Should We Homeschool?


spiderMe: If something suddenly changed, you couldn’t work, I had to go back to work for much less than I should theoretically make–and you had to be the one to stay home and homeschool–would you still be committed to it?

Husband: Yes. I think so. (Pause.) But I’d have to work on my patience and short temper.

Me: Yes. Right. But it’s that important to you now?

Husband: Yes.

Me: I thought so. But I wanted to be sure.

My husband and I have had a successful homeschooling experience so far. Based on that experience, we would make a lot of changes and sacrifices to keep homeschooling our kids, even if our world drastically changed now. We can say this in hindsight. I don’t know if we would have had the courage, however, to leap into homeschooling had we not started this way or if we would have had great barriers facing us originally. I’d like to think we would have, but we’re pretty practical people and it just may not have seemed like the right decision at that time.

We have had some barriers, don’t get me wrong. I worked part-time originally. We had a slow reader, and I was secretly worried I wasn’t doing enough. We had a couple of pregnancies and babies. We had a sick family member. We moved half-way across the United States. I had to decide how important working was to my self-identity. There are always barriers, I guess.

But I think what I’m trying to say today to you, is that knowing what I know now, both my husband and I agree that homeschooling provides benefits and opportunities for our family which we would be willing to drastically change our lifestyle for. However, in saying that, I am well aware of the self-journey it would take even for us committed homeschoolers. Having two cars is nice. Having one parent stay home is nice. Having cable TV and wireless internet is nice. Keeping my heat at 72 degrees is nice. Having earned my degrees and worked. These things are nice. The Terri Now knows, for us, it’s all worth giving up. The Terri Then would be scared. Maybe too scared.

What do I like best about our homeschooling family?  I like it when my husband gets home early, the kids are here to see him.  I like it that my kids are forced to get along, and that I am forced to find ways to make that happen.  I like it that we have much, much more time to pursue subjects earlier and incorporate them into school, like music, Spanish, sewing, astronomy, and typing.  I like it that we dictate our schedule; it doesn’t feel so frantic–and with kids of all ages, I know that they’d most likely be in three different schools.  I like teaching my kids how to cook and do laundry.  I like that they don’t eat processed foods. I like it that we’re not sick so often.  I like so many things about it.  My husband obviously does too.  And with a driven, perfectionistic surgeon’s mentality, yeah, he’d have to work on his temper.  It says a lot that he’d be willing to.

Lately, I’ve received some e-mails about homeschooling. I offer what I can from my point of view. But, I am only one. If you homeschool and have any thoughts to offer those contemplating changing their whole lives to do this–basically turning their families’ lives upside-down, what would you say? Would you share and say it in the comments?

Have a good rest of the week.  Effect positive change somewhere, in your own way.


23 thoughts on “Should We Homeschool?

  1. Jhanis

    Always love reading bits and pieces about your homeschooling adventure. How I would love to homeschool the 3yo! She is definitely not thriving academically at her school. 😦 OR maybe I made a mistake of sending her this early? Too late to back out. We’re finishing this school year (2 more months to go!!) and spend a little bit more time tutoring her this summer.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I don’t know. Three is awful young. What really do they expect them to learn? My five year old is still stubbornly refusing to read. So we just apply gentle pressure, and I know, know, know it will happen. I’d say forget any academics they expect your 3 yo to learn, and just smile at them, nodding. And then be happy she gets a chance to play and boss other kids around in a nice environment. Curiously, I want to know! What will you tutor her in this summer?

      1. Jhanis

        Math and Reading? My son went to school at 3 and did just fine, really well, in fact. I had a feeling my daughter wasn’t ready but went ahead anyway. Pfft. They are doing addition and subtraction at school already! But I do not pressure her at all. She thinks it’s a place for play! Hahaha I’m fine with it, I just need her to pass the final examinations so they don’t make her go back to nursery again next year! Hahahahhaha

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Oh my goodness! Well, some kids do do well with all that. My second certainly knew all that stuff easily, but my first was more challenging (but now a piece of cake). So I learned first hand that each is different!

  2. Susan

    I homeschooled our daughter (now 25) from kindergarten until 9th grade. We had a blast. One major plus you didn’t mention is what they miss in public school. My daughter’s friend from high school told her horror stories about bullying in middle school. We are so glad she missed that!

    And regarding slow readers, there are two kinds and neither are bad. I’m a slow reader, when my daughter was nine she could read faster than me. Whatever, right? I’m just wired differently, not dumb. And then there are the kids that don’t pick up reading right on schedule. I know of a couple who didn’t really start reading until their preteen years when the next Harry Potter or Goosebumbs book came out and Mom didn’t find time right away to read it to them. They learned to read really fast and were reading at grade level in no time.

