Little School of Smith's

As the new school year quickly approaches and I am busy in planning mode, I like to remind myself the reason why we homeschool to begin with. The freedom and the grace we get in being able to teach our children from home.

When other people find out we homeschool they always ask…why? And it’s the hardest question to answer. Mostly because I have a huge list of reasons we choose to homeschool and feel like I find more and more reasons everyday.

When asked this question, my number 1 answer is that it is what we feel is best for our family. We are blessed with the opportunity to give our kids more time to be kids, spend extra quality time as siblings and family, instill our own faith and values, and encourage interest led learning.

So to the parents out there searching if homeschooling is the right fit for your family, I hope I can offer some insight. It was not too long ago that I was doing the same, looking around at others views, experiences and reasons for homeschooling as well.

We did not intentionally choose to homeschool from the beginning. Being at home everyday with my oldest I started researching and coming up with fun learning activities to do together. We then decided to keep her home for preschool to save some money and I would homeschool her for those years. It was a huge blessing in disguise as we fell in love with the homeschooling process and couldn’t imagine stopping. We then decided we were in it for the long haul!

There are MANY reasons we homeschool and enjoy it, but here are our most prevailing ones:

1) The freedom to instill our own beliefs and values. The greatest joy for us as parents is for our children to love Jesus and live their life for the glory of God. Build strong relationships with the Lord and with their siblings and family. Understanding and loving the value of their family. Together we learn, together we grow.

2) To preserve the precious, short period of childhood. Play, play, play! Build, explore and let their imaginations and dreams run wild. Learning through play, hands on learning and being outdoors as much as possible are important to me in educating my children in their early years.

3) Being able to tailor curriculum to each individual child. Encourage their interests and dreams through different resources. Being able to expand on their own topics of interest in every way possible, for as long as they wish. God created each individual with a unique talent and passion and we hope to encourage them in these areas.

“As home educators, we have the freedom to map out this course for ourselves. We get to hold our children’s interests, learning styles, personalities, and needs in the palms of our hands and mold something that is just for them. We get to make learning an adventure- stoke a fire in our children to see the world as a great expanse of wonder and curiousity”

-Ashley (Saltwater Schoolhouse)

4) Being able to teach them at their own pace, in their own way. We can go faster or slower in any subject without holding anyone back. Also catering to their own type of learning that works best for them (visual, audio, hands on, etc.)

5) Life is school and school is life! Learning happens everywhere, everyday. It has no boundaries. Learning does not have to be contained in a room, in a certain amount of time, in a school or in a season. Homeschooling gives us the beauty and freedom to have a living education. Decide on the amount of time we do school, take days off, field trips, etc. And to learn about real life experiences and life skills.

And at last,

6) I enjoy it too!! I enjoy being with my kids everyday and teaching them. Planning crafts, unit studies, and researching curriculum has become a big outlet for me! I love planning, teaching and playing with them everyday. I am learning just as much as they are.

In the end our goal is not to have the smartest child but instead to raise and educate a future adult. One that has a heart for the Lord, respects others, is a positive contributor to society, stands up for themselves, embraces differences, loves and understands the value of family, stays true to their own hearts and works with their all in whatever they are called to do.

If you are interested in homeschooling begin with a list of your pros and cons. Either way you decide figure out your why, embrace it, and enjoy the journey.

There is no right or wrong way to educate your children. Doing what you think is best for them and your family is what matters most.

So when I’m asked this question time and again, this is a lot to explain. Maybe from now on I can just tell them to go read my blog. 😆

Have a great weekend everyone!

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