Why are you doing what you are doing?
It’s a good question for so many areas of our lives, isn’t it?
Specifically today I want to write about why we homeschool. The reasons for homeschooling are as varied as the families that do it.
Some choose to homeschool because they believe the schools around them are failing the children. Some because they are afraid of what the children are exposed to. You may homeschool because your child has special needs, or your child has had bad experiences in a traditional classroom. You may want to expose your child to more and varied experiences. Maybe the arts are vitally important to one family, or crazy work schedules necessitate another straying off the regular path.
Why are you homeschooling your child? What do you hope to accomplish? What is your end goal? How will you know you have achieved what you wanted?
What your why is, should determine your how.
No one method, curriculum, philosophy, or co-op will work for everyone. And that’s okay. It doesn’t have to!
If you don’t know what your why is though, you may waste a lot of time trying out all sorts of different things and at the end wonder, “What happened?”
By taking some time to think about these things now you save time and stress later. What is important to your family? What are your goals for your family? What makes your family uniquely you?
Most of these questions can’t be answered the first time they are asked, but you should be asking them. Take some quiet time to sit and think about them. Write down your thoughts. Talk to the rest of the family and ask the questions. What do you think is important to our family? What brings you joy? We can learn so much from our kids. It’s their lives we are talking about here, they should have some input!
Maybe your family will come up with something as formal as a mission statement, or as simple as a slogan, or a saying that suits you all. It could be a poem, a verse, or even a song. Something that is easy to remember and remind each other can be very helpful in keeping things on track.
Your family goals may be completely different from every other family around you. But knowing what you hope to accomplish will not only help you in determining how to homeschool, but also what extra activities you choose to put your children in, if any.
Why bother to sign up for a million team sports, if your family really prefers to spend your weekends hiking or biking in the mountains? Maybe your family’s time and money would be better spent on art lessons, music lessons, climbing equipment, or whatever floats your kayak. (It is Durango, after all.) Your family maybe better served seeking out specific mentors to help extend a child’s learning in a area of interest not covered in any textbook.
Homeschooling is automatically thinking outside of the box. Living this life is out of the ordinary. Make it extraordinary by knowing your whys and aligning the hows to those goals.