Why do we Homeschool?
The short answer to why we homeschool is because we are parents. When you have a baby, your whole life becomes one educational experience. You help your baby learn to eat, walk, and talk. Homeschooling after the first years of your childs life is just continuing to do what you’ve already started.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2221) it says “The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.” The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.” It is therefore a parent’s responsibility to ensure their children are properly educated. That means even if you’re sending your child to a school, it’s important to follow your child’s progress. This is especially important when it comes to matters of faith. At the end of our lives when we are judged by God, if He asks us, “how did you encourage the children I entrusted you with, to come to me?” What will you say? “I let the church worry about that” or “I sent them to a Catholic school to deal with that” isn’t a very firm foundation.
My husband and I have had various experiences with the school system, and we have agreed that our family is going to entirely home educate. Even though we could supplement school learning with home learning, it’s going to more efficient for our family to do it ourselves.
The first book I read (and then subsequently bought off Amazon) about homeschooling was Catholic Education: Homeward Bound: A Useful Guide to Catholic Home Schooling. Because it has been published for a while there are a lot of good used prices from Amazon! Mine was new but they seem to be out of new editions besides Kindle.
This book is a great starting place for any family considering homeschooling. I’ve already done two note taking reads through this book, and am doing a third read through now. It has a lot of good quotable passages in it, such as this one. “At heart, home education is really about love – the love that inspires mothers and fathers to listen, to form, to nurture, to correct, and to encourage long after an institutional teacher would have given up and moved on” (CE:HB page 7). I also love how the book discusses creating a family culture.
The style of education I originally thought our family would use was unit-studies (where the family studies all subjects in relation to one topic). However, after having Little Fox I realized I wanted to be more prepared for homeschooling her, and took out The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (3rd edition) from the library. That book basically described everything that was on my heart about what and how I wanted to homeschool. Then I discovered there was a 4th edition (with a green cover!) and had to get that one from Amazon. The Well Trained Mind goes through a step by step process of how you can efficiently teach your children at home. There is no need to fear math, science, grammar, or even Latin when you have this book to guide you! I’m so glad I have a copy that I can reference at any time, and even though it is pricey I really recommend this one. It even talks about how to prepare your children for education in the early years (birth to pre-K) so there is no need to wait to read it!
Classical education is going to give my children the education of princes and princesses. What I really love about this method is how history is used as the foundation for learning all the subjects. Except math. (Sorry to anyone who doesn’t love math like me). Math is still just math. There are three stages to a classical education: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The idea behind this is to match how you teach your children with where they are developmentally. Very young children are sponges for information, and will soak up the knowledge you share for them. Logic stage children are ready to look at why things are the way they are, and in the rhetoric stage students are able to make arguments and form their own opinions.
As we are working on early learning skills with Little Fox we will update you on the books we are using. Currently we have two main recommendations: The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and Preschool Math at Home. These books walk you through how to teach the foundations of learning (letters and mathematical language). The gives me the confidence and knowledge to know how to introduce letters to Little Fox and what sounds to start with. And when she is ready for reading that book will be our indispensable teaching tool. I also want my children to love math like me, so we are going to be sure to have fun with numbers young with Preschool Math at Home.
If you have any further questions about why we homeschool, share your thoughts in the comments. We may just write a post to respond to your question or thoughts!