As December rolls around, many families begin to feel homeschool burnout. This could happen for any number of reasons. The stress from trying to do too much during the holidays could be one. Perhaps the change in the weather is another contributing factor. Whatever the reason, it can happen to the best of us. Unfortunately, a potential end result of this could be considering to send your children back to school. I speak from experience; I used to contemplate enrolling them, and once I did send them back for a while- a decision I've regretted ever since. Since then, however, I've made a commitment, God willing, to homeschool my ten remaining school-age children until graduation. I know it won't be easy, but I truly believe God has called me to this. So, in order to prepare myself for those times of doubting I have, in addition to prayer, compiled a list of the top ten reasons I homeschool. I could probably come up with a lot more, but I'll start small.
1. I can teach them what I want them to learn, and they can learn what they want to. We can pray, read and study the Bible, and say "Jesus" without repercussions. The school my children were attending would not allow God to be considered an authority figure and saying "Christmas" and "Easter" was completely taboo.
2. I don't have to report to anyone when my children are sick. I understand the reasoning behind it, but when you've got ten sick kids, the last thing you'll think of is calling them off.
3. You don't have to worry about "unexcused absences." When I was expecting my ninth child, I used to have to go in for fetal monitoring twice a week. I would usually take my daughter with me, and then take her right to afternoon kindergarten. One day the doctors were concerned about the baby during the monitoring, so I had to stay longer. I called the school and explained to them that I was under observation and my daughter would be absent that day because she was with me, and they proceeded to tell me that it would be an unexcused absence because it wasn't my daughter's appointment.
4. No need to worry about getting a whole slew of kids dressed, fed, and out the door. Every morning would be
a mad rush of searching for shoes, backpacks, homework, hairbrushes, you name it. Even if we laid it out the night before, things would still, without fail, be missing.
5. No walking to and from school in ridiculous weather. Our school district doesn't bus, and we only have one car, so I used to have to bundle up the baby and toddlers and take them out in single digit temperatures and thunderstorms to take the kids back and forth to school.
6. There is no "crazy time" when everyone comes home and is just nuts! I used to hate when my kids came home from school. Not because I didn't want to see them but because they would literally act crazy! They would be yelling, fighting, and throwing all sorts of papers at me, which I would then have to go through. Which brings me to:
8. No piles and piles of papers to go through! Fundraisers, picture days, papers to sign, flyers for a hundred different events to try to keep track of...I'm getting tired just writing about it.
9. No homework! Even though all of our work is home work, I don't have several kids trying to get help with homework all at once when I have no idea what they learned all day. Another problem was my oldest daughter's algebra homework. We would have to sit together for over an hour every night doing her work because her teacher didn't explain things clearly, and the textbook was just as bad. I once asked her if the teacher goes over the homework with them, and she said all the teacher did was walk through the aisles to see if it looked like they did it. She never went over anything and would have no idea whether or not the kids understood it until the test. (Too late!)
10. You can follow your own schedule. If you want to school year-round (which we do), you can. If you prefer a more traditional schedule, go for it! If you and your kids need a break, by all means, take one!
Just writing this list has, again, made me realize how blessed we are to have this opportunity. Enjoy this special time with your children because they'll only be this age once, and someday you'll look fondly back on these days and think about how much you were able to accomplish through His grace.