Read the entire “Why We Homeschool” series by scrolling to the bottom of this post.
The two mamas you’ll meet in this installment of the series are writers, entrepreneurs, moms of many, and so much more. Their reasons for homeschooling, and how they live them out, are relatable, honest, and all about family.
Jennifer Hamra of Good Life Detroit and Our Big Happy Life
Wife | Mom of 5 | Homeschooling for 5 years
“The thought of homeschooling first came to mind when my oldest daughter was in the
4th grade in public school. She was struggling academically and she really needed extra help in school. From the first month of school, all the way until the last month of school, I spent so much time trying to get my daughter the help she needed. I was either making phone calls, sending emails, or going up to the school for meetings with her teacher and the administrators.
I would stay up late at night with my daughter to help her with her homework. It was hard on both of us!
To make a long story short, my husband and I were very disappointed with the lack of help the school gave our daughter. He suggested I start homeschooling our daughter, but I didn’t want to homeschool. I didn’t completely understand homeschooling and I was honestly afraid I would make my daughter’s learning challenges worse.
Keep in mind, my background was in education! I had taught English when I was in graduate school and I was also teaching English at a high school for a temp job. Yet, I didn’t feel very confident about teaching my own daughter!
So we decided to move to a different school zone. The new school was very helpful and we remained very involved with the teacher and administrator on our daughter’s academic progress. Unfortunately, by the end of the school year, the administrator told us our daughter was still not caught up at her grade level. The school recommended our daughter repeat her grade level.
I knew that would just devastate my daughter and cause so much pain to her emotionally. She was already suffering from low self-esteem and a little bit of depression because of her learning challenges. I just couldn’t do that to her. So I decided to pull her out of public school and homeschool her.
Homeschooling turned out to be the best thing for our family because of my daughter’s learning challenges. She is able to work at her own pace and take some extra time to on subjects or skills she may have difficulty understanding.
Homeschooling has also given us the opportunity to focus more on family life and incorporate our faith and life values into our children’s education. We include learning about our culture, too!
We’ve been able to shift our schedule to accommodate life events such as when I had two more babies, when we moved from Tennessee to Michigan, when we have family visiting from out of town, when my oldest son was sick for a lengthy time period, and when my husband had surgery.
Ironically, my teaching experience ended up being a great need for my own children, especially my oldest daughter. I like to think I still ended up fulfilling my dreams to become a teacher because I am now teaching 5 special students: my own children! As time went on, I grew to become confident in my ability to homeschool my children. It has been one of the best parenting decisions my husband and I have made together.
Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes we have hard days. Sometimes I feel tired or frustrated. But you know, tough days come with anything in life. It’s all about how you handle the tough days and if you can grow from them.
I know for me I have grown so much since we began our homeschool journey. I love watching my children learn and discover new things. I also love learning alongside my children! Oh yes, I also have days where I learn something new. Like when my son studied middle school level Neurology when he was in the 8th grade. That was a very cool experience! We both got to learn the subject together.
I could go on and on about all of the wonderful benefits of homeschooling and why I love it so much. Instead, if you like, you can read more about my family’s homeschooling adventures on my personal blog www.ourbigfamilylife.com. I write about homeschooling, motherhood, family life, and some of my favorite things.
I am happy to help anyone who has any questions about homeschooling!”
Yolanda Coles Jones from The Real Life Joneses
Wife | Mom of 4 | Homeschooling for 10 years
“We are capitalizing in our own way—based on both research and experience—partnering alongside our children; offering them skills; facilitating opportunities for them to explore and protecting the space for them to hear what is deep inside them. We want to protect their confidence to inquire and we do all that we can to enable them to move at a pace that both challenges them and supports their thoughts and feelings of worthiness and sufficiency. We are endeavoring to cultivate a perspective that does not restrict learning to any certain physical location, day of the week, time of day or time of year. Rather, “school is every place you learn,” we say, “and the whole world is your classroom.”
We are thankful and glad for the unique opportunity home-based education provides us to customize curricula per child and to develop thriving interpersonal relationships where trust is foundational to guidance and symbiotic learning. We spend a good amount of time with our children which allows us insight into their strengths as well as into their opportunities for growth. We can both observe and engage with them as they discover, test and confirm their respective bearings in this world. We can be conduits, guiding them to expertise where we may have lack. We can be a launching pad, leaving from which they feel able and practiced in the grit and glory of self-direction, self-actualization, self-reflection, community participation, relationship navigation, emotional regulation, communication, grounded listening, and a myriad of other practical life skills. We love the autonomy we have over our schedules and our lives in general.”
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