My dear daughter,
Here we are, about to end our second year of homeschooling. We found our groove this year, and, for the most part, we’ve had fun learning together. I’m happy it is still a good fit for our family.
I know you sometimes long to go to “regular school”. You see children playing at recess and you’d love to join them. The grass seems greener on their playground. You don’t know all the reasons why we choose to homeschool you and you can’t understand some of them yet but let me try to explain anyway.
First and foremost, homeschooling aligns with our most important value: Freedom.
Freedom to teach you as we see fit. We determine the curriculum. We choose the books we read. We are still the ones who spend the most time with you. We remain your primary influence (for better and for worse as we are far from perfect). We are not bound to someone else’s rules, someone else’s curriculum, someone else’s value system.
Homeschooling aligns with one of our favorite quotes:
“Above all else, to thyne own self be true”. Shakespeare
Freedom to determine our schedule. We decide how we spend our most precious commodity in life: our time.
- We decide when we wake up.
We are free to sleep in. Everyday, you get as much sleep as your body needs. There is much we can still improve on as parents, but we get points for that.
I can’t even imagine having to wake you up and scramble to get out the door before 8 am every morning.
It’s not even that we’re sleepy heads. (You and I are up before 7 am on most days.)
It’s not that we couldn’t do it.
It’s that we really really don’t want to do it and we made a choice that allows us not to.
Homeschooling aligns with our desire to never require an alam clock.
- We decide when we travel.
This year we’ll probably be on the road (or more precisely in the air since we travel by plane) about 13 weeks. That’s 3 months. 1/4th of a year. We are currently on a 9-week long adventure. The map shows that, technically, we’ll be going 1.5 times around the world. We are stopping in Cincinnati, Ohio; New York city; Italy; Reunion Island; Paris; Los Angeles.
In August we’ll go to Australia and in October we’ll most likely revisit Japan.
Your dad and I already traveled a lot for work before you were born. We didn’t want to change that. We didn’t want to wait for school vacations. We didn’t want to ask for someone else’s permission. We are free to pick up and go whenever.
Homeschooling aligns with our desire to always travel as a family. (And oh the places you’ll go!)
- We decide when (and what) we eat.
Because you’re home with us, it is much easier to feed you a healthy diet; there are fewer external influences. We can eat as a family and we don’t have to rush through our meals. You don’t have to choose between eating and playing; you have ample time for both.
- We decide when we exercise.
First thing in the morning, we workout: I follow fitness videos on youtube and then grapple with your dad. You sometimes join us on the mat or you go off exploring in the yard or ride your scooter around the lane to work off an appetite. What a great way to start the day!
Homeschooling aligns with our desire to lead a healthy lifestyle.
- We decide where we go.
We can attend library storytime every week even though it is set during school hours. We can ditch everything else and go to the beach whenever. We can buy tickets for movie matinees and skip the crowds. That would be reason enough to homeschool don’t you think?
Freedom to choose whom we associate with.
“Birds of a feather flock together”
We had you memorize this quote because we believe it teaches a very important message: we are all influenced by our environment and by the people around us; so we must choose carefully.
Right now, we still get to decide who you hang out with. We get to be there and monitor interactions and behaviors. We get to address issues on the spot. There are fewer missed opportunities for learning life’s lessons.
Homeschooling aligns with our desire to be intentional with our relationships.
Homeschooling is not the right option for everyone and for many it is not even an option.
I feel grateful that we’re able to choose this path and hope we can continue all the way through. We do have hard days. We do butt heads. I could use an extra dose of patience on occasion; you could use an attitude adjustment at times but the pros certainly outweigh the cons.
If you ever start doubting this, come back to this letter.
Your mom, who loves you (and taught you how to read 😉)