Our Journey into the World of Homeschooling: Part 2

The first question most people ask when they hear we withdrew our daughter to homeschool her is "why?" The first question I ask myself when the day seems like it will never end is "Why are we doing this!!?!" So here is a list of the reasons we decided to homeschool, in no particular order:

Actual, real-world reasons:
1. The program was changed from half day to full day, and she felt it was way too long away from home.

2. She didn't want to leave the house all weekend because she begged us she just wanted to stay home and play.

3. She started waking up in the morning and saying she didn't want to go to school.

4. When I looked at the actual school time during the day, it wasn't much more than a half day, but the day had a lot of "day-care" with lunch, quiet time, snack time, moving from one place to another, getting all the kids quiet, etc.

5. There were 28 kids in the classroom.

6. A new principal came into the school this year so he was finding his footing.

7. The beloved kindergarten teachers for over ten years in this school both left, and new teachers were brought in.

8. Some of the influences we were seeing weren't things we wanted influencing our daughter. For example, boys were creating two groups to start fights on the playground.

9. Too much of the curriculum used worksheets.

10. The teacher was pulled in too many directions: performing assessments, managing the special need teachers, managing the parents, keeping the classroom under control (with 28 kids, that was a task!)

11. A lot of the day the kids heard that they needed to be quiet. 

12. Our daughter was in tears that she didn't get to play with her friends anymore. She could be with them during the day, but she couldn't play with them anymore.

13. She couldn't play.

14. She would tell us she was bored.

15. She would tell us she didn't have enough time to complete some of her work.

16. She was able to express to us that she wanted to learn like she learned in preschool. Her preschool was FABULOUS! It was experiential, play-based learning. It perfectly fit her needs.

Bigger Picture Reasons:
1. In many classrooms, the individuality of each kid slowly goes away. There are so many kids that the needs of the whole class have to be met which requires each kid to adapt. Adaptation in itself is good, but when it's forced on kids so young, they don't have the skills to maintain their own self while adapting to the needs of the classroom. 

2. In order to manage an entire school or county of schools, rules have to be put in place. These rules can have the unintended consequence of restricting learning. For example, attendance policies make it hard on families to take kids out of school for learning opportunities such as trips, outings, working on farms, etc. 

3. Many schools are now focused on teaching to the Test. This can take the joy of learning away from the student.

4. Kids learn at all different paces and have all different interests. For example, our daughter loves science. A lot of skills can be taught to her through science - reasoning, prediction, reading, math, attention to details, etc. When taught in a group of kids, she's less likely to be able to be taught skills through a subject she likes which can make learning be a chore.

5. It's a heck of a lot more efficient to homeschool. And, she gets to do things she likes such as gymnastics, swimming, and dance since she's so fast at accomplishing her school work!

So, due to these and many other reasons (truly, the list could go on and on), we decided to pull her out of school. I think that there are schools, teachers, counties, and administrations that do public school great! Our choice is not intended to reflect judgement on anyone else's decisions about schooling. We don't know how long we'll travel the road of homeschool; we're going to take it year-by-year!

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