Why have we decided to homeschool? It works for our family. Let me emphasize: Our. Family. It really doesn’t need to be a controversial decision, it’s no judgment on people who choose other paths. That said, here are the top reasons:
- Socialization. This might be the top reason given against homeschooling, but it’s also one of the top reasons given for homeschooling. In our case, Fuzzy has high functioning Autism. Socialization in large group settings is difficult and he receives a lot of negative feedback from it. We’d prefer to provide positive controlled social interactions while he is young so he can gain the skills and confidence necessary to succeed socially as he grows.
- Time. You have a lot of extra time when you homeschool. Again, this may sound opposite to some, but it’s true in our case especially. The therapy and home practices that we implement with Fuzzy can be integrated into our day rather than waiting to do all of it after school, when he has spent all his social energy plus some.
- Prevention. I can’t predict the future and have no idea if we are preventing (or causing) anything. But I hope we are preventing troubles Fuzzy would run into as he gets older, particularly in the middle school and high school years. Are we sheltering him? Some would say yes. We hope that instead we are showing him the world in a slowed down way while he adjusts.
The following are not reasons, but they are advantages we’re looking forward to:
- Learning style. I believe my kids would do well academically in regular school. However there are challenges in some subject areas with Autism. There are ways to teach around this to strengthen these weak areas. We can teach this way now.
- Avoiding the rat race. We admittedly differ from the vast majority of people we know in that we hate being busy so much that we give up lots that other families consider important. We don’t do team sports, don’t work 2 jobs, don’t go after jobs that require tons of travel and overtime (as much as we can), limit the kids to 1, maybe 2, extracurricular activities, don’t do summer camps. I understand that many people feel our kids are shortchanged this way. We don’t – hey isn’t America great that we can all live life with our own belief systems?
- Flexibility. We can take vacations (simple ones) at times when places will be less crowded. We can visit family on weekdays, take a day off whenever we feel like it. Life with an Autistic child is an amazing process and I feel blessed God has given me this boy, but letting go of stress through these activities we couldn’t do otherwise is great.
- Bear. Would we homeschool Bear if we didn’t have Fuzzy? Well, it probably wouldn’t have occurred to us. This is a chance to have a type of relationship with Bear that will likely be quite different than what it would have been otherwise – not that one is better or worse than the other. It’s interesting to see how he works so up close. How does he learn, think, make friends, do all the typical kid stuff – it’s great fun to witness.
So what do I not like about homeschool? What makes me nervous? Stay tuned…