Families choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons. Religious, state of the school system, safety concerns, learning challenges, schedules - each is a valid reason to seek a different avenue for your child's education.
Maybe you're entertaining the idea, but aren't sure if it would work for your family. Start by making a list of the pros and cons. What benefits would your family receive from the choice to learn at home? Freedom to learn at your own pace, study what your child is interested in and setting your own schedule are just a few of the pros. What cons do you see as a result of bringing your children home? These will be different for each family, but are certainly worth addressing as you move toward a decision.
Regardless of the reason families have chosen to homeschool, most will attest to the fact that the pros far outweigh the cons. In fact, oftentimes the things we first thought would be a negative aspect to learning at home ends up being either a positive, or a non-issue. Find a homeschool mentor you can share your list with and seek guidance. They may be able to help you see things from a different perspective.
Keep in mind that while you may know other families who homeschool, it is a vastly unique and individual journey. Maybe you're a family of night owls that prefers to sleep a bit later. Nothing says you have to start school promptly at 8:00 am. You might prefer schooling in the evening when everyone's more alert. Have little ones in the house? Make good use of nap times for getting focused work done. Work with your family's dynamics rather than against it. Your homeschool shouldn't look like your neighbors because your family is unique. Don't waste time comparing, but embrace what works for you.
More often than not, moms have an easier time embracing the idea of homeschooling. While sharing our thoughts is part of the decision making process, seeing things from the male perspective is sometimes helpful for our spouses to be able to jump on board with the idea. For this reason dads might consider sitting down with another homeschool dad and asking questions. It is important that you and your spouse are on the same page. From that point of agreement you can consider the options, research and make a joint decision about what's best for your family.
Whatever your decision regarding homeschooling remember it is not set in stone. If you decide a year or two into it that maybe it isn't the best decision, or it was just for a short season, you can always choose another educational option down the road. So relax, weigh the pros and cons, talk to others, pray and don't forget to breathe!
* First published for SELAH of Idaho's Homeschool 101 blog series.