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Reasons I Decided to Homeschool My Daughter

Melissa maintains four blogs and enjoys sharing lifestyle tips on how to live healthy and happily.

Coloring Activity to Learn Anatomy of the Digestive System

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A Brief History of Homeschooling

A few years ago, I made the decision to homeschool my daughter, and I chose to do so for several reasons. I thoroughly researched homeschooling in order to make the right choice for my daughter, Sam.

We learn quite a bit from looking to the past when planning our future and, historically, formal education is fairly new. Up until the 1850’s, the majority of children were homeschooled, or received no education at all.

Formal education was only available to those who could afford it, which in those times, was a very small number of people. Obviously, homeschooling worked. Colonial America would not have survived and evolved into the civilization we have today if only an elite few were formally educated.

Interestingly, Native Americans educated their children with homeschooling and apprenticeships. When formal schooling was introduced, the Native Americans emphatically objected.

Throughout history there have been proponents of homeschooling. In 1964, John Caldwell Holt wrote a book entitled How Children Fail condemning what we now call traditional education.

Holt, a teacher himself, believed children want to learn but they want to do it through experience. He thought children would only learn what was necessary to gain approval of teachers and other adults in the formal setting.

This is the book we use to guide our homeschooling.

This is the book we use to guide our homeschooling.

Thinking and experiential learning had no value to the students; producing the correct answers was all that mattered.

He also thought students may be afraid to answer questions because they might be wrong and be humiliated, causing them to avoid challenging situations.

Ultimately, the students would become conditioned to see failure as defeat instead of as a learning experience.

Holt wasn't the only person who felt this way, Raymond and Dorothy Moore also believed that formal education was detrimental to a child’s ability to learn.

The Moores took things a bit further. They found over 8,000 studies on the mental and physical development of children in a traditional school setting and published their findings.

The results indicated that formal education in a brick-and-mortar school setting not only impeded a child’s ability to learn, but that it was also harmful to their mental, social and physical development.

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My Reasons For Homeschooling

After finding all the above information, I began to think about my own experience with traditional schooling. It wasn't great.

I was a social outcast and although I loved learning, I disliked the classroom setting immensely.

I would have preferred to pursue my education on my own through reading and performing experiments.

Grades made things very stressful. My parents were satisfied with A’s, B’s and C’s but every report card involved a lecture on how they knew I could do better.

Having Fun With It!

why-i-chose-homeschooling-for-my-daughters-education

Needless to say, I didn’t want my daughter to have the same experience I had. But that wasn’t my primary reason for choosing to homeschool her.

I realized I didn’t want someone else teaching my daughter. Why did I have a child if I didn’t want to teach her myself and watch her grow and experience life?

A stranger teaching my child just didn’t sit very well with me.

Our grammar curriculum.

Our grammar curriculum.

Our spelling curriculum.

Our spelling curriculum.

Safe Environment for Learning

My daughter's being able to learn at her own pace is another reason I chose homeschooling. There are no other students to distract my attention, which allows me to focus on her and the lesson at hand.

Sam is the center of attention when we’re learning something and that facilitates bonding between us as well.

This one-on-one attention will provide her with the safest learning environment I can provide. She won’t fear giving the wrong answer or asking what may be a “stupid” question.

I also have the time to work with her ADHD. Instead of forcing her to sit still, she can fidget if she needs to while she reads to me aloud.

She can get up and walk around if she can't sit still any longer, and come back to her lesson when she's ready. I've found this makes it much easier to teach her, especially when it comes to subjects like math.

To me, homeschooling represents a sort of freedom in her education. She is free to learn what she wants, when she wants. I know I would have retained much more than I did if I had been able to learn that way.

Nature Lessons Are Easy!

Sand hill cranes in our backyard make excellent science lessons, they helped facilitate a discussion on conserving nature as well.

Sand hill cranes in our backyard make excellent science lessons, they helped facilitate a discussion on conserving nature as well.

Excellent Reading Material on Homeschooling

I recently became a stay at home mom. I was burned out at work, so I decided I needed time to regroup.

Because of my career, Sam and I really have never gotten along, or gotten to know each other. I was getting to the point of asking myself why I had her in the first place.

