3 Reasons We Homeschool Our Big Family

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Are you tempted to homeschool some or all of your children?  If you are, I bet you would like to know why other’s have made the decision to go for it.  With that in mind I’d like to share with you the three main reasons we decided to take the plunge.

Our Homeschool Is The Best Place for Bonding

The first and most important reason that we decided to homeschool our kids is that we knew it would be helpful in continuing to bond with them.  They all had been abandoned very young and spent time in orphanages.  We understood that bonding is important in order to reverse the effects of anxiety associated with abandonment.  To reduce anxiety in our kids we had to establish trust.  They had to believe that they were safe and that all of their needs were being met.  Trust takes time to build when parenting kids from hard backgrounds.  Consistency with respect to routine and parental exposure is a must.  Taking these things into consideration, we decided that the best way  for us to do this would be to homeschool them.

The first hint that we might choose homeschooling came after observing Grace, our oldest child, in a daycare environment.   Though the workers were kind, they couldn’t love and pay attention to our child the way we could.  Plus adding more adults to the mix just wasn’t going to facilitate the bonding process.  So, after just one hour we took her out.  After all, we thought,  what was the point of removing our daughter from an orphanage and plopping her down in a daycare?  It totally didn’t make sense.

A few years later when Grace was four, we enrolled her in a preschool in order to prepare her for kindergarten.  She really didn’t like it.  We could see that it made her anxious and that she wanted to be at home with us.  She made a few friends, and her teacher was great, but we could tell that she was becoming more and more anxious about going.  I was really proud of Grace.  She was a trouper and went along with the program and finished the year.  During the summer, Carrie and I decided that we needed to try something different, so we determined that we would home school her for one year and then take it from there.  Five years later, she still goes to school in my kitchen.  She’s learning and thriving and we are still taking it year by year.  Maybe someday she will want to go to public school, and if she does, we will accommodate her.  Right now she is really happy and I don’t see it changing.

Some of Our Kids are Wiggly

A couple of my kids have great difficulty staying in their seats for prolonged periods of time.  They lose focus, become distracted and get wiggly.  From my ten years of experience in the classroom, three of those years as a Special Education teacher, I know that at least a couple of my children need a little extra help and a lot of extra patience. With 20 other children in the classroom, teachers simply can’t afford that extra time and patience.

It is difficult for teachers to deviate from their original lesson plan or alter it’s time frame for a student who can only learn in 15 minute bursts. My kiddos sometimes need to just stop and get rid of excess energy.  I chose to homeschool them because I know my kids and their behaviors.  Because I love them, I think I am the best teacher for the job.

Stepping Off of the Not So Merry-Go-Round

Carrie and I have calculated what our schedule would look like if we decided to send our kids to public school.  For convenience, they would need to go to school where I used to teach and where Carrie still does.  Below is what our Monday through Friday Schedule would have looked like.  I wonder just how many of you might identify with it.

  • 5:30 Wake up the kids, wash their faces, brush their teeth, do their hair. Feed them some candy in a bowl (cereal) get them dressed appropriately (orange striped shirt and red plaid pants don’t go together) and loaded with all of their supplies into the maxi van.
  • 6:30 Leave for school.  Drop the kids off at daycare on the way.
  • 4:00 Pick up the kids at school and take them home.
  • 4:30-5:00 Kids do homework while I cook dinner.
  • 5:00-6:00 Dinner and kitchen chores.
  • 6:00-7:00 kids get to play and do what they want for an hour.
  • 7:00-8:00 tubbies, pjs, and bed time stories.  Lights out at 8:00.
  • 8:00-9:00 Carrie and I do laundry and any other chores that need to be done.
  • 9:00 – until we drop from exhaustion.  What ever we want.  Woohoo!  A whole hour of US time and almost no kid time at all!
  • Rinse and repeat!

I’m so glad we never got on that not so merry-go-round.  I imagine some of you would like to get off.

I want to hear from you

Let me know what your weekday schedule is like.  I don’t care if you send your kids to public school, private school, homeschool or unschool.  Please comment.  I want to hear from you, your opinions, experiences and what you have learned when it comes to your kids and their education.

 

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Carrie Wood
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Hi Brian, I’m so proud of all your hard work for our family. Love you soooooooo!!!!!!

Missy
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Missy

Loving your blog, Brian! I didn’t know you taught special ed for awhile. I’d love to hear any tips you have for homeschooling kiddos who learn a bit differently, either due to special needs or learning disabilities. (I’m currently homeschooling both!) Keep up the great work! I’m definitely identifying with LOTS of your posts!