I get asked the question, “Why do you homeschool?” A LOT. I usually take the easy route and briefly describe how unhappy Edward was at various schools over a four year period until we had an ‘Aha!’ moment and realized that it wasn’t a particular school that was the problem but the entire concept of ‘school’ – traditional schooling anyway, which was all that was on offer in the places we lived. I then go on to say that I found out about this thing called ‘homeschooling’ and thought it sounded great, that it IS great, in fact so great, we decided it would be best for our younger daughter as well and feel lucky that she’s never had to go to school at all.
BUT, I leave out lot of the other reasons why we homeschool; the way for instance that it’s practically a spiritual experience, as is parenting for me in lots of ways. The link I’ve posted from ‘mothering.com’ talks about a lot of the other reasons we homeschool. The authors boil down the reason they homeschool to 3 things – Freedom of Body, Mind and Spirit and what this means in a homeschooling context. We are having some issues at home at the moment balancing one family member’s freedom with another’s but that’s great practice for life! On the one hand we encourage our kids to feel very entitled to free expression and to have their opinions seriously heard and often heeded. But sometimes we find it hard to have our lives so dominated by two such little people even if their desires are perfectly reasonable! Our family life sometimes feels like 4 adults sharing a house together, in the way I used to do as a student and in the early years of my working life. And sometimes that feels hard! I didn’t much love it then and I thought there should be some perks to parenting – like your kids doing what they’re told! But since we don’t believe this is right (well, in some things like manners but not in most others) we have to accept the consequences – constant negotiation and swallowing of adult ego to really be fair and right in our parenting – to allow as much freedom for everyone in our family to fulfil their destinies.
Do you homeschool for somewhat spiritual reasons?