However, the longer I stayed at home the more I realized I really want to get to know my daughter and homeschooling will give me that opportunity. Not only will I get to know her, but I’ll be the one to help her find her way in life.

The more I thought about this, the more I realized going to a traditional school will take that experience away from me.

As a parent, my job is to guide her and help her find her way to a fulfilling life. I don’t want anyone else teaching Sam their values and morals. I want her to learn what values and morals are important to us, her parents.

Spiritual Reasons

This leads me to our spirituality. As a pagan family, discrimination and intolerance is a way of life. I can’t change the opinions of everyone in the world, but I can teach Sam how to conduct herself when she is faced with this situation.This would be difficult if she were to attend a formal school since values and morality permeate all aspects of life.

Homeschooling will give me the opportunity to teach Sam respect for Mother Nature and how imperative balance is in our lives. Paganism and spirituality will be the foundation of her education which will open her mind to learning new things and foster a lifelong love of knowledge.

Soft-shelled turtles are indigenous to Florida. This little guy provided a lesson on Florida's wildlife, in our own backyard!

Soft-shelled turtles are indigenous to Florida. This little guy provided a lesson on Florida's wildlife, in our own backyard!

Learning to write a sentence.

Learning to write a sentence.

The flexibility of homeschooling will allow Sam to study subjects based on what interests her most. Finding her interests early will be invaluable to her future and provide us with the opportunity to find ways of integrating other, less interesting subjects into activities she finds enjoyable.

We can go to the park one day and learn about physics while playing on the seesaw or play an educational video game that teaches her hand-eye coordination while she learns logical thinking skills. There are a myriad of options open to us.

Traditional school teaches facts and figures and while these things are important, it is also vital to learn how to put those facts and figures to practical use. Learning through experience kills two birds with one stone making learning that much easier. It will also give Sam a better understanding of abstract concepts.

why-i-chose-homeschooling-for-my-daughters-education

Ultimately, I chose homeschooling because teaching Sam and watching her learn about life is exciting to me.

Finding new and innovative ways of teaching her new things will not only be fun, but educational for me as well as her. That is being a parent, in my opinion. Teaching and learning with your child is the rewarding part of being a parent.

I don’t want to give that reward away to someone else. Call me selfish, but I want to keep this fun, adventurous experience for myself!

© Copyright 2012 - 2015 Melissa "Daughter of Maat" Flagg ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Comments

Dr Brad Kayden from Atlanta, GA / Chicago, IL on March 07, 2017:

My wife began homeschooling this past year after my daughter enter 1st grade and became a totally different child. After several weeks wait hoping things would change, they only became worse. I find many of the reasons you state for homeschooling valid and worth serious consideration by parents, like we were, suffering the negative effects school can have on children and on family home life. Homeschooling is not for the majority of people but how much happier, I find, are those in the long run that commit to it. Thanks again for sharing!

MacAllister Bishop from Bonne Terre, MO on January 18, 2015:

We are a Pagan homeschooling family as well. Great article! I really enjoyed it.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on January 18, 2014:

I haven't been on Hubpages as much anymore, but I'm trying to get back to it as well. I've seen some of your spanish hubs, but I'm sorry to say I haven't had a chance to read them, but they are on my list. I do need to start Sam on some Spanish lessons, so I'll be checking them out soon! :)

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on January 05, 2014:

Just wanted to stop by and say that I hope it's going well with you and your little one! I've gone back to teaching private school but only part time; I really want to TUTOR kiddos from homeschool families and teach them Spanish. :) (So..eh..not blogging as much and am looking to write more hubs on the Spanish stuff. Hehe.)

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on October 21, 2013:

Thanks MysticMoonlight! For me it was an easy choice, but for many people, it's a bit more difficult. I'm sure you and your children will enjoy homeschooling if that's what you decide. I know my daughter and I love it!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on October 21, 2013:

Thank you Wacky Mummy!

