This post is part of my #write31days series about being an unlikely homeschooler. Be sure to follow along with the entire series by checking out the main page here.
When we announced to our family that we were considering homeschooling our kiddos we received some interesting responses.
How are you going to do that with kids so close in age? Why would you want to do that? Do you think you can actually do that without having been trained to teach? But one question in particular stands out and is most definitely another factor of why I am an unlikely homeschooler…
Won’t your kids miss out on all the extracurriculars and opportunities that come from being in school?
Unlike some homeschool moms that I know, I actually really liked my public school days. Though yes, there were difficulties and heartbreaks and conflicts with friends that I had to navigate, overall I had a really great experience.
In high school, I was involved with student government and was voted as senior class president. I was a cheerleader for 4 years and was the captain my senior year. I was involved in lots of sports, clubs, and other organizations. I sang and competed in a show choir, chorale, and performed in musicals. I loved my teachers, I enjoyed my classes, and I made good grades. I really do have wonderful memories from this time in my life, so the decision to homeschool may seem to be odd coming from someone who didn’t loathe their public school experience.
It would be normal for me to want some of the same experiences for my kids, and normal to be sad that they aren’t going to have them. This year, my sister gets to watch my niece cheer for the same football team on the same sidelines of the very same field that we cheered on years ago. I love that my niece is cheering, and as soon as I get to watch her at a game I’m sure I’ll be a big mess of sentimental emotions! But being a homeschool mom, this is not something that I’m going to get to enjoy with my own kids. And honestly, at first, I hesitated about homeschooling for the fear of the things they would miss out on.
But here’s what I have found as we have been on this journey for these past years.
There are SO many opportunities for homeschooled kids! It seems like if you can think of something, there’s probably a homeschool league for it! Of course it depends on where you live, but in some places, there are an incredible amount of sports, clubs, and activities offered.
We live in the Upstate of South Carolina, and there are track teams, drama opportunities, archery leagues, dances, swim teams, music lessons, and more available for homeschoolers. And, our state allows homeschool kids to try out for sports teams at their local public schools! (This is not the case with some states, so definitely check your state’s laws about this if you are interested.)
I was afraid that my kids would miss out on things, but I’m not anymore! Sometimes it may take a little more thought and creativity to make things happen, but I don’t worry anymore that my kids will be deprived of being on teams, having leadership opportunities, or getting to participate in extracurriculars. Choices abound! As homeschooling rises in popularity, I’m sure there will be more and more opportunities that come about as well.
This world is changing, our culture is changing, and families seem to want a change in what and how their kids are learning. I was little Miss High School, and though I loved my days of public school, I want more for my kids than just fun experiences and great memories.
I want them to love to learn and not just learn something for a test.
I want them to learn how to think for themselves and not be told what to think.
I want them to see the beauty in education and how all things are related and work together. Math and music, art and literature, science and history! They are not just separate subjects, but beautiful pieces of an amazing picture!
I want them to have wonderful experiences and memories, but I want a whole lot more for them than that. Though I know I’m not perfect, and no public or private school is perfect, no one is going to love and support my kids more than I will. No one will fight for them more than I will. And no one will want the best things for them more than I will.
My kids are going to have a vastly different schooling experience than I did, and though it will be different, I do hope they look back fondly on their years as I do mine.