Yes, I homeschooled my children. No, I was not one of those types of homeschoolers. I did not choose this educational option as a way to hide my children from the world. On the contrary, as homeschoolers, my children are living in the real world, with connections to many kinds of people, involvement in the community, and practical, real-life experience.
I began officially homeschooling my two children in 1995. I greatly enjoyed spending time with my daughters, watching them learn, and learning with them, so, I saw no reason to give up that precious time when they reached age five. Among the numerous reasons I homeschool is the ability to provide a custom education tailored to each child’s needs, and allowing my children to learn about what interests them.
I am delighted to see my two daughters, Caitlin (22) and Laurel (19), as writers, despite their having resisted being told what to write. They also love history, theatre, and English literature. Each of them is employed, and is known for their conscientiousness and reliability. My kids turned out to be articulate, decent, happy, sensible people who love to learn, even though they have been raised well outside the mainstream.
During my 15 years as a homeschooling parent, I was very active in the homeschool community on the local, state and national level. This included spearheading the grassroots coalition that attained the Prince William County Homeschool Victory, serving 10 years as a key volunteer with The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, building VaEclecticHS, the largest and most active statewide homeschool discussion list in Virginia, writing articles for Home Education Magazine and editing the HEM Online Newsletter, helping to foster the Homeschool Theatre Troupe, and being a featured author at the Life Without School blog, Linda Dobson’s “Parent at the Helm” Blog and a contributor to The Homeschool Mom.com blog. Among other things.
I saw homeschooling is an extension of my “attachment” style of parenting; it was a natural part of connection, respect, and truly knowing my children.
Although I began homeschooling partly as a reaction to an unhappy public school experience, I found that this educational choice offers a great deal more than initially meets the eye.
In homeschooling my children I was able to spend a great deal of time with them. We hadthe “luxury” of learning about what interests us, the pleasure of learning together.
Homeschooling also greatly assisted us in reducing the impact of Madison Avenue mainstream culture. Most people now know that homeschooling has proven to be educationally and socially effective, but it isn’t widely know that homeschooling is also…fun!
With both daughters graduated and grown to adulthood, I still enjoy engaging in the wonderfully diverse homeschool community.