Wacky Mummy from UK on October 20, 2013:

Great hub, it's always lovely to hear some so passionate about home schooling (or home education here in the UK :))

MysticMoonlight on October 06, 2013:

I am currently considering homeschooling two of my children and I'm so thankful to have found this Hub. Many thanks to you.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on July 25, 2012:

I agree! Recess and lunch are how long? They really don't get a whole lot of situational socialization or interaction with different personalities since their peers are still learning as well. We really learn how to interact with others through our interactions with adults!

Kids can't sit still for long periods and I really don't know why schools make them try. They have short attention spans for a reason, and because of it they tend to learn very quickly because everything is so interesting! I'm definitely a visual person and I learn best by doing something, or watching it be done. My daughter has to be completely hands on, she's tough to teach actually lol.

If you do have any questions I'll be happy to answer them if I can. I've found this process is really trial and error. We're doing unschooling because of her ADHD, and so far it seems to be working.

Steadman11 on July 24, 2012:

My parents are also worried about socialization. But, honestly, how much socialization do they REALLY get in school? Once they hit 3rd grade or so, they are spending close to 7 hours a day sitting in a desk. Who do they socialize with? Usually no one. They are reading their books, learning their vocabulary, doing assignments, etc. The only real socialization they get in school is recess and lunch. And who really believes that having a child sit still for that long in one day is PRODUCTIVE? I would rather spend that time letting my boys learn by having 'hands on' experiences. I mean, when you cook, do you know a new recipe by reading about it, or actually trying to make it? I'll certainly let you know how things go....and will probably have some questions too! Good luck with your parents!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on July 24, 2012:

Thank you Steadman! I agree the test results were also an interesting point when I was doing my research as well. About the socialization thing, it makes sense simply because we don't normally spend 6 to 8 hours with our peers. Usually we have contact with different age groups and backgrounds etc. I really like the idea of the one-on-one interaction with my daughter as well. They won't get that at a public, or even a private school. I'm so glad you convinced your hubby to go with homeschooling! My hubby was for it from the beginning, it's our parents that are against it, mainly for the whole socialization thing. Go figure lol

Thanks so much for your comment!! Let me know how your first day of homeschooling goes!!

Steadman11 on July 24, 2012:

Great hub! It's great to see the positive impact that homeschooling has had on your relationship with your daughter. I have always wanted to homeschool my children for many of the same reasons. Another selling point for me, is that when comparing test results and the success of children who homeschool vs children who attend public schools, homeschooled children come out way ahead of the crowd. I want the best for my children and their future's. My husband was completly against homeschooling because of socialization issues, however, after doing a great deal of research, I proved to him that homeschooled children also tend to be more socialized and prepared for the 'real world'. So, now that I have sold him on the idea, we plan on homeschooling next year.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on July 03, 2012:

Thank you Collisa!! I love homeschooling! The more I teach her, the more I realize this was totally the right decision. It's a great feeling to be the one person your child goes to for everything. Even if I don't have the answer, it's fun to look it up together!

Thank you for sharing what a wonderful experience homeschooling you've had, I love hearing about successful homeschoolers.

Columba Smith from California on July 03, 2012:

An excellent, well thought out decision. I homeschool my kids for very similar reasons. I especially connect with your point about teaching her yourself. I have always felt strongly that raising my kids is my responsibility, not someone else's, and I believe that includes their education.

I would never judge anyone for not homeschooling; every family's different. But for my kids it's been the greatest thing.

Love the pictures of your adorable daughter's schoolwork!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 14, 2012:

@jengeurian I wouldn't remove it either. I think that would just make him feel bad. I wouldn't want him to associate any negativity with learning to write and read.

It is so amazing how much these little sponges we call kids can soak up at one time. They multitask way better than I do!! I have found the more things my daughter can learn from one lesson the more she pays attention. I'm so glad your son has come to love learning again. I know he had a rough time in Kindergarten.

Thank you so much for you comment, I always love them.

jengeurian from Elkhart, IN on June 14, 2012:

It is amazing that they find a love for learning when it is done in a way that works for them. I have been working with my kids on and off since my 6 year old finished kindergarten at the end of May, and his whole perspective on learning has changed!

