My husband and I homeschooled our two sons and daughter for grades K-12 for a total of sixteen years. During that time, I was the coordinator of our local support group, and we were actively involved in several co-ops.
Why did you start to homeschool?
We felt led to homeschool after doing some research and talking to friends who homeschooled. One of the main reasons we chose homeschooling was because we felt that the home was the best place for our children to learn. We’d also decided that the local public and private schools were not good options for us.
What was your favorite part of being a homeschool mother? Read More
I liked being able to be more involved with my children’s education and to help develop Godly character along the way. It was a wonderful way to build strong family relationships too, that continue to this day.
Did you experience any challenging situations in your role as educator?
There were many ups and downs, from days when school didn't go well to opposition from family members. It wasn't the easiest journey, but it was by far worth it to see our children learn and mature into adulthood. What kept me going was a conviction that this was the best thing for my children, and that the Lord would provide all we needed along the way. It was a great experience for all of us. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
How did you answer the questions about “socialization”?
When asked about this, I would share about a few activities our family did, like through our local support group and various co-ops. After supplying a short answer, I often changed the subject. It wasn't worth being drawn into a discussion about it; some people only want to change your mind or undermine your convictions. We never had anyone give us a really hard time about it, but if we had, we probably would have asked them to respect our decision and declare the topic off limits.
What advice do you have for others who homeschool?
I encourage parents to focus on main goals first – reading, math, and writing. If your child can read, they can learn most anything they’ll ever need, now and as adults. Math skills will carry them into adulthood too, and serve them well at home and in the workplace. Writing helps build written and verbal communication skills, things we all need no matter what we do. Equip them with these basic tools, and they will be able to achieve most any goals in life.
I also tell parents to relax, that they can do this. It will take time and effort, but if you are convicted that this is the right thing for your children, it will all come together. You will learn (as necessary) right along with them and have opportunities to bond in wonderful ways. Families have homeschooled for years with great success. My family is a good example; all three of my children survived our homeschool adventure and lived to tell about it. They are adults now with jobs, real lives and the ability to socialize with others. You won’t wreck your kids. Take it one year at a time and trust your heart to do the right thing.
Karen Lange is a freelance writer and editor, an online writing instructor, and the author of Homeschool Co-ops 101 and Write for Life. Connect with Karen on her blog, karenelange.blogspot.com, on Twitter – KLELange, or on her Facebook author page, https://www.facebook.com/authorkarenlange