met numerous home-school families, all with their own methods, and their own madness! And happily, I have joined their ranks!
After our first child was born, we moved to Indiana and I found myself surrounded by a lot of women that homeschooled. By the time our firstborn was ready for kindergarten, I was so impressed by the women and kids around me that I thought just maybe I could do this too!
While I had a teaching degree (high school English), none of the women I had met had education degrees. Some might think that I have an advantage, but I have to say, I am so impressed with every mom that takes on this challenge, that I don’t think the degree matters at all! Since moving to Texas three years ago, I have met another 70+ moms who are on this home-school joy-ride and I still haven’t met another “education degree” in the bunch!
I have met countless women on this journey. I read somewhere that in Texas alone, there are over 400,000 students homeschooling! I met two moms in my area that have used Texas Virtual Academy and have enjoyed it, but I don’t even know if that counts as homeschooling, since there is online attendance, there is a teacher assigned, and it is run by the state. I have learned in the last three years that Texas is a great state to be a home-school family. There are many more resources available to homeschoolers now, as well as support groups and co-ops that share teaching responsibilities.
I thought I would give you 5 Pros and Cons to homeschooling (and I polled several ladies in my home-school group to help):
Pros (Our top 5 favorite reasons for homeschooling)
- Freedom- common theme with almost every mom I asked!
- Family identity- keeping our family close
- Money savings
- My personal favorite: Homeschool Group Fieldtrip Coordinator!
Cons (Some of the challenging parts of homeschooling)
- My home is never truly clean!
- We are still paying taxes but we have to cover our own educational expenses
- Having energy at the end of the day for hubby’s return
- UPS afternoon deliveries may find us still in our pj’s! (Oh wait, we like doing school in our jammies!)
- This is a dusk til’ dawn job!
I think the recurring theme amongst homeschooling moms is freedom! We love having the freedom to choose our curriculum, teaching methods, important themes, and being able to focus on what is important to us.
We also love the flexibility to have sick days without doctor visits, rabbit trails that take us all day, schedule art and music lessons during the school day, and pick up and take a trip with daddy just because we can!
Family identity is such a big one with homeschooling families. It’s more than just wanting to be with our kids. We want to be the primary influence in our children’s lives. We want to stress our family motto (ours: People are always more important than things!), and days spent baking or planning nutritious family meals are all part of that identity.
One of the neatest things I have found here in Texas is an abundance of home-school book sales! So the money savings for our family has been huge. Most of the time, I find textbooks at used sales for a couple bucks. Then I go to Mardel’s and purchase the accompanying workbooks on their “back to school” 20% off sale! This year we are using an online math curriculum called Aleks that we just LOVE! We are currently doing the 2 month free-trial. So, most of the time, we are schooling our children for under $100 for the year! And, we don’t have to buy school uniforms, school-specific supplies (like 4 boxes of Kleenex and 2 tubs of Clorox wipes)!
But my MOST favorite thing about homeschooling is our home-school group’s Field trip Coordinator. She plans our field trips for the year, works with the locations to give us outstanding home-school rates, and the kids have a blast going in a big group to wherever! Last year’s all-time favorite trip was to Legoland!
There is really no reason to expound on the CONS, because obviously they weren’t insurmountable enough to abandon the idea of homeschooling!
Lisa Pfeifer is a mom of 4 blessings. She is passionate about her faith in Christ, cooking good, healthy food and having lots of fun with her friends and family. She loves homeschooling and is more than happy to answer your questions about it.