We’re Alternative Education Rebels

We're Alternative Education Rebels

We're Alternative Education Rebels: Why our family decided to try homeschooling.Surprise! I don’t believe I’ve officially announced that we are bailing out on educational institutions and fully exploring my inability to facilitate craft projects.

Homeschooling!

James, age 5, is of the kindergarten age. So instead of going through the ritual of sending my darling baby off to school, I decided to keep him all to myself and try to educate him that way.

I could not get a good picture to save my life on our first day of school. There are so many funny things about this picture I can’t even begin to explain…

Good luck to me, right???

I brace myself a little bit every time I announce this. While a few people accept this method of education as completely normal, many respond with astonishment, skepticism, admiration, fear, confusion, pity and/or wonder.

So I have to explain and defend myself to some extent. But it’s okay. I had to get over my own skepticism to begin with. You see, I married a homeschooler. If it had been any other way, I probably wouldn’t have even considered it. But after years of hearing him explain his upbringing and advocating for this odd educational technique, I decided to do at least look into it. And I never really looked back.

It was already a huge step for me to leave the workforce when I had kids, but the homeschool thing just takes me to a whole new level of domestication. It’s rather frightening.

So why, you ask. WHY? 

It’s not because I hate public schools or think they’re going to ruin my children’s lives. I love a lot of teachers, I admire their work, and I think my kids would be fine in a classroom. I excelled in public school myself.

It’s not because I want to smother my children and hide everything evil from their eyes and ears for as long as possible—although I have to admit I’m glad their exposure to topics too mature for them will be limited for at least a while longer. So call me overprotective if you want, but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion.

It’s not because I’ve had this lifelong dream to sing songs and draw rainbows and butterflies all over my house, reliving some lost childhood fantasy.

It’s not because I think homeschooling is the end all be all, superior method of education for everyone and that my children are better than everyone else’s and anyone who thinks otherwise can take a hike.

So here’s why I’m choosing to homeschool, although I don’t think I can fully explain it:

There are several good education options for my kids in my community. However, this option seems the best—for us —at the current time. I can provide my kids with a lot of individualized attention, help them learn at their own pace with their own style, explore their interests, and foster a love of learning. I don’t know that we’re going to do this for the entire K-12 stretch, but I think it’s a good place to start.

Homeschool is an extension of our parenting. We can seamlessly blend our family’s values with everything the kids are learning. This isn’t just about being able to read the Bible or pray together during school hours. This is about talking about heart issues, life’s challenges and the real world in every context (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Kids grow up fast and I want to take every opportunity I can to help them excel in life—not just in academics and work, but in relationships and character. There are some wonderful teachers out there who can help kids in this way to an extent, but nobody does it better than a parent.

Oh yeah, and as I mentioned, Marc was homeschooled and I think he turned out pretty good. Plus if this just doesn’t work (as homeschooling doesn’t work for everyone), we fortunately have other options.

Isn’t it great that we have options to help our kids learn and grow?!! I think so. We’re trying this one first.

Now I know you might be thinking things like, “But aren’t you worried they won’t get enough socialization? I could never do that, I’m not that organized. I couldn’t be around my kids all day. Have you been trained as a teacher? Aren’t you afraid they’ll miss something? Aren’t they going to turn out naive and unprepared for life? How could you possibly teach while you have a toddler running around?”

Sheesh, it’s just kindergarten. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Update: I wrote a follow-up to this post here

Hey, I'm Gina!

I’m a wife and mom of five, with kids ages toddler to teenager. I’m created in the image of God, made whole in Jesus. In this online space, I help others overcome the overwhelm all of us face when navigating this messy, beautiful journey we call life. Want to join us?

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5 Comments

  1. Christine

    Arg! Here I sit, about to write a post about what I'm going to do with our youngest this year for school. Our school got rid of half-day kindergarten, and I am not a fan of all day. Homeschooling is one of my options. My mind changes by the hour, and this post took me back to the homeschooling decision. I may not make the call until the registration papers are due in February.

    Reply
  2. Christine

    Ha! Suppose I should comment on your actual post. 🙂

    Your last line is perfect. It's just kindergarten. Have fun!

    Reply
  3. Gina @ Holding the Distaff

    Hi Christine! So glad some people are still reading after my hiatus…I am so with you on the all-day kindergarten thing. We have that in our area too, I forgot to mention it. I have a hard time seeing my son thriving at this age being forced to sit most of the day!

    Reply
  4. Heather

    Congratulations on this decision. I have four boys (age 6 to 15) and we homeschool. It is one of the most rewarding, yet most difficult and discouraging things to do, especially for perfectionists and people who always judge how well you are doing compared to everyone else (talking about myself here). We moms can be our own worst enemy, harder on ourselves then anyone else. I know you did not ask for this advice but I am sharing it before the ‘I cannot do this. What was I thinking’ doubts hit you. You can do it, because God gave those kids to you, and all you have to really worry about is if you are doing your best to love and raise your kids as He has called you to. Education is part of living and it will happen as you go. So do not worry too much about ‘doing it all’ according to some artificial time-table. Just enjoy the journey with your kids and trust God to weave it all together into something great. If you are homeschooling because you know it is what He called you to do right now then He will bless it. Congrats and God bless.

    Reply
    • ginapoirier

      Thank you! I appreciate all the support I can get! I wrote this about a year and a half ago and I have not regretted the decision one bit 🙂

      Reply

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