A new (home)school year begins:


A month ago, I was feeling kind of stuck for blog post ideas, so I threw it out there to Twitter and Facebook — what would guys like to hear about? — and, to my surprise, someone asked me about homeschooling my kid.


I admit, I don’t post much about my kid because, to be frank, I hate to see bloggers use their kid’s life as fodder for posts. My kid is a person who has a right to privacy — to not have her life broadcast for the cheap entertainment of others — the same as anyone.

But, at the same time, I really see homeschooling as going hand-in-hand with my ideas about voluntary simplicity, and since I was asked, I’m breaking my vow of not making posts about my kid (although I asked her first it she would mind and she was all “sure, whatevs” about it).

I never know quite how much detail to delve into when someone asks me about homeschooling my kid — do they want to know why we chose it? or how it’s done? are they just making conversation? — so I’ll cover just why of it and leave the how for another time, if anyone’s even interested.

Why I homeschool my kid:

So she can get as much science, technology, engineering, and math as she wants, without picking up any “girls can’t do math/science” from teachers or students.

So she never loses a love of learning and becomes someone who learns things just for the sake of knowing them.

So she can actively socialize with people of all ages — kids, adults, toddlers, elderly people — not just a small group of kids almost exactly the same age.

So she can discover things she really likes and is genuinely interested in, without any obligation to like the things her classmates like (or run the risk of being excluded for liking something different).

So she can learn at her own pace, without waiting for kids to catch up to her or not grasping a concept because the time for that subject is over for the day.

So she’ll never equate good grades = good/smart person; bad grades = bad/stupid person.

So she is able to eat a real lunch, when she’s hungry and not when someone tells her to, and without racing to get through the lunch line, find a seat, and eat as fast as possible before being herded up to get out again.

So she can ask as many questions as she wants without ever getting told to stop.

So she can learn more of the things she should know as an adult (how to shop and cook, how to write someone a letter, how to get help from someone who knows more than you) without having to spend time learning things she probably will never use (how to solve quadratic equations).

So her rights as a citizen don’t get trampled on just because she’s at school.

So we all have more time to spend with each other without any need to hurry the kid into bed ten minutes after my husband gets home from work because she needs to get up early to get to school on time.

So she can learn how to solve problems on her own — interpersonal or academic — without an adult constantly stepping in to fix it or tell her to do it another way.

So our entire family is free from the time to get up, get ready to go, don’t forget your bag, did you remember your homework, did you study for that test, what do you mean “it’s school picture day today” stress that seem to encompass so much of school life.

But the most important reason by far is we homeschool because it works for us. It suits our lives and our personalities and the kind of life we want for ourselves.

And really, that’s what matters to me most.

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32 thoughts on “A new (home)school year begins:

  1. Such good reasons—all of them. Too many issues in our family ended homeschooling, but I miss it. And I miss what we could have accomplished with it.

    I do try to do it over the summer—when I’m not feeling too exhausted. Thanks for doing what you do.

  2. I love that your reasons focus on nurturing your daughters view of learning and not on the negatives of conventional education. The negatives are there for sure but focusing on them is not healthy. Focusing on the positives will really help cultivate understanding in your kids.

  3. Hi – just stumbled on your site (literally, using Stumble!) & am looking forward to checking out your writing. I’m a secular homeschooling, vegetarian, gardening, reading, writing, love my dogs type of blogger :-)

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