By the end of kindergarten he was reluctant to do anything that involved reading, writing, or that he related to learning. However, he is now more than willing to participate. We have done some measuring, addition, subtraction, number recognition, reading, writing, reading comprehension, PE, health, science, and probably a lot more that I don't even realize...lol. We have done all of the math so far through manipulables. We have made different games of it as we go along. we practiced measuring and number recognition talking about different kinds of snakes and running the tape measure out to how long each type of snake could get to. Then my boys would count and follow along with the numbers on the measuring tape.

My 6 year old has now taken to writing with markers on some of our storage tubs. He doesn't always spell everything correctly, but I just can't bring myself to remove where he wrote I (a heart) and then his sisters name. We talked about not writing on stuff that wasn't given to us to write on, but I just can't bring myself to try to get that off of the storage tub...lol.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 14, 2012:

Thank you Trinity! It's funny, kids seem to learn faster when they choose to do it themselves! My daughter is 6 as well, and she actually ASKS if we're going to homeschool that day (it's usually the weekend!). She picks everything up so quickly. We actually are trying "unschooling" as our curriculum (which really is an uncurriculum lol). She guides the lessons, and she seems to learn several concepts doing one activity. It's AMAZING!

Thank you for your awesome comment, and for reading my hub!

Trinity M on June 14, 2012:

What a great hub! I am home schooling my son too and I agree with you 100%. My son is only 6 and he is reading, writing and doing math at the level of 12 year old children and all of his own volition. He knows every dinosaur that walked the earth, which period it lived in and what it ate and where it lived. Home schooling is not an easy choice but it is wonderful to be in control of your child’s future. Thank you for a very interesting and informative hub and your daughter is beautiful.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 14, 2012:

Awe thank you Angela! So far it has been a very rewarding experience. She's learning how to read so quickly!

Thank you for sharing! And, I'll tell my daughter you thought she was adorable, althought I think she already knows that somehow lol

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 14, 2012:

This is amazing. I commend you for doing what you know is right in your heart. I sent my children to Montessori school for many similar reasons. How could you ever regreat time spent with your children. I would love to share this! My Pleasure! Your daughter is adorable!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 25, 2012:

Thanks jen! Great minds think alike! I thought we might think along similar lines and sometimes reading someone else's similar thoughts can validate your own. I actually re-read it after our chat, and I inspired myself to write another one on my actual experience thus far with homeschooling. I might even get a video of my daughter asking "can we homeschool today?" on a saturday!

jengeurian from Elkhart, IN on May 25, 2012:

Had to come by and read this after our conversations on my hub. I absolutely love it. I can relate to so many of the things mentioned here that it is uncanny. Thank you for all of your contributions and input. Awesome hub.

Suzie from Carson City on April 14, 2012:

Daughter.....Your child's middle name is very unique and Hubby had a great idea. Thank you for the compliment....no accomplishment on my part. I owe it all to the lucky combination of Mom & Dad's excellent DNA. Never fear....."gravity" has a tendency to catch up to all of us....sooner or later!!

BTW....I also DO NOT ACT MY AGE!!!! hahahahahahahah

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on April 14, 2012:

I didn't mind sitting still, but I never did the required reading or the homework! I also had problems with reading comprehension, but I suspect that might be because I never did the reading! In all seriousness though I did have a problem with comprehension, I have to read something (like comments etc.) several times before I get it. Not reading just exacerbates the problem, I'm lacking in practice! *grin*

I went to Catholic School, and as you said, we learned by rote (I have a feeling not many people know that term these days) which made it a little easier for me and I did fairly well. But I'm a visual learner. If you tell me how to do something or read me instructions, you'll have to read it several times! But show me how to do it, or let me read about it, and I'll never forget it.

Congrats on beginning your path to paganism! As you said, paganism has a live and let live attitude. You have to flow with Mother Nature. I, personally, find comfort in her chaos. My daughter and I go outback with the dog, and I make sure she feels the earth under her feet and how Gaia supports her as she walks. We're actually in the process of picking seeds for a garden we'll be planting. Our compost is almost ready, and I was showing my daughter how Nature turned our trash into usable dirt for our garden. I'm trying to help her understand the cycles and balance of Mother Nature.