Reasons for Homeschooling

So, there have been a bunch of studies showing the reasons that people choose to homeschool. These reasons get quoted a lot in articles.

But I have two questions in this regard:

1) Why don’t these questionnaires offer the choice of: “Flexibility and freedom to meet everyone’s needs”. How about the choice of, “Family closeness”? And what about the choice of, “To have more joy, meaning and happiness in our lives”?  There are so many good reasons to homeschool that never get mentioned. I suppose, that one could assume these reasons as a result of the choices indicated on the survey. But, really, one would have to think a little bit before coming to that conclusion. I doubt many people get that far after reading “concern about the environment of other schools” or “to provide religious or moral instruction”.

2) Why do parents choose to send their children to public school? If I had to guess the number one reason, “Because that’s just what people do.” or “We don’t have any other choice.” Nobody homeschools for the former reason, and very few people homeschool for the latter (and usually as a result of the public schools totally botching things up). In my estimation, any reason to homeschool is better than those reasons. Even if I don’t agree with the reason or the ultimate how. At least homeschooling parents are standing up and making a conscious choice. (I read an article somewhere that, on average, people spend more time researching which car to buy than the best way to educate their children.) Of course, not saying all public school parents are like this. Of course not. However, the percentage of public school parents who choose public school because they have seriously considered other options and studied the validity of teaching methods at the school down the street is significantly less than 100%.

So, I’d like to see a two new polls: 1) A homeschool poll that has more options to check off. And 2) a public school poll that includes “Because we have no choice” and “Just cuz that’s what happens at age 5, right?”


8 Responses to “Reasons for Homeschooling”

  1. Anna Says:

    I think you are missing one of the main reasons people school traditionally….two-income families.

  2. Tammy Says:

    Ya, I was thinking that fell under ‘we have no choice.’ Does it not?

  3. Sunnymom Says:

    I agree that many parents choose PS because it is the default. They don’t know another way, they can’t imagine anything else, and since their own creativity, imagination, and courage got sucked out through a straw during their own PS experience, they no longer have the ability to understand the possibilities of homeschooling. Parents have to be deprogrammed, not just the kids, and in many cases it takes a near tragedy for parents to jolt out of the rut and begin to consider other educational methods.

    I have some friends who are real estate agents, and while it is said that schools are a major reason people move into certain neighborhoods, what it really means is that the people asked “Are the schools in the area good?” and the agents says “Oh yes- they’re great!” and that is the end of that discussion. They don’t visit the schools, talk to teachers, or get references from parents in the area whose children attend those schools. All things that most of us do for major purchases, employment opportunities, or choosing an OB/GYN. This is a very curious state of affairs, IMO.

    My reasons for homeschooling change daily. No poll they invent can keep up with the reasons we chose HSing. 😀

  4. Colleen Says:

    Actually, I do homeschool because I felt I had no other acceptable choice. I obsessively researched all of the educational alternatives for my child and joyfully concluded that the best, and in my opinion, only viable option for us is homeschooling.
    Love your blog!

  5. Belleville50 Says:

    I initially sent my older children to school because I was struggling with babies. I had four children in just under six years and very little help from my partner. I just couldn’t devote the time to teaching them.

    Later, I met with fierce opposition from the extended family who thought only undesirables did this, in order to build up their criminal cartels or some such vague irrational nonsense.

    Finally, with the children suffering at school from bullies, my seven year old daughter saying she wanted to be a stripper like the pussycat dolls when she grew up and worrying about her weight, my boys learning to swear and treat each other rudely, I knew something had to be done. So after too many years I followed my heart and withdrew them from school and now our family is beginning to function the way I always felt it should.

    I really can’t separate academics and learning from daily living. I think doing so is the first error of the school system.

    So for me, I had to develop the personal strength to stand up to my family and my community before I could home school. I never ever had any doubt that it would be the best way for us. The family have slowly grown more supportive as they see how improved the children are.

  6. Dana Says:

    Polls are always like that. I homeschool for different reasons now than when we started. Those reasons are still there, but they have matured.

    And it isn’t because of the failings of the public school system. That actually was never an issue for us and I don’t know that it is the best reason to put out there. It makes homeschooling reactionary. I prefer to see homeschooling as an extension of “the child’s first teacher” concept. Public school is an option, but it isn’t the natural one. Homeschooling is.

  7. Summer Says:

    For the 2 income families some could be “Because we choose to have no choice”, or “How could we give up the brand new SUV and the flat screen TV just to homeschool our kids?”

  8. sunniemom Says:

    I know a woman who gave up HSing after a couple of years- she just couldn’t stand being with her kids all day, and she wanted to just be the ‘Mom’ and not ‘The Teacher’.

    So now what does she do? She opened a daycare in her home. The words that come to mind to express how I feel about this are not allowed on network television. 😦

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