Aspects of a homeschooling life

Homeschooling is more than merely teaching your children how to read, write and do their sums.  It is a way of life.  Our oldest daughter is seventeen.  She will be going off to college this fall.  None of our children have ever taken a public school class. 

I've been thinking recently about how homeschooling families differ from families which send their children off to government schools.  A couple main areas jump out:

Responsibility: Homeschoolers take complete responsibility for the education and welfare of their children.  When parents send their children to public schools they surrender many decisions to teachers and school officials.  And if the parents disagree too often the courts say tough.  Homeschoolers make the decision to be in charge.  They may hire someone else to help with certain subject, but we have the final say.

Freedom: It is so cool to be able to do things when you want.  This can range from the subjects the children study, the order of the subjects to how long you spend on a subject.  But there is flexibility beyond education, for example we love being able to go on vacation when everyone else is in school.

Character: We are not in a constant battle with dozens to hundreds of conflicting messages which tell our children to ignore their parents on issues like integrity and honesty.  Our children have never been pressured to cheat on a test.  They are not being constantly told to experiment with sex or alcohol.  With homeschooling we control the turf and the message.

Homeschooling is a challenge.  At times it is a lot of work.  Overall I think we put in about the same amount of time as parents who use the government schools.  But even if we spend more time I'm glad to do it.