What impacts your educational choice each year?
When my kids were young, the decision to homeschool was more about my goal in parenting, my time, and our families financial situation. I pinched pennies and homeschooled.
As they grew, around middle school, it became more about what they needed. We started them in a tutorial, which afforded me more time to work, and they, in turn, were able to have interaction with kids who were not siblings. This also allowed them to explore ideas and options that were not within the four walls of our home.
Each year was different, and how we chose to educate looked equally different. I learned to adjust, which has been helpful as I watch my kids graduate and move out and on.
And that is the key: paying attention and adjusting with each child and in each phase of life.
Thoughts from the Team
Every family is unique, so it’s always helpful to hear how different people respond to the same question. Here’s what moms on the Well Planned Gal team had to say about making educational decisions each year.
Although we actively pray through our schooling choices for each year, the prayer usually comes from a default position of asking God to change our hearts and minds if homeschooling is not what He wants us to do each year. The primary decision points for us have usually been local educational options and family schedule—especially opportunities that arise for us as a ministry family. Our oldest is a homeschool graduate, and we believe her sister will follow in her footsteps. But God is already preparing our hearts for the possibility that our son, our youngest, will attend school at some point, even if just part time. Until then, we’ll keep enjoying the homeschooling journey and praying for guidance.
Each year we pray about the next school year and then evaluate each child’s educational needs. For the elementary years, my husband and I made the decision without any input from our children. As they entered the teen years, we began to also look at their future plans as well as their interests as we made our schooling decisions. In our state, students have to attend a portion of the school day in order to participate in public school activities in high school. We encouraged input from our teens before making a final decision based on what we believed God was telling us was best for them. For one child, we decided that working part-time with our public school was the best plan. For the other, full-time homeschooling with early college enrollment was the better choice.
Up until recently, homeschooling was always our choice. But, about a year ago, my husband and I decided to put our four sons in public school. Our decision was a combination of many things. Our finances require me to work to survive, leaving little time to properly homeschool.
Anemia has caused me to have less energy than previous years. We were spending 1 1/2 hours in the car twice a week to get speech therapy services that are offered at the school. I feel that maturing boys need to learn from someone other than Mommy. I was experiencing the worst homeschool burnout I had ever experienced. And the list goes on! We had a good first year, the boys are enjoying themselves, and we’re looking forward to what the new year will bring.
I spent six years in the local school system, a week in a private school, and seven years as a homeschool student. My own varied experience has definitely had an impact on my views of education in general! My husband and I want to ensure that our kids’ education is academically robust and rigorous enough to prepare them well for whatever their future holds. We also want topics of faith and worldview and how that relates to other subjects included in what they study. Given our specific goals for our kids’ educations, homeschooling has been the best fit for our family to achieve them.