Monday, November 10, 2014

Why I Homeschool: A Guest Post Series

What on earth would possess people to homeschool their children? There are so many reasons! This series, written by homeschooling parents in the Treasure Valley, serves to share some of them! Want to share your own WHY in this series? Send submissions to dhsa.news@gmail.com

This month’s post is by Beth Blair, an adoptive mother and former foster parent, who got involved with DHSA for more than just the sake of the kids!

My “Why”

by Beth Blair

Beth Blair

Growing up, I went to public school. First, pre-pre kindergarten to learn basic skills and ways to do things given my physical challenges. Then, special education until they realized my IQ and ability to learn was not significantly affected. Finally, mainstreamed, graduating in the top half of my graduating class of over 1000 kids, and on to college where I made the dean's list more than once.

I had a relatively decent experience in public school, making friends that persist to this day. I was pretty sure that I would send my kids to public school.

On the other end of the spectrum, my husband was home schooled for most of his educational career. When we decided to get married he was determined that we would home school our kids.

Homeschool parent

Since children have not come into our home in the usual way, the decision of public or home schooling has largely been out of our hands. In fact, until getting a placement of a sibling group that had been homeschooled, both my husband and I were content to leave our son as a public school student.

As we awaited court orders for the siblings, I felt uncomfortable just letting the kids sit around the house playing video games. So, after talking to my husband (who was working out of town at the time) we decided to help the kids learn at home. I contacted a friend who I know that successfully home schooled her 5 children (successful being defined as getting a well rounded education from various sources and activities), she helped me get started and provided resources, as well as connect me to other moms and home schooling families.

The sibling group was reunited with their family, but the experience and working with a toddler and kindergarten age in the sibling group that followed solidified my desire to give any child that came into my home a better educational experience than what most public schools have to offer.

I have seen the village

When my son forced our hand and my husband took a lesser paying job closer to home, our son had a decision to make. He could pay the registration fees and return to his high school for his senior year, get his GED or do a virtual academy.  By his lack of action and follow through, he chose the virtual academy.  It gave him some flexibility to do other things that he enjoyed (some of them were good things) plus we got a chance to know each other better.

Though technically, I don't home school right now. I help a couple of families in my ward / neighborhood with their home schooling efforts. I do this because I believe that the education a child gets at home with more direct involvement of the parents and trusted friends is by far the best way to equip them to face the growing uncertainty of the world today. 

Every day

On a more personal level, I have made friendships that accept me for who I am, challenge me to grow outside my comfort zone, encourage me to reach my goals and never let me give in to the negative voices. I home school because I am a better wife and mother now than I was before.