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Why We Home School Our Kids.

Category: This is What Happens When Life Happens to Us Published: Tuesday, 26 August 2014 Written by The Kiwi

We are radical! Well, not so much anymore. For the record, I thought home schooling was the best way to go years and years before I got married and had children. I mean, c'mon. The teacher/student ratio for a start is streets ahead of a school classroom. And I had been a primary school teacher. I knew how it was. As hard as you try, some kids just get left behind, or remain unchallenged. I just knew that even the "average" kids had so much more in them to give that was just not coming out!

Maybe I was just a crap teacher.


Still, when I raised the idea of home schooling our children with my wife, she was enthusiastically...against the idea.

"I couldn't do that."

"I'm not a teacher."

"I'd need a break."

And whatever other excuse pops into a person's head when confronted with the mere suggestion that they take the home schooling plunge.

Over time, however, I wore her down...

No, that's not actually how it happened. Instead, I began reading and listening to some of Jeremy Pryor's material and sharing it with Paula. Jeremy is a voice encouraging the ReFamily-ing of families, specifically from a Biblical Christian point of view. His vision resonated with and inspired both of us, but perhaps the most incisive point he made (for us) was his description of what has happened to the modern Western family. Instead of families being the grounding and centre of people's lives...

[w]ork transferred from the family to the corporation, fun from the family to the media, education from the family to the school system, protection and provision from the family to the government, and spiritual life from the family to the local church. (Family-based Disciple-making (April 20, 2011))

And we thought, 'That's not what we want.' And so as a part of that, we home school.

But it's more than that. Our decision to go this route is based on positive reasons

- our kids can work at their level, higher or lower;

- we get to see their learning first-hand; we can take advantage of resources around the city and meet with other home schooling families during the week;

- we are able to be far more flexible;

- the kids are exposed to different aged people instead of their own age for the majority of their week;

- it's less expensive than enrolling in the school system;

- we can introduce them to real world scenarios far more easily;

- and so on.

Now, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that we are hardcore school system haters, but we've seen far too many positive family role models who send their kids to school and have them graduate with nary a problem. We are not anti-school. It may even come to the point where we think sending our kids to school is the best thing for them!

Nor are we champions of unschooling. We do think of our children's education as bigger than school work, (and I personally like a lot about the idea of unschooling) but we enrolled in a school down south as part of their distance education arm, and follow the State (and National) in some people's books, we're not even home schooling at all!

We're definitely on the conservative end of home schooling. But even with all the structure we've surrounded our kids' learning with, there is a huge amount of freedom and fun (as well as stress and periods of questioning) and, if I'm honest, I find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to educate their children any other way.

Why do we homeschool our kids?

Because it's awesome!

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