I had to force myself not to laugh. I was asked this question previously from another mom. Wow! It blew my mind again that some people think that is the reason why people homeschool. It just opened my eyes to the fact that many people don't understand homeschooling and have no idea why people homeschool. They have just never been exposed to it. It is such an unfamiliar thing to them. So, I decided to make a list of some of the reasons I homeschool. And "it's just easier to not pile all my kids into the car" is not one of them. I actually don't know anyone that homeschools for that reason ;)
1. I have a passion for teaching children! I love the challenge of finding ways to help them understand concepts and learn. It is my hobby! (I have been known to read math textbooks late at night in bed.)
2. I can give my children more individual attention than they would receive in a classroom of 32 kids. Yes, that is the class size where we live in California. I know my children and their learning styles year after year. Each new year at school, a new teacher would have to try to understand my child and help them learn. I have it a lot easier with a 4:1 ratio.
3. I can skip over material my children know and slow down when they have a hard time. My daughter already knew how to spell words on a spelling list, so she didn't need to do worksheets practising those words or to take a test on them. However, my daughter struggled with her math facts, so we had to approach them various different ways until she was able to memorize them.
4. I want my children to develop a love for learning. We can really delve into studying a topic and explore their interests which I believe helps them enjoy learning. I think school teachers would love to do more of this, but they have to focus on tests instead.
5. We can get more done in less time. We don't have to spend time lining up, waiting on the whole group to finish a math problem or doing a pointless worksheet just to use up time. We can usually finish our schoolwork in 3 hours (I have younger children) and we have the rest of the day to learn more and play.
6. Since we spend less time on "school," we have more time for play and extracurricular classes. My daughter took a Spanish class, a group tennis class, a nature exploration, and an American history hands-on project class this last year. They have also taken pottery classes, painting lessons, PE classes, science classes, soccer team and creative writing classes. We also get to do many field trips with groups. I pile my kids in the car many times a day, not just to take them to school and back ;).
7. My kids spend more time with their siblings and more playtime with friends their age. They don't get to sit next to friends in a classroom all day (where you can't talk to the person next to you), but they do get to play with friends at the park, at nature classes or on field trips.
8. I get to learn along with them! Last year, I learned more about Lewis and Clark than I ever knew. We read their journals and it was fascinating. I learned more about Benjamin Franklin. I love catching the excitement my children have about these topics. How lucky am I! It is so fun to learn!
9. I hope that we can avoid some of the attitudes that some children have in school. Some of the ideas I personally like to avoid are: "I can only play with kids that are in he 5th grade" and "learning is boring". I also want to be the one to determine how they are exposed to sex and bad influences.
10. My husband and I feel good about homeschooling at this point in our children's lives. We have prayed about what is best for them and for our family.
I hope that this helps more people understand homeschooling. I would love to read someone write 10 reasons why they send their kids to school. I think they could have 10 really good reasons as well. I think it is helpful to understand advantages and disadvantages of both. Then, I can adjust and make up for the disadvantage. For example, if I feel socializing with kids their own age is an advantage of school, I can make sure to plan playdates and parkdays with kids with the same ages at my children. If I sent my kids to school and I felt no art classes in school is a disadvantage and that was really important to me, I could teach my kids art after school in a class or at home.
I love deliberate people who do things because they have thought about it, not just because that is what they are used to or that is what everyone else is doing. I could just homeschool because I was homeschooled and that is what I am used to. I do think that plays a part in our decision (because I had a great experience being homeschooled), but we have also analyzed and decided what is best for our family.