  3. myjourneythrume

    “I had to decide how important working was to my self-identity” – gosh how I relate to that. I admire you homeschooling so much. I think that it’s very important to self identity both yours and your kids and your kids are lucky they have someone so willing to do it. I’m not sure but I don’t think it’s very easy to homeschool in the UK. Not that I’ve looked into it, but I kind of think it’s a legal requirement that children attend a school and can’t be homeschooled. I might be totally wrong on that tho!

      1. myjourneythrume

        Well you learn something new everyday! My Mum has also just told me that a family friend homeschooled her children when we were little so apparently you definitely can here! I have had a lovely day thanks, bed time soon here! Hope all is calm in your house today 😊

  4. Jean

    Hi Terri, I loved reading your conversation with your husband! I’ve never asked mine that question. My oldest is about to turn 25 (homeschooled through 7th grade) and the other 2 have homeschooled all the way through with my youngest about to turn 16! And we all run up against barriers over the years. I would just add to your list the luxury of time spent together, not just to introduce subjects on our own schedule. I also love that we can call playing games homeschooling, and cooking and sewing and painting and fixing cars and all of life! It’s really in the margins that the connections happen and deepen. I would just add that there is plenty of time! My oldest read at age 10 and was one of those Harry Potter I’m-gonna-read-it-on-my-own readers. Now, looking back, I wish I’d been able to be even more relaxed, knowing that it all works out! These little beings come to us to be nurtured, not pushed, and we get to see them blossom into themselves! What an honor that is.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      What a great response! Thanks!

      I personally am trying very hard to be more relaxed. With a new baby, school is very different than it has been before. It is not bad, but it is different. So your response speaks to me, too, where I’m at! Thank you for chiming in! It is appreciated!

      “It’s really in the margins that the connections happen and deepen.” Wow.


  5. eyetooth2014

    I’d sacrifice anything to continue homeschooling our children!!! It’s a blessing that I’m grateful for each and every day!!
    Great post!
    ️️Peace ❤️

  6. twainausten

    Self-examination. A lot of it. This was the unexpected aspect of homeschooling. But i guess that goes for parenting too. Anyone can homeschool if they want to. Yes, it’s a lot of effort. And to the effort expended, rewards are great.

    Homeschooling is a lifestyle. Another thing I didn’t really understand in the beginning. It changes everything. Dynamic of the family, like you said, requires that you help your kids get along. And sometimes that is hair pulling. But the harmony & close connections are totally worth it!

    Sincerely, thehomeschooldoctor’swife;)

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi The Homeschool Doctor’s Wife! Love it! Yippee! I think you are absolutely right! Self-examination and a lot of it are key! And the rewards are GREAT! I think our family does well homeschooling because we are able to step back, examine, regroup, and change as needed. (Or not needed.) So glad that it sounds like you guys like homeschooling as much as we do!


  7. andthreetogo

    I love the fact that the homeschooling community is so large and accepting in America! I was homeschooled after my elementary school refused to let me skip the second grade. It was fantastic for me and my siblings. My mom is amazing!
    For me, if we move back to the States at any point, Z will be homeschooled. But here in Phuket, I think it will be too lonely for her since she is my one and only. We will see though. Luckily we have a little while to figure it out. 🙂

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Did I reply to this? Well, sorry if I repeat. What an opportunity for Z to be immersed in school! Or if not, to be immersed as you hit the market for food with her! I can’t wait to take my kids to travel in foreign countries for all they can learn! (Are we born loving travel? Or do we learn to love it? 🙂 )

  8. rachelmeeks

    I’ve thought a lot about homeschooling. I’m not sure I’m smart enough to haha. But I may like to. If I did, though, I think I would want a mix. I would want my kids in public school some, just to meet people and see different points of view. Plus in high school I want them to be able to get involved with clubs and teams and marching band and all that. But public school has a LOT of downsides too.

    I guess right now I’ll just stay focused on trying to HAVE a baby 😉 and cross that bridge when we get there

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Here, we are lucky in that our kids can participate in say, band, if they want to at the public school. Or on the volleyball team. Although, nowadays, there’s so many club sports and musical opportunities outside of school which makes it really nice for homeschooled kids. You could homeschool! And best wishes for you and your husband!

      And also, I am still planning on the glucose/blood sugar issues post. Just way behind here! You’ll not be needing the information anymore by the time I get it written up!

      Take care!



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